Q&A with Tessuti & PickOne

Fiona McIntosh, Tessuti:

1) Who are you and what do you do?

I'm Fiona McIntosh, a printed textile designer trading under the name
of Tessuti Printed Textiles and co-owner of Concrete Wardrobe.

2) Tell us something surprising about your studio space/education/life experiences.

I studied at the Scottish College of Textiles in Galashiels, which has now become part of Heriot Watt University.  I graguated in 1984 and set up in business a year later.  I work from my ground floor studio within the Albion Business Centre, tucked away behind the Hibernian football stadium.

3) What do you do to relax?

Although it doesn't sound very relaxing I've taken up drumming and joined a band! I'm tutored by my partner who's a drummer and is also in the band along with three other friends.

4) What advice would you give to other makers?

The best advice I can give to other makers is to follow your instincts - if it feels right, do it and persevere!

Jamed Donald, PickOne:

 1) Who are you and what do you do?

My name is James Donald and I am a hand weaver based at Coburg House Art Studios in Leith.  I think I have been working from there for the past 6 years or so.

2) Tell us something surprising about your studio space/education/life experiences.

My studio is in the basement of the building and originally this was a massive grain store, back in the day and more recently was used by Tom Kitchin as a storage space for his bits and bobs before I moved in. It’s a fairly big studio, which enables me to teach from as well as host other workshops.

In my humble opinion we have the best studios in Edinburgh in a very friendly busy space, which accommodates over 80 different artists and designer makers. I would not want to be anywhere else!

3) Where do you see your creative practice going?

Well I'd still like to be “going” to begin with! I have a few ideas up my sleeve that will keep me occupied for a wee while. Expansion is definitely on the cards.

4) Who would you like to have over for dinner?

Oh, that such an easy question to answer! I would have Alison Moyet, Dawn French and Graham Norton over for a few cheery G&T’s

5) What is the best thing about being an independent maker?

Having my own timetable and never really knowing 
what is around the corner.  I gave up my 18-year teaching job last December and I haven’t looked back! Opperchancities arise when you put yourself out there and this year I had the fantastic chance to participate in the World Crafts Council selling event  in Dongyang, China, which would never have happened had I still been tied to a regular 9 to 5.

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