Susan Canfield

Books have always been a major interest of mine and both their form and content have informed most of my textile work.
Attending events to hear authors speak made me investigate British designers and artists working in the nineteen-thirties and led me to complete pieces based on the literature of T.S.Eliot and Virginia Woolf. Recently, I have created designs for a number of books which contain the word “Curious” in the title. 

For me sketchbooks are an important part of the design process; they enable me to interpret a theme in various ways.  I like these books to contain flaps, pockets and cut-out spaces to help spark my imagination. I often make a paper and/or card mock up of the final piece as a guide which helps me see if the colours and forms give the outcome I want to achieve.

The techniques I use vary depending on the final piece. It is often machine stitching on calico which I have coloured or textured adding hand stitching as a final embellishment. On several occasions I have used handmade paper instead of cloth, using the machine to add images.

It is important to me to feel excited by what I am producing and I love the challenges which arise when I make a three-dimensional piece.

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For the 2021 exhibition I began a sketchbook which I called Curious and I endeavoured to add cut-outs and flaps to each page to engage the viewer in a curious manner. 

This led to the idea, which I began to work on for this exhibition, based, very roughly, on the idea of the Rubrik cube where each side has to be turned to the relevant colour.

My nine cubes have to be rotated to make up one of six designs all based on books where the title included the word curious. 

This image shows a detail of one of the designs.