Capturing nature through her wearable artworks, Jane Mitchell-Finch creates wonderful free-motion machine embroidery brooches of everything from flowers, birds and wildlife to pomegranates and chilli peppers! Her unique style encapsulates intricate details as she takes her inspiration from paper sketches to colourful stitches. We got in touch with Jane to learn more about her creative process and artistic career.
Botanical brooches | Jane | Sketchbook drawings
You studied at the Norwich School of Art. Tell us a little bit about your creative journey and career in Graphic Design?
I graduated from Norwich School of Art in 1979. My first job was with a company called Delaney & Ireland where I was employed to do the artwork for a big font catalogue called Alphabet, that was when everything was ‘cut & paste’! From there I moved to the Information Design dept at the BBC where I worked on projects for TV & Radio from the EastEnders launch to the Proms and many things in between!
When did you first discover machine embroidery?
My discovery of machine embroidery began a couple of years before we moved to Suffolk which was in 2013. I’d run children’s art clubs and been a teaching assistant while my family were growing up which didn’t give me too much time for my own work but when we moved I had the time to explore and practise.
Your work covers many different themes, where do find inspiration for your designs?
Inspiration for my brooches and artworks spring very much from art & artists, nature, the countryside & coast around us and the quirky...if I think I can stitch it, I will!
Jane's sewing workspace
How important is sustainability in your creative process?
Sustainability is important, I’d like to think that my brooches are treasured and for the most part I reuse & recycle fabrics which I have a big stash of, I also like to use 100% wool felt rather then the man made equivalents. My packaging is all recycled. Paper, tissue & boxes get saved but I’ve recently found a sustainable padded envelope which is totally recyclable and I’ve invested in those.
Do you have a best seller or a favourite object to stitch?
My best sellers, that’s a tricky one because I have a number of ranges but it’s probably the fruit & veg brooches, the ones I like to make the most are the nature button brooches because they are a combination of stitch and paint!
Do you think people are becoming more interested in buying handmade and supporting independent makers now?
I do think that ‘good craft’ has become more popular recently, social media has been a great ally & promotor of handmade and the general public are beginning to appreciate it more so, we just have to keep banging the drum very loudly!!
What small businesses or brands are you loving at the moment?
Some of the small businesses that I’m loving at the moment are - Jane Sedgewick jewellery, Amanda Banham ceramics, Studio Adorn, Olivia Jeffries, La Plata Studio, Elsa Searle-Vincent, Phaedra Clothing, Calm among the chaos...I could name so many more though!!
I’m currently listening on Audible to London Rules by Mick Herron and The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry. On the BBC I like catching up with the Archers, sadly don’t like the new format much, any plays that take my fancy, Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams was so good and Woman’s Hour is a must! Music is often quite ambient like Talvin Singh, Gaudi, Banco de Gaia and Orb!
//Images courtesy of Jane Mitchell-Finch and product photography by Megan Clark//