Business name: Penny Jane Designs
Graduating in 1993 from UCE with a degree in Fashion and Textiles, I pursued a career as a community artist for many years. I worked with a diverse range of groups from one year to a hundred years old. During this time I set up many regular art groups in conjunction with Birmingham City Council, local schools and Sure Start Childrens Centres. My interest in feltmaking was reignited in 2004 when I decided I wanted to specialise in a single art form. Every community group was then offered feltmaking as an option within their project! I formalised all the knowledge I had gained with gaining a PGCE followed by a Masters in Art, Health and Wellbeing. I realised I was and still am fascinated by human interaction and believe we all have our own story to tell. I have a strong belief too that our stories are all interwoven which I like to think is reflected metaphorically in much of my own artwork. I have worked on many community projects over the years. Most recently I worked on a collaborative project with Birmingham City University for the waiting areas in the intensive care unit at the QE Hospital in Birmingham. This involved listening carefully to stories, both happy and sad, of families who had experienced having had relatives in the unit. I also currently work closely with traumatically bereaved families encouraging them to produce contemplative artwork. Another strand to my work is Penny Jane Designs, an online retailer offering a selection of hand felted luxury homewares and accessories for women.