I was introduced to Jane Denton‘s incredible artwork a few months ago, and it’s safe to say it was love at first sight. Consisting of lengths of cotton or wool expertly woven together, they are both simple in composition, yet meticulous in detail – a beautiful dichotomy I simply can’t get enough of. They are truly incredible. The woman is beyond talented, and it thrills me to no end to have her here today as my third guest in my makers series. Chatting about where she began, what really gave her work some legs (*hint: Emily Henderson*), and what she’ll be doing next, you’re going to want to read on…
If there are any other makers or entrepreneurs you’d like me to feature in this new series, please let me know in the comments below. And feel free to check out the others right here.
How did you get started?
I’ve always enjoyed making things. In my 20’s I made beaded jewelry and sold it through clothing stores throughout New Zealand. I later went on to complete an Art & Creativity course which gave me a good foundation to using lots of mediums.
I started my handstitched art in 2011 when our children were very young and we were looking for affordable art for our first home. The original inspiration for my work came from seeing how someone had wrapped wool around a few squares on a tall wire fence on a Wellington city street. They’d made a pattern with the wool and, even though it had completely faded, I could see potential in the idea as an art form. I came home and started experimenting with stitching wool in a similar way to create small pieces to hang on our wall.
I went on to create my first series of work which I started selling in high end homeware stores in Wellington and Auckland. Around that time I was also lucky enough to gain support from well known US stylists (Emily Henderson and Amber Interiors) who have promoted my work and helped me to break into the American market.
Where is your workspace and what do you love most about it?
Up until 2017 I worked out of our family home but as the workload increased and after I employed an assistant I knew this had to change. So we created a studio in our downstairs space which has separate access from the house. It had potential with existing built-in shelving and deep inset windows. After it was painted and carpeted, with new furniture and lighting it’s become a really lovely light filled place to work.
What is the process to create one of your artworks?
I’m usually inspired by a shape or pattern I’ve seen in everyday life (unexpected things like the shapes of floor tiles at our local pool) then I sketch a lot to create the right composition for the shapes. At the same time I’m thinking about a color palette for the new work. I’ve noticed seasons affect my choice of colors – in the summer it’s all about soft and muted compared to the winter where I’m drawn to more intense colors.
What’s been one the most popular pieces in your shop, and how did that piece come about?
In 2015 I created a limited edition Pink X artwork. Emily Henderson asked me to make a Pink O to go alongside an X for her master bedroom and were later moved into her daughter’s beautiful nursery. Emily’s home is often featured online and in magazines so it was amazing exposure for my art!
The Pink X and O limited edition series has since sold but I offer the same design in a pale blush which has also been very popular.
What colors, textures, and materials are inspiring you at the moment?
I’m really drawn to darker colors paired with very pale pastels – like burgundy or crimson and light pink, or dark green with a very pale grey. I have a new series I’m super excited about coming out in about a month with bold shapes and lines.
What upcoming project are you most excited to work on right now?
I’m excited to be working on a huge order (for 27 pieces) from an Interior designer in Brooklyn, New York which needs to be shipped in 6 weeks, eek! I’m also looking forward to be releasing my new series of work soon!
I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for…
My very supportive husband Hugh – those early years were tough so I really appreciate his patience and belief in me.
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