Since setting up Cuttlefishlove Kanzashi in May 2011 my kanzashi have been featured in Rebel Magazine UK and exhibited in Brighton Museum and The Fishing Quarter Gallery. I've taught kanzashi workshops at Brighton Mini Makers Faire, Deaf Diaspora (in BSL - British Sign Language) and for Cascade Style (who I've also designed 3 exclusive upcycled collections for!).
I came across kanzashi several years ago, when I was planning my wedding, and thought they were the most beautiful things I'd ever seen! I was stunned by their delicateness and intricacy, but knew I'd never be able to find the time to make them as I had a long commute and a tiring job.
Then disaster struck, I hurt my back at work and was left with chronic low back pain, something that I still struggle with. Stuck at home, unable to work, I felt like my whole life had fallen apart.
I really wanted to take control of my situation, and turn it around so that my life was about being a joyful, interesting person again. I knew I needed something to fill the long hours at home sick with, and I remembered kanzashi. I started to make them (not very well at first- my first ones didn't even look like flowers!) to fill the time, and found it very satisfying.
Eventually I realised to my disappointment that I would not be able to return to my job. Then I saw I had a possibility for self employment staring me in the face- my kanzashi!
Through making and selling my kanzashi, I've found lots of wonderful friends in the Brighton community of local artists and makers and discovered a passion for kimono wearing and collecting, which I now blog about!
I make folded silk Japanese-style flower hair accessories called kanzashi flowers into hair clips, fascinators and brooches. Each silk flower is lovingly hand crafted by me. My modern fabric flowers are inspired by the Japanese craft of tsumami kanzashi.