Through the use of ancient handwork techniques such as knotting, weaving and twining, Sally England is creating some of the most striking and original works we have seen. Being heavily inspired by nature, it comes as no surprise that Sally resides in the beautiful mountainous landscape of Ojai, California. Her work plays upon the human connection to nature as well as architecture and symbology. Her artistry provokes a sense of wonder and awe as well while paying homage to timeless forms of fabrication.
How did you get into fiber-based art?
Well I've always loved sewing, art, and crafts, ever since I was little. After I graduated college I worked at an art gallery and was doing a lot of sewing and making soft goods, and was trying to figure out what was next for me creatively. I remembered seeing my mom's knot-tying instructional books around the house when I was little, and had the idea of using the same techniques but on a jumbo scale. I was accepted into the MFA program in Portland, Oregon in 2011, and immediately brought my concept to life by making a 6x7 foot knotted piece using industrial 1/2" thick rope. 10 years later and I'm still at it! Constantly evolving and learning along the way..
What is your creative process like?
I dream in colors and shapes. I'll get visions for pieces and it's not until I'm actually bringing them to life them that I realize some deeper meaning behind them. I have to be in the right headspace to be able to work repetitively and let my creativity flow. I've learned to be okay with giving myself the time and space to get to that point. A lot of sitting and thinking goes into my work before I actually start production.
What makes you feel most inspired?
I'm inspired by beautiful things and environments and the way they make me feel. I guess a big part of what I do is striving to replicate that feeling for others.
What are you passionate about?
I'm passionate about ideas and the process of bringing them to life, and taking what was 'old' and making it new. I'm also passionate about our planet, nature, and animals (especially cats).
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Discerning, intuitive, calm
Where is home for you?
I am so lucky to call Ojai, California home for the past seven years. Every day I'm in awe of the beauty. I was born and raised in the woods and lakes of Michigan, which is also beautiful but in a different way.
Finish the sentence, A good night's sleep is ...
Sleeping in linen sheets!
What are you dreaming of?
I'm dreaming of taking a trip to the UK in the spring, to visit friends and to get inspired by the rural craft traditions there. I also did genealogy testing recently and want to explore the different counties in England and Scotland where my ancestors were from.
Do you have a favorite recipe, would you like to share?
Yes, I love smokey, earthy flavors, so naturally I love Mezcal. This is a riff on a Mezcal Toronto.
2 ounces Mezcal
1/4 ounce Nonino Amaro
1/4 ounce cinnamon simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 drops Fernet
Stir and serve on ice with a lemon peel garnish