Introducing the creator of Defiant Embroidery:
Claire Edwards is an award winning hand embroidery designer who specialises in creating pieces of art that pushes the boundaries of traditional hand embroidery.
Graduating in 2017 with a First-Class BA (Hons) in Textile Surfaces from Staffordshire University, Claire enjoys using non-traditional embroidery materials such as metal, wood and plastics to create her works of art that are suitable for both fashion, interiors or artistic market.
The story behind the name Defiant:
Claire has always been one that doesn’t take no for an answer and this is especially true of today. Diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia in January 2015, she is more determined than ever that this shouldn’t stop her from doing the things that she loves. Claire says that “Although there are days when doing the intricate stitch work is difficult, there are always plenty of other jobs that I can be getting on with. I need to listen closely and observe what my body is telling me and respond to it” This close observation of detail also transfers into her work preferring to undertake slow intricate and detailed stitched pieces.
Claire has not always been involved in creating, she spent the first 10 years after leaving school serving in the Royal Air Force. She defied many people when they told her that she wouldn’t be able to achieve her ambition, after all that little 5′ tall punky girl who had been suspended from school for having her hair dyed green wasn’t your usual military type. But that ambition had grown since she was 13 years old and sat bored in a chemistry lesson. She was one of the first females to join the Air Cadets in her area which further fuelled her determination, enjoying aerobatics in a chipmunk trainer aircraft. This fabulous career saw her serve at home in the UK, the Mediterranean and in the South Atlantic.
Claire left the RAF after having her first child, which was very quickly followed by her second. A posting to Germany heavily pregnant left her using the support of Home-Start British Forces Germany. This led her to her next career of working with Vulnerable families both in Germany and then back in the UK. Working her way up through the ranks of a well known Children’s Charity saw her eventually managing a County Wide Service.
2013 saw this all change, she unfortunately fell ill. After a period of time, still unaware of what was wrong, it was with a heavy heart that she decided to leave a career that she loved. Never wanting to sit back and do nothing Claire enrolled on a course at University. Whilst on sick leave she had taught herself to crochet and found the slow monotony of each stitch very therapeutic. Walking into University on the day of the interview was both an exciting but scary prospect but as soon as she saw the work, she knew that was what she was born to do. Create.