Meet Dawn Ford

My name is Dawn Ford and I create mixed media illustrative pieces that resonate with the feeling of tenderness, vulnerability and the need to be loved. I love to draw and sew and enjoy reusing paper, cloth, buttons, labels & the ‘make do and mend’ approach is fundamental to my work. I love the ‘immediacy’ of both skills, the way in which a quick delicate line drawing and a simple running stitch captures the ‘moment’ and the ‘tenderness’ I seek to achieve.

I love colour, pattern and texture and enjoy the infinite ways in which drawing, fabric and paper can come together creating beautiful imagery. Random yet beautiful items such as buttons, ribbons, fabric cut offs, decorative printed papers, pretty labels,

stamps and even envelopes that arrive in the post catch my eye and can find themselves upstairs in the studio safely stored away. I have a small collection of individual pretty cutlery and crockery. These have also inspired me to make artwork.

Nostalgic by nature, my children along with my own childhood memories have provided me with a wealth of ideas. Old beloved and bedraggled cloth dolls still have a hold on me and unfussy, hand made, low cost toys like those made by parents in previous decades are a source of inspiration too.

Making buddies for the Upendo orphanage in Tanzania. and singing along to the radio!
Making buddies for the Upendo orphanage in Tanzania. and singing along to the radio!

Mr Dog & other friends

My cloth companions are generally made from old, faded materials which are often hand sewn. They are reminiscent of times gone by, when families ‘made do’ and improvised. I love the evidence of care taken when someone has gone to the trouble to neatly darn something that today could be so easily thrown away.

Brian Hatton Award

This waistcoat was created out of papers and fabric, machine embroidered and then sculpted on to millinery mesh. I wanted the piece to look like it had been worn and still holding on to some 3-dimensional form. It was inspired by the waistcoat I made for my son when he was a page boy. This was the piece with which I won my first Brian Hatton Award at the College of Art.