About Catherine Lawes



Catherine was born and brought up in New Zealand to English emigrants. Family holidays were spent exploring much of that beautiful and then largely unspoilt country. 
From an early age she was always interested in drawing and creating. Her love of sewing and fabric stems from learning to sew at school at eleven and she soon became proficient on her mother’s advanced Elna sewing machine making her own clothes, altering commercial patterns, entering competitions and keeping up with the fashions from London. 

After thinking to study Archaeology and then Fashion Design she finally settled on Architecture as her chosen career path.
She pursued this line of study at Victoria University in Wellington, where the library offered incredible views of the ever changing patterns of light on the water of the harbour, with constant comings and goings of ships and small vessels. However after the sudden death of her father, the family decided to return to live in England. 
She carried on with her Architectural studies in Canterbury, Kent and Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Both schools were attached to Art Colleges with all the variety of art and design to inspire.

After a short career in the Architectural world she found herself as a full time mother. Stints of designing and making dolls and Collectors Teddy Bears led her to expand on this interesting world of fabric and stitch. On joining a Textile Group in her village the wide and wonderful world of Creative Textiles soon opened her up to exploring many new techniques and styles.

She has always had a deep connection to the patterns and forms found in nature, in landforms and in manmade structures.
After several years showing her work through large Craft and Design Fairs in the South East, Open Studio events and Gallery exhibitions Catherine decided to return for a lengthy stay in her home country.  
During her 4 years living in the beautiful Wairau Valley area of Marlborough, New Zealand she was often seen stopped at the side of the road taking photos of the clouds and ever changing light and patterns on the mountains and hills that frame the Valley. These have inspired several pieces of work. 

In Marlborough she had her studio open on the Open Art Trail and received visitors from around the world. Her work was shown in many local and national Quilt and general Art Exhibitions and Shows where she won several awards. She also entered garments and wall hangings into the Festival of Quilts and the National Quilt Championships in the UK.
Now based in East Sussex, the undulating contours of the South Downs and the soft English light add to the inspiration for new work. 

She is a member of the Quilters’ Guild, UK and Contemporary Quilt Group.

She loves to share with others and offers talks and workshops on her techniques and inspiration.

Artist’s Statement

I am a painter with fabric and thread. I design and create unique pieces of Art which can hang on your wall or grace your bed. I am inspired by everything around me from patterns in nature to paintings by others or just by the print or colour of a piece of fabric. Playing is the best way to describe my process. 

I am a tactile person. I see the world around me in terms of texture. Greens can be smooth and soft or rough and grating. Subtleties of tone and shapes inspire me. Clouds are ephemeral paintings never to be repeated.
I create slightly abstracted versions of real scenes by seeing if I can capture the feel or texture of the subject using a tactile medium. The landscapes of New Zealand, Scotland and the South Downs feature strongly in my work. 

My work includes using traditional quilting methods in cottons, but I also make use of free cutting  construction methods using woollen fabrics, yarns, merino fleece, silks, chiffons and many other types of fabric.       
I offer a creative design process to make a unique piece of Wall, Bed or Wearable Art for the discerning customer. 

I take pride not only in the quality of my designs but also in the making and finishing of them.  

Many pre-loved and used fabrics end up in my creations.

I offer several classes in the techniques I use.