Jennifer Collier

  • 1a map slr.jpg Map SLR Camera, 2011. Vintage maps, grey board and machine stitch. Photo credit: Gareth Parry.
  • DSC_0493.jpg Reverse Applique Chair, 2014. Found papers, corrugated card, grey board and machine stitch. Photo credit: Print Garage.
  • 2e singer.jpg Singer Sewing Machine, 2011. Vintage dress making patterns and instructions, grey board and machine stitch. Photo credit: Gareth Parry.
  • 2a typewriter.jpg Paper Typewriter, 2011. Vintage typewriter manuals, grey board and machine stitch. Photo credit: Gareth Parry.

What inspires me

I focus on creating work from paper; by bonding, waxing, trapping and stitching I produce unusual paper 'fabrics', which are used to explore the 'remaking' of household objects. All the techniques I use in my work are things I have taught myself by experimenting with different media and techniques.

I gain inspiration from the materials I find and places I search for them, such as flea markets, charity shops, fruit and veg stalls, antique shops etc. I will source the papers then find a way in which they can be transformed and given new life, such as a paper sewing machine out of dressmaking patterns, or a camera out of vintage photographs. Whenever I am really stuck for an idea I seek inspiration from literature or poetry. I made the cover artwork for Linda Grant's 'The Thoughtful Dresser', winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction.

Making in the Midlands

In the Midlands I sell through my own gallery and art workshop space, Unit Twelve (, and I have just started stocking The National Centre for Craft and Design in Sleaford. There is no way I would be able to have the gallery and art workshop space that I now run if it weren't for its location in Stafford - it is a stunning rural location with free parking and cheap rent and business rates and includes six artists' studios. The gallery is integral to my practice as I need the interaction with other makers and the public to spark conversation and bounce ideas off.

What has changed most about the crafts in the last thirty years

There has definitely been a renaissance in handmade, and it is great that contemporary craft has become more accessible to the general public.