Laura Kemshall lives and works in the heart of England and the landscape that surrounds her home is a constant source of inspiration. Surrounded by a range of arts and crafts growing up, it was textiles and in particular the influence of her mother's work which inspired her to pursue her ideas in that media. Laura is an artist, an author, teacher and painter who sews, quilts and loves her creative life. Along with Linda Kemshall and Catherine Nicholls she has co-authored and published the acclaimed book and cd series of Thr3Fold Journals. Laura is directly involved with the online courses offered through DesignMatters and is also a member of the exhibiting group 'Six'.
RUNNING WITH SCISSORS STUDIO: Morning person or night owl?
LAURA KEMSHALL: I can be both - if I'm working on something that I'm really inspired by I'll stay up late stitching or drawing away while I watch a movie on TV.
RWSS: Dogs, cats or ........
LAURA: Cats, no question.
RWSS: Mac or PC?
LAURA: PC. It's a great tool, but I spend too much time in front of it.
RWSS: Have you ever held a traditional 9-5 job?
LAURA: I don't think anyone would ever hire me to do a proper job! While I've got lots of patience to do the things I want to do, my attention span for everything else is very short!
RWSS: If you had to choose another career what would it be?
RWSS: Do you do anything special for your birthday?
LAURA: Birthdays usually revolve around spending time with family and friends and good food.
RWSS: Best dessert?
LAURA: Hmmmm....this is a tough choice. I have an extremely sweet tooth, if only savoury food made you fat I'd be as thin as a stick as I could quite easily give that up entirely. When it comes to pudding I find it much harder to resist. If Tiramisu or Creme Brulee are on the menu they'd usually be among my first choices.
RWSS: Favorite place you've been or lived?
LAURA: I haven't covered that much ground so far, but all the traveling I've done I've really enjoyed. There's still nothing like getting back home though. For all its faults I do love England, we have wonderful galleries and museums, great music, pretty countryside and good food.
RWSS: Who's on your i-pod?
LAURA: Neil Young, Kings of Leon, Verve, Nirvana, The Kooks, REM.......
RWSS: What book have you read recently?
LAURA: I don't get time to read much fiction, only on holiday and the last one of those was too long ago to remember! We tend to have a lot of non-fiction books around the studio though. At the moment I'm reading Couture Sewing Techniques by Clair Shaeffer.
RWSS: What do you do to unwind?
LAURA: I know it's bad, but in the summer I could happily sit in the sun for hours. I like doing all sorts of things, shopping, cooking, going out for a good curry...... all the usual. Although sometimes we have stressful and tiring days, because we enjoy it, what we do isn't really hard work, not like some people in the world have to face.
RWSS: Best advice you've ever received? Worst advice you've ever received?
LAURA: I suppose the only person I listen to is my Mom, but she's always let me do my own thing anyway.
RWSS: Favorite quote?
LAURA: I've been thinking about this one all day and I can't think of anything, so I guess that means I don't have one!
RWSS: What inspires you?
LAURA: Everything I've seen, read, heard.
RWSS: Favorite medium to work with?
LAURA: When it comes to textiles I love quilting. If it's art work, then oil paint is my latest favourite.
RWSS: Any indispensable tools or equipment?
LAURA: I don't tend to go in for gadgets, as long as I've got my sketchbook or some paper, a few paints, sewing machine I'd be ok.
RWSS: Are there any of your own pieces that you can't bear to part with?
LAURA: It sounds mercenary, but I'd sell most things for the right price. I once sold a sketchbook, but I won't do that again, they are more valuable than money to me. There's one quilt I've made that's not for sale, but it's so personal I don't suppose anyone else would want it either!
RWSS: Best part of your day?
LAURA: That's never the same two days running so it's tough to answer. There's always something different to look forward to and something surprising that happens.
RWSS: I'd be lost without........
LAURA: So many things.... but none of them are actually things....it's the people around me, my pets, the life I'm lucky enough to lead. It's always the intangible that's the most important.
RWSS: What's on the horizon for..........
LAURA: I don't plan very far ahead. I know some people have these 5 year master plans. That's not for me. I prefer to see what happens and let things evolve a bit more naturally. Linda and I are always working on lots of different projects. Lately it's involved lots of writing and developing of our website.
RWSS: What would you like to be remembered for?
LAURA: Just being good at what I do .
RWSS: What would you do with a few extra hours each day?
LAURA: More of everything! I've got a list of things to do that's always way longer than the day. If I live to be 100 I won't get through it all!
RWSS: Any words of wisdom?
LAURA: Do what you want to do and do it with conviction!
PHOTO COURTESY OF LAURA KEMSHALLRWSS: We had the pleasure of viewing Laura's piece 'Lace and Gold' when it was on display in Vancouver last fall. The detail and stitching on it are absolute perfection!
We encourage you to visit Laura's website Design Matters to view more of her works or to perhaps enroll in a class at the online centre. Other publications by Laura and Linda Kemshall include the 'The Painted Quilt', Thr3Fold Journals 1, 2 & 3 and the dvd/cd set 'Explore The Painted Quilt'. The much anticipated release date of Thr3Fold 4 will soon be upon us. For more information please visit our Coming Soon page here.