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16 Jan

Chatting with: Lou Gardiner

Lou Gardiner talks to us about appearing on the new Kettle Chips ad and how she got such an interesting craft gig in the first place!

Anyone seen the new Kettle Chips ad yet? Aside from making you really want to get your snack on and munch your way through hundreds of packets of crisps, it also features some of our favourite craftspeople from the UK doing what they do best... getting creative!

Sewist Ellen Randall, wood sculptor Joc Hare and glassblower Katie Young all put in an appearance and so does Crafty fave embroiderer Lou Gardiner. We caught up with Lou to find out all about the ad, what she made for it and get her tips for freemotion embroidery. Have a read!

How did you get involved with the Kettle Chips campaign?

I won the pitch for the Kettle Chips campaign in January this year, having been asked to prepare a design treatment by 101, a design agency in London, who had found my website in their search for some proper handmade creativity.

What did you design for the ad?

My job was to create an embroidered tablecloth to decorate the handmade table within the advert. Earlier this year, I also produced work for Kettle Chips’ print advertising campaign where I was asked to create embroidered illustrations which celebrated the handmade and the beautiful medium of thread. I worked directly from life, first drawing the designs then using my stitch and appliqué to create vibrant ingredients. I stitched approximately 31 pieces which were sent in rolls two by two to London from my studio on a farm in Cheshire.

How much work went into your final design?

All of the craftspeople featured in the advert were given just one day to come up with our creations for the Kettle Chips Craft Party – it was hard work but seeing it all come together at the end was great, especially seeing the variety of work everyone contributed. Even the table in the advert was handmade on the day!

How much fun was the ad to make?

It was great fun and it was hugely inspiring to be in room full of so many talented people - one the day there was everyone from glassblowers to origami artists. It was definitely the first time I’ve worked with such a diverse and talented group of different craftspeople.

What's your favourite flavour of crisp?

I’m a big fan of the Lightly Salted Kettle Chips – very simple flavours but they’re still delicious!

What's your best freemotion machine embroidery tip?

Coming up with one is hard –but I’d say take your time thinking about your ideas, write things down and let the ideas roll around your mind for as long as possible, take your time, be confident in yourself and don’t overcomplicate your designs.

What inspires you in your work?

Inspiration is everywhere but my mind is bursting with ideas and things I have to say, it’s almost annoying as it never sleeps. Maybe it’s because I get too much time to think but I feel that my job is not only to produce 'wow-making' work in the future but also to spur on other people's passion for creativity and using their hands.

What do you most enjoy making?

I am addicted to the colour and textures that I create. The iridescent and metallic areas of intricate stitching, painting and appliqué are both physically challenging and mentally stimulating. I get a buzz when I complete a large colourful commission and then witness the pleasure that it gives to others whether that be a private client, in an exhibition or for a hospital. I enjoy being a creative entrepreneur and business woman who is in charge of her own future.

What's next for you and your sewing?

I'm going to carry on doing what I do best, creating art and encouraging others to have a go!

 

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