The Hand of the Maker with Society of Designer Craftsmen, July 2018

I will be taking a collection of Dragons and their eggs (Urchins) to Chelsea for The Hand of the Maker which will celebrate 130 years of the Society of Designer Craftsmen in July 2018.

SDC Designer Craft and Design Full Page Advert

@ Chelsea College of Arts
16 John Islip Street, London, SW1P 4JU

12th – 21st July 2018
Opening Times
Thursday 12th July to Friday 20th July
10:00 to 17:00
Saturday 21st July
10:00 to 16:00

Private View: Thursday 12th July, 18.00 to 21.00

Free admission
£5 Catalogue

Heath Robinson Museum: The Maker’s Art

SamHarveyUrchinsWebThe Heath Robinson Museum have commissioned me to create a group of Fantastical Creatures for their The Maker’s Art collection. The pieces will be available in the shop in the Museum in Pinner Memorial Park from April 2018 until October 2018.

Optima Magazine ran a lovely piece about the collection which you can find here.

The Maker’s Art is a contemporary range of jewellery, textiles, wood and glass that complement the imagination and enchantment of Heath Robinson’s work curated by Jeannine Lawder. The makers change every six months, – this is now our fourth group – adding more valuable creative partnerships and creating a distinctive decorative art marketplace at the Heath Robinson Museum.

Heath Robinson Museum, Pinner Memorial Park, Pinner HA5 1AE

Dragons & Mystical Creatures

The starting point for this growing interest was a drawing of the skeleton of a Port Phillip Bay Sea Dragon. I then began researching and drawing dragons in the British Museum, the V&A – and anywhere else they appear – and they are surprisingly common – and fantastically imaginary, so can take any form.

Sea Urchins

Sea Urchins have fascinated me for a long time – their texture, colour and fragility are irresistible, and drawing them is very satisfying. The first sea urchin creations began with a Studio 21 challenge to make a ‘drawing’ and an octopus I was making for my children’s Stitchclubs. I scanned and printed the collage onto cotton and loads of stitching and press studs later the first two urchins appeared.

While researching mystical creatures I read that sea urchins were thought to be dragon’s eggs. I am still working on how to create a dragon inside its egg, but this start gained lovely comments at my recent Open Studio.

The Sewing Machine and Women

The challenge for the 2015/16 Studio 21 exhibition was to research the sewing machine and what it means to each artist and then to create work reacting to these findings.

As the first domestic appliance, the sewing machine required ingenious marketing to become successful. Key to the success was to ensure that the position of the woman was not challenged. As such it was important to maintain the social pretence that women should not, indeed could not, use machines. The mechanics of using the sewing machine were wrapped up in how to sew books such as the one by Mary Brooks Picken which contain directives which are laughably inappropriate in today’s context.

I created two main pieces


As the first domestic appliance, the sewing machine required ingenious marketing to become successful. It was important to maintain the social pretence that women should not, indeed could not, use machines. As such the mechanics were hidden beneath beautifully ornate casing. Many women who sew actually find the mechanics intriguing and when contemplating this, the intrigue and weight of Man Ray’s L’Enigma d’Isodore Ducasse came to mind and L’Enigma evolved.

A Beauty Ritual of Orderliness

An extract by Mary Brooks Picken’s is available as an example of 50’s sexism. Reading the original text one realises that the basic tenet is actually sound: to ensure that your sewing time is rewarding, make sure that you give it time and space. The specific directives however are laughable in today’s context. This piece is worked on a simple apron, required to protect your best dress worn so that you were not “constantly fearful that a visitor will drop in or your husband come home” finding you “not look neatly put together”.

I have had an enjoyable time looking at the wide range of images of the sewing machine and its marketing, building up a diverse Pinterest board which you can see here. The research for this project resulted in some fun images and facts which you can see here in my accompanying booklet.

I also created some smaller pieces from my reactions to the Mary Brooks Picken book.