Creative Interviews : Karen Ruane

I'm delighted to introduce you to my first UK maker whose specialism is embroidery. Karen lives in Blackburn and is a graduate in embroidery and surface design with First Class Honours. She is also qualified to teacher status. Karen's main love is embroidery, by hand, traditional stuff like our grandmothers used to do and her work has been exhibited widely. I'm delighted that she has taken the time to answer my questions and take this opportunity to thank her for contributing.
Carrie Hall
Describe yourself in five words and how would your friends describe you (in five)!! 
loyal, loving, obsessive, honest, calm (me)
obsessive, rebellious, opinionated, loyal, reliable (friends)


How has work and this year been for you – anything new on the boil for 2012 
In the earlier part of this year work was dead. I felt I was working very hard and achieving very little. That changed in August when I took the plunge and launched my online classes. Since then it has been crazy!! Hectic and busy in the best way, I have loved every minute of it.

In 2012 I am hoping to take my classes forward and I also have a wish, (I hope it happens but time flies by so fast) to create a new body of work for exhibition, to approach galleries and make progress with my portfolio of designs for industry.
What do you love most about what you do and is there a down side 
I love that I am in control of my day, my creativity and that I can embroider whenever I wish. Cloth and thread are my will never hear me complain about embroidery....ever.

The downside...I make very little money but hey, money isn't everything!! If I do get down about that then I remind myself of the alternative....a classroom of 30 teenager' contest! In your portfolio what are you most happy with That's quite a hard one.....I like everything in my portfolio, it doesn't make it into there if I don't like it. That is where my obsessive trait comes in. I throw things away if I am not happy with them.....
Embroidered Paper Art
What’s your ideal working day like 
My ideal working days happen when I can remove my housewife and mother head, If I don't have to do any cooking, cleaning or laundry. I would lay out pieces for a new project, enjoy tacking them together and then love the excitement of planning how I will embellish that piece. I probably wouldn't eat and I would definitely ignore the telephone.
Who influences you creatively 
I am influenced by women throughout time who have used cloth as a means to enhance the lives of their families. My work is driven minute by minute by a strong love for both my grandmothers, no longer with me, whom I adored and who ignited my love of embroidery. 
Little Book of Words
Have you ever or do you have a PLAN B 
Oh yes, I had a plan B, I tried it, it ruined my life!!! 18 months working full time in a Secondary School. I had lots of money!! Yes really, but boy was I miserable. I left before it completely destroyed me.

Where’s your own favourite place to work and why
In my comfy chair, in the lounge. With hand embroidery this is possible. 
Are you a coffee or a tea girl -  Coffee, black please, no sugar!
Who do you think I should interview next 
Ah!! Annette Messager. Now if you could pull that off!!!!!
Annette Messager
Karen's Links

Etsy Shop


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