Jessie Chorley grew up high in the hills of North Wales, close to the foot of Mount Snowdon. Today, she considers herself a Londoner. She moved from Wales to London in summer 2002, just before starting a BA in Fine Art Textile Practice at Goldsmiths College, University of the Arts London. Whilst studying, she chose to dedicate her life to making beautiful things by hand and, shortly after graduating from university in 2005, she established her business, committing in earnest to being a full-time artist, designer and maker. Over time, she has also become an author, social artist and tutor and running an independent shop was her life between 2007-2021.
Describe your approach to teaching.
My approach to teaching is very much inspired and deeply rooted in my overall approach to making my own artwork. I teach like-minded others with a structured but also a very free-style approach. This makes my workshops suitable for all abilities. My workshops are often themed on the day and are based around a beautiful hand crafter kit, that I personally create for each student. As a collector of fabric and objects these kits represent my passion for collecting, and love of fabric.
What inspires your own work?
All my work revolves around story-telling, inspired by events from my life, which I then embellish with make-believe based on folklore. My work divides into two parts – large and densely-stitched embroidery panels, alongside smaller objects, including wearable items and altered books. My useable items draw on a handicraft tradition of making mementos, such as the hand-illustrated metal tokens that were traditionally shared amongst family as a way of marking significant events –the arrival or departure of life, or the occasion of a loved one embarking on a long journey are examples.