There’s been a fabulous response to the Malting Makers Textile Network group’s inspirational display in the glass box at the Maltings main entrance. We can’t wait for visitors to see the installation as they arrive at the festival of crafts this weekend. In advance of the weekend, we caught up with the Maltings Makers founding member, Jule Mallet to find out about her work….
Hi Jule, please can you tell us a bit about what you do?
My name is Jule…there’s only one of me but people often call me Jules. I assume they wish there were more. I love to make
and make what I love using the ordinary, worn and imperfect paraphernalia of strangers overlooked by others. I love to rummage and collect. My family often confuse the latter with hoarding but I ignore them.
My pieces often combine print, thread, rust and hand stitch. I’m easily distracted and very excitable so often have several projects on the go. My style is playful and quirky, some say weird. I’m happiest when my pieces evoke a reaction, good or bad!
How did you get started?
I’ve always dabbled in some form of art and craft for as long as I can remember. As a child my presents were often creative, the benefit of having an artistic mother. Stitch, however, was quite a late addition to my repertoire.
What’s your involvement with the Surrey Artist of the Year competition?
I’ve taken part in Surrey Artist Open Studios for three years and this year was hugely flattered to have been nominated by public vote to be shortlisted for the Surrey Artist of the Year Competition. I actually didn’t believe the email and asked the New Ashgate Gallery if it was authentic as I thought a friend was behind this prank!
How do people vote for their favourite Artist?
This year eight artists have been nominated and their work is currently on display at The New Ashgate Gallery in Farnham. Again, during the exhibition, members of the public are encouraged to vote for an artist; and the artist with the most votes from public and judging panel, is named Surrey Artist of the Year 2016. It’s all very exciting! An announcement is made on the 21st October.
What current projects are you working on?
I’m currently working on designing a range of new soft sculpture dolls and sock creatures for my soxidermy range. I’m dreadful at being distracted and going off on a tangent so I’m also playing around with screen print and am intent on only using fabrics in my menagerie which I’ve printed or dyed.
What do you do when you’re not making?
When I’m not making, I’ll be walking the dog, rushing the dinner (I’m a dreadful cook) or at Ochre Print Studio in Guildford where I am the textile tutor. It’s an extremely self-indulgent job as I get to teach everything I love. I’m slowly converting the world to printing on textiles and rust dyeing one person at a time.
What is your proudest achievement?
It might seem odd but I don’t think I have a proudest achievement. I get over excited if I see a rusty bottle cap on a dog walk, or I find an odd sock in a battered cardboard box at a car boot sale. I love what I do and just want to keep on doing it.
See Jule’s work at the Maltings Makers Textile Network exhibitor space on the stage in the Great Hall. If the group’s work inspires you, why not join fellow member Naomi Beever’s needle felting workshop and create your own beautiful felt bird. Suitable for 7+ , it’s a lovely workshop for families to participate in together. Buy tickets for the workshop here.