A new Crafts Council interview for the First Decade project
In this 2015 First Decade interview, the weaver Ann Sutton (b. 1935) recounts some of her accomplishments and most interesting experiences. The interview begins with Suttondescribing her first workshop on a small housing estate in Mollington, Banbury, in 1975–76. She describes how eight housewives, her £5 start-up budget and her own techniques resulted in a fine mohair bedspread commissioned by Harrods and an interview with Kim Evans, then a BBC presenter. Sutton speaks about her early involvement with the Crafts Council, her 1980s P&O ‘craft cruises’ on the SS Uganda, her love affair with Japan and establishing the Arundel Gallery Trail. Always forward-thinking and passionate about technology, she talks about the maker search software Sight Specific, which she developed for the Crafts Council Index of Selected Makers in the late 1960s – way ahead of its time – and the eagerness with which she sees how quickly technologies develop today.
About Ann Sutton
Ann Sutton was born in North Staffordshire, in 1935. Between 1951 and 1956 she attended Cardiff College of Art and has since been the course leader of the West Sussex College of Art Weaving Department. In 2005 Sutton was made a visiting professor at the University of the Arts, London and a Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art, London. Sutton has become an internationally recognised woven textile artist and designer, who is always seeking to experiment within her practice, making clear that she doesn’t view herself as a craftsperson. Having exhibited worldwide and featured in many public and private collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, she has also undertaken significant commissions for public buildings, such as an award winning work for Southampton City Art Gallery (1992). In 1991 Sutton was awarded an MBE for services to textiles. Ann Sutton currently lives and works in Arundel, Sussex.