Q&A with Crimson Textiles
1) Who are you and what do you do?
Lesley Thornton - designer/maker; seamstress; kilt-maker
2) What is your main inspiration?
First and foremost I’m a ‘maker’. For me, making is a compulsion, something that I’m driven to do from within. I’m inspired by beautiful fabrics; vibrant colours; the traditional skills of domestic crafters, often unrecognised in their day; mid-century design.
3) Where do you work from?
I work from a purple shed at the bottom of my garden. My studio is full of sewing paraphernalia - it’s like working inside a huge sewing box. It’s south facing, has windows on 2 walls and is flooded with light from morning until night. My husband built it for me 9 years ago from mainly recycled materials and ebay purchases. I’m usually working in it from 9am - 6pm, 5/6 days a week.
4) What do you do to relax?
To relax I keep making, but personal projects and gifts for friends. I’m also going through an on-line Scrabble phase at the moment.
5) Tell us something surprising about your studio space/education/life experiences.
My handsome grey cat, Arty, sleeps on the ironing board in my studio (when I’m not ironing!) and I do admit that I talk to him quite a lot.
6) Where did you study?
I studied Textile Design at the Scottish College of Textiles in Galashiels (1980-1984)
7) What's the best advice you can give to other makers or have received?
I’m often asked how I have the self discipline to be self employed. I follow the advice of a visiting lecturer when I was at college, and give myself little rewards throughout the working day as I complete tasks - rewards ranging from 10mins web browsing to the top reward of a half-hour break with coffee and scone in my local tearoom! (But not every day!)
8) Who would you like to have over for dinner?
My best friends - and Yotam Ottolenghi, to do the cooking!
9) What is the best thing about being an independent maker?
Being able to make a living doing what I love most is just the best thing ever.