How did you start out on this path? Did you always know this was what you wanted to be doing?

I’ve always loved to paint and draw and have done it in every spare moment since I can remember. My career in food started when I was 25 in a brilliant place called Ultracomida – aside from the enjoyment of the act of cooking itself, it was the feeling of cooking for others that really made me want to do what I do.

How has your work evolved since you first started making?

Most of the art I make fits in around my other work as a free-lance cook, which means that I tend to draw, paint and lino-cut manageable sized pieces. I don’t like to have projects hanging over me for long periods of time. These days I draw and paint edibles much more than anything else, which is a reflection of what I do for a living.

How do you approach studio time – get yourself into the right frame of mind for creating/making?   Do you work better at certain times of the day?

Sadly studio time is very limited – I try to fit in at least one hour a day and often it’s late at night. The dream is to one day set aside a couple of days a week. What I will say is that I find I’m more productive if I have limited time because I really try and make the most of what little I have. When I have set aside whole days to paint I get far less done!

How do you challenge yourself within your work? Do you always see yourself working in this medium?

I try to stretch myself over a few mediums actually – this is a natural way of pushing the boundaries and being outside of my comfort zone – Small courses are a great way of delving into another medium. I went on a short weekend lino course with Ian Phillips and that was the start of my small run lino-cut series.

What would/has been your ideal commission?

I tend not to like commissions so much because there is the pressure of working to someone’s expectations. The best commission I’ve done is a staircase mosaic, where I’d set out the expectations right from the start and there was a clear vision on the end piece.

We know that social media channels such as Instagram play a pivotal role now in giving a platform to artists. To what extent has it benefitted you?

Do you think it’s possible for it to ever truly replace a traditional bricks and mortar gallery?

I think it’s a very important platform and has played a huge role in where I am today. That said, I don’t think it ever will or ever could replace a bricks and mortar gallery. There is something so special about standing up close and personal with a work in the flesh. It’s a feeling you can only get from galleries. Also the energy and buzz of a gallery is half the point for me – I love seeing peoples reactions to works.


Is there a recent exhibition that you have loved so much and encouraged everyone to go see?

I recently saw an exhibition by Mark Frith at Kew Gardens. It was a series of large scale graphite drawings of oak trees – I was totally blown away by how majestic they were.


What does the future hold for you and your work? Do you have any exciting plans for 2020?

Lots more recipes and lino cuts to come!

We’ve carefully selected some special books for our Makers Market 2018 – here’s our top ten choice for the season.


1. The Wild Dyer: A guide to natural dyes & the art of patchwork & stitch

Abigail Booth

By teaching you the foundations of natural dyeing, and guiding you through the simple stitch techniques, this book will allow you to dip in and out of projects while learning how to forage for and grow your own dye plants.’ In The Wild Dyer, Abigail Booth demystifies the `magic’ of natural dyeing and shows how to use the results to stunning effect in 15 exquisite patchwork and stitch projects. Focusing on how to grow or gather your own dyeing materials – from onion and avocado skins to chamomile and comfrey, nettles and acorns – as well as scouring, mordanting (using fixative) and setting up a dye vat, Abigail explains how to create effective dyes. And once you have them, how you can produce beautiful, contemporary textiles that can then be used to create projects that build on your skills.


2. Something of his Art: walking to Lübeck with J. S. Bach

Horatio Clare

Something of his Art is Horatio Clare’s recreation of the long walk that J. S. Bach took in the depths of winter in 1705 – his long walk to Lübeck across northern Germany, and visualising the light, landscape and wildlife the young, and as yet unknown composer would have seen.


3. Strudel, Noodles and Dumplings: The New Taste of German Cooking

Anja Dunk

A celebration of modern German home cooking, Strudel, Noodles and Dumplings is a long-awaited revival of this underserved national cuisine, proving that there is more to German food than Bratwurst and Black Forest gateau.

Anja Dunk’s German food is gently spiced, smoky and deeply savoury. From recipes such as whole-wheat buttermilk waffles to caraway roast pork and red cabbage, quince and apple slaw, her way of cooking is vibrant, honest, quick and deeply intertwined with the seasons and the weather.

Beautifully photographed and featuring over 200 recipes for the everyday family table, as well as for snacks and special occasions, Anja’s cook book is an essential guide to all the basics of German cuisine, providing inspiration for appetising and comforting meals throughout the year.


4. Snow

Marcus Sedgewick

Marcus Sedgwick’s beautiful examination of snow, and our fascination with it is divided into six chapters, like the six sides of a snowflake, and features the photographs of Wilson Bentley, who first photographed snowflakes in the 1890s.


5. Willow: Traditional Craft for Modern Living

Jenny Crisp

Master basket maker and willow grower, Jenny Crisp, teaches some of the key weaving techniques to make 20 simple willow projects without the need of complicated tools. Jenny’s approach is innovative and moves forward beyond the old patterns and boundaries, to allow the reader to make work that is fresh and for contemporary use.


6. Black Apples of Gower

Ian Sinclair

Iain Sinclair returns to the landscape of his youth, the Gower Peninsula in South Wales, beginning a new journey into his past, inspired by the poetry of Vernon Watkins and Dylan Thomas and the art of Ceri Richards, which illustrates this book.


7. Melinau Gwlân / Woollen Mills of Wales

Branwen Davies

The story of today’s Welsh working woollen mills, with photographs. Although each mill has its own unique story, the common link betwen them is the craftsmanship, passion and perseverance of the workers to keep the industry alive. In this colourful volume, Branwen Davies’s text and the photography of Iestyn Hughes come together to create a fascinating story.

Hanes melinau gwlân Cymru sy’n gweithio heddiw, ynghyd â lluniau. Er bod gan bob melin ei hanes ei hun, yr hyn sy’n gyffredin rhyngddynt yw crefft, angerdd a dycnwch y bobl hynny sy’n dal ati i gadw’r diwydiant yn fyw. Yn y gyfrol liwgar hon daw geiriau Branwen Davies a ffotograffiaeth Iestyn Hughes ynghyd i adrodd hanes hynod y melinau gwlân eiconig hyn.


8. A Love Letter from a Stray Moon

Jay Griffiths

Frida Kahlo transformed the emotional and physical pain of her life into art. Her paintings make visible the invisible, interior experiences of many women. They speak of loss, loneliness, her struggle to have children, her lovers, a bus accident that shattered her body and spirit. But they are also full of passion and warmth, each canvas a defiant celebration.


9. Wales in 100 Objects

Andrew Green

Wales in 100 Objects brings history to life, evoking key moments in Wales’ past through physical artefacts. The objects, chosen by author Andrew Green with the help of librarians, museum and gallery curators, and other experts, range from the ancient to the very recent, including items such as an iron sword dating from 1st century AD Roman rule, the earliest known copy of “Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau”, and Raspberry Pi, the revolutionary coding computer for children first produced in Wales. All are represented by Rolant Dafis’ stunning photography, and given context by Green’s brief but fact-packed essays.


10. Merchant & Mills Workbook: A Collection of Versatile Sewing Patterns for an Elegant All Season Wardrobe

Make six classic garments and create a stylish multi-layered wardrobe from scratch. Full-size patterns are provided for a neat vest with a boxer back detail, an elegant bias-cut long-sleeved dress, a simple long gathered skirt with a drawstring waist, a batwing wrap top, an oversized drop-shoulder jacket and a pair of classic wide leg trousers. By choosing seasonal cloth, the versatility of these projects can be enjoyed from the first hint of spring to the end of winter.








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