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The story behind Little People

Little People the brand has been in the making from as early as I can remember. My Mum taught me to sew when I was about 10 and I still remember the day she bought home a new sewing machine. It was a brown Husqvarna, which I thought was really strange 'cause I thought they only made lawn mowers.  From that moment, I was sewing anything I could, from little bags to clothes for my cabbage patch kids and then I progressed to high school skirts (if you made them yourself, you could make them as short as you like) and then my Year 11 Formal Dress. What a stunning green waterwave taffeta number that was. In my defence, it was in the early 90's.
I wanted to learn more so I enrolled in some craft classes after school and started getting orders from Mum's friends. From mouse door stops to cot quilts to puppets for a puppet show. The realisation that I could make money from my sewing fueled my love for it. 
I would keep every single scrap of fabric or lace, incase I could use it one day. I remember when we moved house, we had a moving company pack our boxes. The packers came out of my room and made comment on the insane amount of #*$% in a little girls room.

Wherever I moved as an adult, I was not far from a machine. My first sewing machine was funily enough,  a beautiful blue 'Palmer Princess' that I picked up for $5 at vinnies in my 20's. And yes, I still have that machine... And yes, I'm still a hoarder. My machine count is currently at 7 domestic machines and 2 industrials, but who is counting.  

My first sewing machine.....................

How do you work?

I am lucky enough to have a beautiful studio in the heart of Edinburgh. My studio is in a large building with over 50 artists. This has been a real advantage to my practice as I work in an enriching environment with painters, weavers, jewellers, printmakers as well as other ceramicists. This has fed my creativity and given me the confidence to incorporate other disciplines like printmaking and sculpture into my work. I dont do detailed drawings, preferring to scribble initial ideas into my sketchbook but finalising my designs in clay. Im not a morning person and love nothing better than settling down in my studio, with Radio 4 playing in the background, and working late into the evening

The Palmer Family

My work changed dramatically about 15 years ago. I used to make very richly decorated lustrous caskets inspired by Medieval reliquaries, but one day almost overnight I realised I had reached the end of the road with that work. I had had enough of colour and just stopped. I packed away all my glazes and lustres, ordered some samples of porcelain clay and started afresh. In hindsight it seems a rash thing to do but I have never regretted it.

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