MEET Abigail Mill
Abigail trained in embroidery at Cumbria College of Art & Design in 1990, following a passion for art throughout her childhood. She made things from an early age and was nicknamed ’fiddle-fingers’ as she was always creating, keeping busy, and could never sit still! Her father used to come home at weekends with an array of camera tape, the colours of the rainbow, and they were her first materials at her fingertips. The obvious path was for her to follow a creative career where she discovered textiles at art school; a means of incorporating texture, and her big passion, colour.
Her style is very distinctive using a self-developed technique of layering up hand-dyed printed cotton, combined with free-motion machine embroidery to create landscapes and other imagery. She leaves the fabric edges raw and frayed and more recently has been interested in creating three-dimensional forms. The overall effect looks ethereal and is sometimes confused with watercolour, when viewed from a distance. Her artwork is a little whimsical and nostalgic which makes people smile and reminds them of their holidays, which can’t be a bad thing!
She initially set up her business with a grant from the Prince’s Trust, setting up her first studio in Norwich, over the years the business grew and she moved to London where she exhibited at trade shows, and with the Crafts Council in New York and San Fransisco.
She has been featured in many craft and embroidery magazines. In 2005 she was invited, alongside three other artists, to take part in a community arts project at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital, to create coastal images for the children’s Buxton ward. It was the first time that she collaborated with other artists and had to consider the environment surrounding her artwork which she found very rewarding.
She has just published her new book Waveney Valley Wildlife-Embroidered. This beautiful publication is a combination of Step by Step chapters for textile fans to be inspired and make their own pictures, landscape photography, history, and local knowledge of the Waveney Valley, which acts as a tourist guide or gorgeous coffee table book.