Folio and Fibre Q & A
Rachael Singleton, the artist behind brand Folio and Fibre, uses a variety materials in her mixed media projects from cermanics to fabric, and loves how every project she creates has a different outcome. Rachael is involved in a variety of creative arts from cermanics to traditional embroidery, both of which have influenced the artist she is now. We chatted to her about how she crafts bespoke textiles and books with economical and natural resources.
1. You mentioned that art journaling is where you rediscovered your love for mixed media. Do you still practise art journaling?
No, I don’t! I learned so many techniques and skills while journaling which I now use in other mixed media art, and it gave me a confidence and freedom that I needed at the time. Nothing is wasted; you take it all with you in your tool bag.
2. What is it that you love about mixed media?
I have a particular passion for layering or combining lots of things. That’s partly what attracted me to journaling, and it’s what I love about mixed media. There are so many materials at our fingertips all waiting to be put together in interesting ways. If there was one word to sum it up for me, it would be ‘synthesis’.
The Isle of Me
3. If you had to choose: paper or fabric?
Paper. I have loved it from being a small child.
4. You sometimes use photo apps to play with different effects. How does this help your creative process?
It’s a very safe way to play with possibilities and ideas of what I could do, or how something might be changed. I also tend to use them to layer or combine photos together… The undo button is a wonderful thing!
5. Can you recommend any in particular?
I have used several different photo apps – they all do slightly different things – but to play around with my own work I use Art Set. It’s very simple and intuitive. You get your own trays of pens and paints and can blend your own colours. It really is like having an art set inside your tablet.
One of Rachael's piece: Illumine- layered papers and organzas
6. Where do you find inspiration day-to-day?
I think I am quite observant and I take a lot of photos. I don’t always use them but just taking a photo supports the act of noticing. I like textures and natural colour palettes. I expect I’m influenced by all sorts really, but inspiration for a piece of work needs to start with a personal connection or experience, and for me it usually springs from a deep love of the natural world.
7. Do you practise many purely paper-based crafts? Perhaps cardmaking or scrapbooking?
I do make cards but less often now; when I do I usually make prints and stitch into them a bit. I work full-time and I am often involved in longer projects in my spare time. My work at the moment includes paper but not solely. I am using a lot of teabag paper which is wonderfully versatile.
8. What’s your studio/work space like?
For several years I had a 9 x 7 shed for my studio. It was insulated and double-glazed and had a reclining chair in the corner where I used to take a sneaky nap on a Sunday afternoon. It had a tree outside where the birds came close on the feeder. Inside were all my treasures and findings. It was a lovely space and especially so in summer, but I loved it best when it was raining. I have recently moved to a house where I have a larger space that doubles up as a dining room and I haven’t sorted storage out yet. It has large glass doors which fold back and it looks out onto a garden but there are no trees… yet.
9. What advice would you give to someone wanting to make a career from their craft?
Ask others all about the pros and cons so that you are confident as to whether a hobby or business is right for you. If you create a business, leave time to develop yourself creatively as well as honing your business and craft skills.
Look out for Rachael's stall at the Stitching, Sewing and & Hobbycrafts show in Harrogate, on the 11th-13th of May. We have 15 pairs of tickets for this event to giveaway in the February issue (79) of Creativity. Pick up a copy from your nearest stockist, or subscribe to make sure you never miss an issue.