Please touch

At Morley Winter Fair on Sunday a little girl kept coming over to my stall and constantly touching the items I was selling. My first instinct was to check that her hands were clean(!) – but I did understand her need for tactile stimulation.

When I was a child I was always being told not to touch things. And that continues, to a certain extent, with things locked away in glass cases or notices in museums telling you not to touch. Of course, I understand the damage that can be caused by thousands of grubby/oily fingers handling valuable, delicate objects. But it is such a shame not to be able to stroke the nubbly surface of a tapestry or run your hand over the smooth marble muscles of a Roman statue (or is that just me?!).

As a textile artist, I’m entranced by texture. For me, it’s one of the most important aspects of my work. It’s why I’m fascinated by how felt can be warm and soft yet so durable, and why I love the structural ridges and pleats of a piece of bound shibori.

So when I was asked to choose some of my favourite goods on the Makerhood site this week, I picked pieces that evoked a tactile experience. Even though I’m only looking at photos, I can still imagine how they would feel in real life. I hope you like them!

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