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Living North’s Christmas Fairs

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Living North’s Christmas Fairs
Butterfly
Family
October 2014
Reading time 5
Living North speaks to self-taught textile artist Mister Finch, who’s based in Leeds, about fairy tale beasts and fungus

So what do you do?
I make fairytale beasts, fungus and birds. My company is called Mister Finch.

Do you ever use your first name?
No. Just my surname. Finch.

Where do you take inspiration from?
Mostly it comes from nature and the books I read. Inspiration can strike at any point and if you’re creative it can come from so many different avenues and directions, too many to name – the natural world, fairy tales. Often I'm inspired by the fabric i find.

What kind of materials do you use?
Mostly I use fabric and it comes from everywhere. I love using needlework and especially vintage fabrics in my work. I love trying to match up textures with fabrics especially moth wings with tapestries and shiny beetles with metallic taffetas.

Is there a particular market that your pieces are popular with?
I don't have a particular market. I think it’s quite broad. I have my work in various places from  nurseries to old libraries. I like that. An embroidered spider looks at home wherever you put her.

How long have you been working with textiles?
Full-time... around six years.

When you create new pieces, do you imagine the creatures as part of a story?
Sometimes yes, other times no. I try to keep the narrative open. I don't give things titles or names so the viewer can interpret what they see for themselves. I prefer it like that.

What does an average day involve?
If I'm in my workroom then I sew all day and into the night. I have documentaries and old films on in the background and work at a table that faces the street and there I sit. I drink tea all day and my room is small and decorative and I try to keep it tidy and welcoming because I spend so much time in there.

Mister Finch’s beautiful book, Mister Finch: Living in a Fairytale World is available to buy here. To find out more, visit www.mister-finch.com

'I make fairytale beasts, fungus and birds. My company is called Mister Finch'

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