Making & Mental Health

Sunday 10 October 2021 is World Mental Health Day, a subject which is very personal to me. In my thirties I was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder and I have struggled with depression and anxiety all my life. I believe that making is a key part of my wellbeing, I’ve written about this before on my blog and in the Arts and Minds newsletter.

I’ve been making since I was a little girl, my grandparents who brought me up were both makers. My granddad was a joiner and engineer and my grandma was a knitter, I was lucky to have access to craft materials so I could create things and play with different techniques.

I find having something to do with my hands gives me a sense of calm, even if I’m not embroidering or doing patchwork I’ll be in the studio organising threads. That’s my favourite task, arranging my fabric and thread. Picking up the materials and holding them in my hands always inspires me as I’m a process led artist.

Sharing my passion for textiles has also helped me to understand how I can use my skills to help other people find a creative outlet. I’ve worked on lots of community and collaborative projects using textiles to share our stories and as a way to find a moment of calm. You can find out more about some of these projects in my portfolio.

Even if you have never embroidered before, I recommend picking up a needle and thread and having a go. There are some great resources on YouTube and Pinterest to inspire you and you can check out my past posts for some ideas on how to make your stitching a bit different. There’s also an instant access embroidery course you can but through Workshop. If fabric and thread aren’t for you, why not try creative writing or photography instead.