Mad Hatter Studios by Sheron King
Sheron King is the Company Director of Mad Hatters Studio – a fascinating informal studio set within a converted barn. It has an amazing garden and is part of a historic complex going back to connections with Sir Frances Drake. The studio is full of original pieces of up cycling, designs and art works and an amazing collection of objects which form part of an aesthetically stimulating environment. The garden and studio have a never ending source of material from which to draw inspiration from for creative works or simply painting and drawing.
This is set in a beautiful location in South Devon with wild and rugged Dartmoor nearby as well as the historic City of Plymouth and the luscious South Devon coast… not to mention Cornwall on the door step. The studio is host to many textile and mixed media workshops with some well known exciting people coming to run workshops.
Textile and mixed media workshops
As well as hosting the workshops, Sheron, herself is a qualified teacher and in conjunction with this is developing her own brand and line of up cycled textile products and ceramics with a heavy emphasis on sustainable practice and eco awareness. Sheron has an absolute addiction to intense vibrant colours, patterns, textures and the intriguing visual richness that comes with layers. Her inspirations and influences have derived from a magnetic attraction to rummaging through items in second hand shops, car boot sales, jumble sales and items donated from family and friends. As a result she has a continually growing collection of ephemera, vintage fabrics, buttons, lace, wools, threads, beads, labels etc. These items act as a source of inspiration, form the materiality of her studio workspace and become a part of the narrative of the work through an intuitive and emotional response to the materials. Her work has developed over the last few years from mixed media/textile and ceramic works through the studying of BA Hons 3D design and MA Contemporary Design at Plymouth University.
Textures, embellishments and layers
Each piece of work and groups of works are unique with the lovely nuances and the visible marks of hand making, blended sensitively with certain technologies. Through this journey, the work becomes a repositioned statement of the material, not only challenging patterns of behaviour but also evoking journals of narratives, memories and nostalgia. The work is very contemporary with a bohemian flavour and hint of opulence. There are rich colours, textures, embellishments and layers. This style also continues through ceramics hand made by Sheron. She constructs hand built pieces with intense surface pattern and use collected fabric pieces and objects to create texture and pattern – often making ceramic reference to seams, stitches, buttons, fastenings and zips.
I am fascinated by the previous life history that belongs to old fabrics and objects – I like the idea of preserving these intriguing and often pretty memories or to investigate ways in which they can be remade into something new to be loved and cherished again.
I have also gathered much inspiration by my travels to India, Turkey and Africa and especially love the Indian wall hangings
What is my philosophy?
To recycle, up cycle, reuse and reinvent post consumer textiles with the challenge of the idea of breathing new life and transformation into discarded and forgotten things –why use new materials when so many old ones are going to waste? I feel very strongly about playing a part personally, as well as part of the wider society to raise awareness of ecological issues and reducing the impact of design and lifestyle on the environment-often a consumer driven society.
Through holistic approach workshops reusing materials, my goal is to inspire and encourage others to explore their own creative potential raising self esteem, self image and environmental awareness.
Hosted workshops coming up at Mad Hatters Studio
Linda Miller ‘Pictorial Machine Embroidery’ Workshop
Date: Sat 13th & Sun 14th July 2013
Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm
Myfanwy Hart ‘Fun with the Embellisher’
Date: Sat 3rd & Sun 4th August
Time: 10.00am – 4.oopm
Angie Hughes ‘Exploring Velvet’
Date: Sat & Sun 5th & 6th October