Growing up in Scotland, Lorna was surrounded by fabric, buttons and colourful knitting yarn in her granny’s drapery shop. It was no surprise that this influenced her creative path to The Glasgow School of Art in 1982, where she graduated with both Honours and postgraduate degrees in Embroidered and Woven Textiles. From then until leaving the UK in 2002, she moved to Canterbury in Kent and carved out her career running her small business designing and making silk, machine-stitched, soft furnishings.
Lorna sold her pillows, throws and wall hangings in galleries and stores around the UK and the USA. She exhibited work in the Victoria and Albert Museum, sold work in Liberty and regularly showed collections at The Chelsea Craft Fair throughout the 90’s. In America, Lorna created work for ABC Carpet and Home and Bergdorf Goodman in NY, as well as selling to boutique interior stores and galleries across the States. Alongside her soft furnishings she also worked on several large scale public art commissions in and around the South East of England.
Between 2002-2012, Lorna and her geologist husband upsticks and left the UK to live and work in far-flung places around the world. While contractually unable to work and with two young children, Lorna filled her spare time with volunteer work:
- recycling textile projects with school kids in Artvin, Turkey;
- creating a large banner to celebrate the commonwealth in an international school in Bintulu, Borneo and ran creative textile workshops for groups of expats;
- working with primary school kids in Fort Augustus, Scotland, to make a large fabric ‘welcome’ banner for their school foyer.
When Lorna was back at home in Scotland for two years, she wrote her book ‘Silk Unraveled’, which was published in 2008. This is a project-based book and creative guide to some of the techniques she loves to use. Although the projects use silk, they can be done using wools, cottons and any other fabrics. Some of the projects feature wall panels, pillows and a passionflower vest.
From 2008-12, Lorna and family moved to Ladysmith, KZN, in South Africa and she ran monthly workshops for a group of Zulu women working with their great skills in crochet, beadwork and sewing, creating a collection of craftwork to sell to the local community. As a fundraiser for her kids' school, she painted a large 35-metre mural for the Spar supermarket in Ladysmith.
Arriving in beautiful Vancouver in 2012, Lorna and family became permanent residents of Canada and she is now getting her teeth stuck into stitching again and finding her place in the world of North American designer makers. The colours and the climate of BC have inspired her to replace the lustrous silks she used in the 90’s with warm, wool meltons as a base to collage onto. Nature, landscape, architecture and the many faces and cultures she experienced on her travels continue to be a great source of inspiration, and sometimes with a nod to her roots and those heathery hills of the Highlands of Scotland. Lorna fuses traditional stitching techniques such as appliqué and 'mola' work with her own style of fabric manipulation to create her signature stitched and collaged surfaces on pillows, bags and blankets using wool, linen, cotton, silk and velvet. Her work is for anyone seeking something different and who wants to add an artistic conversation piece to their living space or, with her bags, own a piece of 'wearable art'.