Katherine MacKay was 2015’s lucky winner of our Elements competition, in which she won £100 to spend on an item of her choice. This year we interviewed her about her choice and also discovered more about her fascinating work as a textile artist.

What made you choose the ‘Windswept Brooch’ by Heather Woof?

There were a number of items from half a dozen makers that caught my eye at the Elements fair but Heather’s brooch with the movement and vibrant  colour was so interesting it was an easy choice. I think I also responded to Heather’s jewellery as we are both inspired by the same things – the Scottish landscape and the weather – and I was naturally drawn to her work.


Elements_Prizewinner_02Your vessel looks wonderful photographed with Heather’s brooch, can you tell us more about your work as a textile artist and the pieces you create?

My pieces are evolved through developing a personal response to fabric and fibre. I often use materials that would have otherwise been thrown away such as material found in charity shops or selvages from tweed factories. I work in simple shapes to allow colour and texture to take centre stage.

What has inspired you in your work?

Before I retired I worked as the curator for Modern Scottish History (1850 to Modern Day) at the National Museum of Scotland, which was always a great source of inspiration. I am very inspired by the textile colourist and designer Bernat Klein who produced vibrant and colourful tweeds and often include bold colours in my own work.

Will you be visiting Elements 2 this year?

Yes, definitely!