Mandy Benton



For as long as I can remember I have loved to create. Since graduating with a Fine Art degree and subsequently gaining a P.G.C.E., my main employment has been within education. I worked for 10 years as a primary school teacher, and for the past 11 years have been part-time within a pre-school setting, though it is my passion for creativity, for designing and making which occupies all of my spare time.

On leaving full-time teaching, I determined to make time for some of the things I had loved to do before work took over, and so my love for hand sewing and later of printmaking was re-kindled. My creative work therefore comprises two main areas, those of stitch and of print, lino printing specifically, with the two areas frequently overlapping and combining.

My textile pieces are largely created from natural and/or re-purposed fabrics. My sewing is not complex in terms of stitches or technique; I love the simplicity of drawing with the thread, using simple black outlines with colour to create and fill spaces. All of my lino prints are cut and individually burnished by hand. I love the almost meditative process of carving and the boldness of a single block print in black onto a white or cream paper. I occasionally move away from the monochrome, with some of my more recent pieces consisting of a two-block print and so the addition of a touch of colour beneath the darker, dominant ink.

Whether working in print or in stitch, I am inspired by the natural world and the people around me, with words/text frequently playing an integral part.
Creating with print, stitch or a combination, I always begin with my own sketches and templates so that each piece is entirely my own, with every piece a real labour of love.

Mandy Benton