Getting to know you – Joanna Teague

It’s time for another round of interviews with artsy-crafty people. We’re kicking it off with Joanna Teague whose work I admire a lot. It’s embroidery! And she uses a lot of writing in her embroidered work, which I really love. I hope you enjoy the interview! Thank you, Joanna, for taking part!

Your name
Joanna Teague 
:: website :: blog :: flickr ::

Where in the world are you?
South west England 

Briefly describe yourself and what you make
I love making things, allsorts of things. I am a mum to 3 lively kids and passionately believe in living life creatively. 

There is no-one

Who or what inspires you?
Inspiration comes from all over the places, people, places, conversations, my kids 

When / how did you learn?
I come from a creative family and learnt the basics from my Mum. We still do a lot of crafting together and discuss idea and plans.  I learn a lot from books and now the internet. I did a HNC in Stitched Textiles when my eldest was a baby (1 0 years ago) which helped me to formalise how to design.  I enjoy the challenge of trying to make something I have never made before. I am intrigued by the whole process of making things. 

Why do you ‘bother’ to make things by hand?
I don’t see it as a”bother” it’s an essential part of life for me and the day doesn’t feel right if I haven’t made something.

do what you can

What is your craft”philosophy”?
I found a quote last year which said” Do what you can, with what you have, where you are” This fits so well with how I make things. If I have a new project I look though my own stash before going out to buy. I get a thrill from re-using, recycling and using what I have around me. I also feel very strongly that I want to share the skills with other people. To get other people to understand how great it is to make something.

Have you always made ‘stuff’?
I have always made things, as a small child I would say to my mum” I need to make” I needed to make something, to create my own thing. Now my husband will check with me before putting boxes out for recycling. Too many times has he put out something I wanted! 

Can you reveal a little about your creative process?
I have 3 kids. They are now all at school so I have more time. Before they went to school I used the time I was caring for the children to think about what I wanted to make. I would be pushing the pushchair but lost in thoughts on my projects. This gave me chance to think through ideas and make me more efficient when I was able to start making things. I make a lot of things in the evening, it relaxes me. 

How do you deal with crafty mistakes?
Mistakes get out back in the scarp box till they can be used in something else! 


Favourite book(s) or craft book(s)?
A treasured book is my grandmothers copy of Encyclopaedia of Needlework by Therese De Delmont, passed to me by my mum. I love books on textiles but I try not to buy too often, not enough space. I love older books and I treasure my few copies of Mari Clare idée’s and Cloth Paper Scissors which seem to really celebrate creativity.

Do you have a designated craft space? What does it mean to you?
NO. My husband and I share a room with most of my crafting stuff and the main computer. It’s a room the children are not allowed into so things can be left out. I would love it to be my room, it catches the sun in the morning but I have to share it. Better than nothing. I have always worked a lot at the kitchen table. I am in the process of embroidering a tablecloth with all the activities that happen at the table, to celebrate family life. I quite like being at the table, it keeps me part of family life but it would be good to have my own space. 

Do you use a sketchbook or journal?
I keep a journal of ideas but it’s a very private book. 

A pocket for treasures

Why is crafting good for you?
Crafting keeps me sane; it keeps me in the moment. Its part of my life and makes me a more contented person. 

What impact (if any) has the internet had on your craft?
The internet has had a huge impact on the way I make things. I love the sites that give me a daily roundup of ideas. I read a lot blogs to keep up with ideas and use Google reader to save the ideas. It has also given me new opportunities such as the One yard Wonders book, Harrogate Knitting and stitching show and this interview! 

Do you make art or craft? Is there a difference?
Until very recently I would have always said I was a crafter. The physical process and the use of materials are very important to me. More recently my embroidery has been about expressing my philosophy and emotions by incorporating words into my pieces.

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