Walking in to Kate’s studio would be any creatives dream. Full of beautiful artwork, clothes, art supplies, you could spend all day in the space very happily. I met Kate through the Creative Collection project and was thrilled to meet someone with so much passion and talent for art. This creative energy shines through all the work that she creates. As you can see through the photographs, Kate’s personality reflects her bright artwork, and she hopes to inspire people to love art and creating as much as she does herself. Find out more below…
My name is Kate Windsor, I’m 47 years old and a freelance artist. I was born In Australia, my parents emigrated in the 1960’s but returned to the UK in 1971 where I have lived, here in Stoke on Trent ever since. I’m married with one child, a ten-year-old son called Finn.
I create a lot of printed artwork, in which I use a variety of hand printing methods to create images, often of local landscapes such as the pot banks and bottle kilns from our ceramic heritage. I like to print onto textiles also and create my own clothing. I run workshops in schools and the local community showing printing techniques and make textile objects, often upcycling and reusing textiles and objects that have been pre-loved. Any new skills I learn I like to pass on, hopefully inspiring and being inspired by everyone around me.
I’ve been creating artwork for as long as I can remember. I still feel the same excitement whilst embarking on a creative project as I did when I was infant school and we had to make paper crowns and costumes for our nativity plays! For many years I worked in corporate environments and the artwork I created was a form of stress relief ; an antidote to a very structured working day. I would often use up work related materials that would be otherwise sent to landfill sites to create 3D pieces such as papier-mâché bowls and give them to people are work and sell hand painted cards in the staff restaurant. I also worked in media, interior design and styling where I was able to use my creativity to fulfill the briefs that I was given.
I sell my artwork in local galleries & shops, and at craft fares and online. I often get friends and neighbors popping round to buy last minutes gift and cards, my clothing is kept for myself. And I gift pieces and donate artwork for local charities. I am lucky that I have got to a point where my artwork can fund itself and I can buy the materials that I need and run workshops in schools for very little cost. It is important for me to that creativity should never be limited by budgets.
Do you care a lot about fashion?
Not particularly about fashion – but I care a lot about style. Fashion can be a little too rigid and I think the key is to find what works for yourself and just go with it. When you feel confident in your appearance that shines out to the world.
Are your style choices influenced by your art?
Definitely!!! I’m influenced by everything around skies, landscapes, people, animals, and me…. It’s endless. I often realise at the end of the day that I’m completely co-ordinating with a piece of work I’m creating or I’ve made a bottle kiln shaped dress. I think this says that I’m just an extension of my creations
Is there anyone you could say is your style influence?
I have lots of style influences; Paola Navone is an Italian architect/ designer/ artist that I greatly admire. Her work is stylish, contemporary and weaves its way into many genres and is comfortable and pure. Japanese designers such as Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto And Rei Kawakubo who use deconstruction methods and literally turn clothing ideals on their heads and the Italian designer Daniela Gregis who creates beautiful free flowing linen dresses and woven bags and wraps and shawls from oddly formed knitted pieces. No neat edges … That’s how I like it!
Have you ever made or altered your own clothes? If so, what?
I constantly make, alter and reconstruct my own clothes. It started when I couldn’t find what I was looking for and I didn’t have the financial means to buy the pieces that I lusted after. I have dresses made from linen chair covers, bed sheets, vintage curtains. I find it really easy to convert a piece of scrap fabric into a wearable item and I often use upholstery fabrics using the thickness and texture to create more structure in the garment. Any high street bought items will often be hacked into to make it more interesting, sweatshirts and t- shirts are brilliant to work with as they require little fuss and do not fray. I will use the fabric’s selvedge and any imperfections as part of the design as they give the pieces character and uniqueness. I knit and crochet and like to accessorise with knitted pieces in the winter, shawls, hats and huge wraps. I have recently made a coat with some beautiful wool that was destined for landfill but was saved by our local community scrap shack. Any spare fabric will be turned into brooches, and used in workshops.
Do you think there is a difference between ‘fashion’ and ‘style’?
Yes I think there is. Fashion can be quite prescriptive and whilst can look very stylish, I believe that style comes from a variety of sources. It can be uniqueness, a confidence, putting your own spin on things, regardless of age or size or financial means … Just find your thing and then rock it.