This graduate story is from Greta Huseboe. As a lifelong learner, Greta has always loved sewing, knitting, embroidery and Patchwork. After taking early retirement Greta jumped at the chance of enrolling onto an accredited course with the School of Stitched Textiles and spending more time on her art. Through our distance learning course she was able to learn new skills, knowledge and develop her own style as a textiles artist.
‘I grew up in Norway at a time when sewing and knitting was a common part of life. I learnt to sew at a very early age, sitting in the kitchen and making feeble running stitches along lines my mother had made on a scrap of cloth. I must have been about 5 years old, and my love for textiles was ignited.
In my childhood embroidery was my passion, mostly cross stitch. At the age of 11 I made my first skirt, and all through my teenage years I made most of my clothes so that I could follow the fashion. I learnt to spin and weave, and tapestry weaving and silk painting became a new passion.
Textiles artist inspiration
Then patchwork got a renaissance in Norway in the 1970’s and of course I had to try that as well. Then in 1998 I read an article about the Swedish textiles artist Katriina Flensburg and my heart was lost to art quilt completely. My loom and silk frames were put away, and my whole soul was put into learning as much as I could from books, the internet, and online courses.
Beside all of this, I worked as an audio and video designer for NRK, the Norwegian Broadcasting. I lived in Bergen with my husband, and raised our two daughters. Then in 2015, NRK decided to cut down on employees, and I got an early retirement. Finally I had the chance to work on my art full time. It was time to expand my knowledge further. Being used to distant learning, I decided to take Machine Embroidery, level 3 with SST, and I have never regretted it.
Developing a personal style with distance learning
Studying via distance learning gives you a chance to work in your own time, wherever you are, which has suited me well. The course is divided into 12 modules, and I have been working through my modules one by one. I have even been able to sell my house, pack down all my belongings, and move across the country, and still make my module deadlines. My tutor Marj Rutter gave me the feedback I needed along the way, and now I have five portfolios filled with inspirational drawings of my own, as well as four beautiful pieces which I cherish. The course has opened my mind on how to approach a new theme, and a better understanding of the tools needed in order to reach my goal.
While working with the portfolios we also had to look closer at other artists and designers. In search for these I have expanded my love for art in general, and have had the opportunity to look deeper into other artist’s work. And a great new source of inspiration has been developed.
Growing as a textiles artist
I love to make things. I like knitting in the evenings, and tending my garden. I love to work with fibres, to colour and shape things. I find great inspiration in older Japanese design, the art of Hiroshige and Hokusai being my favourites. I also dabble a bit with bookmaking, binding my own sketchbooks to play in and fill with my research, as well as making textile books.
I have been dyeing my own fabrics for years, and lately I have also been trying some eco-dyeing and would like to expand my knowledge on that subject. I am fascinated with slow stitching, feeling the link back to my first attempt with running stitches. But I also like the expression machine embroidery gives me.
Just now I feel that as a textiles artist I’m being pulled in many directions. There is so much I want to explore. But I know I have to narrow this down, so my plan for the near future is to try and merge my love for both hand and machine embroidery with colouring fibres, and try to find my true inner voice. I have a few themes I am researching, and am working on how to interpret them, and find a way to accomplish my goals.’
Since studying with the School of Stitched Textiles graduate, Greta Huseboe, has really been able to take her passion in textiles crafting to the next level. She shows a great amount of imagination and creativity through her work and we’d like to think that our courses have really helped in unleashing so much potential.
What do you think to Greta’s work? Which one is your favourite?