Q&As with Fran Brammer


What’s your background? 

I studied Ceramics and Glass, taught Art and Design for many years, gave up to retrain as a historical theatrical costumier and textile artist.

Explain what you do in 100 words

The textile pieces – I still see them as drawings – record what is seen, understood and experienced about the places I enjoy, exploring  the subtle form and linear shapes of the Vale of York and Yorkshire Wolds, and the stark theatre of the Yorkshire Dales and Moors.


The freehand machine embroidery is worked in layers over a background of dyed and appliqued fabrics. The surfaces are often cut into and frayed, scrubbed or re-dyed, areas ripped away or textures exaggerated.

My sewing machines work hard and are soundly abused, but I think they forgive me.

What five words best describe your work?

Atmospheric, dramatic, raw, personal, questing.

What are you working on at the moment?

A series of pattern based pieces on old oil paintings of the Yorkshire Wolds.

Which three artists most inspire you?

Howard Hodgkin, Carol Naylor, John Singer Sargent

Silver Birch

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Listen always, don’t always believe. Always ask why.

Favourite or most inspirational place in Yorkshire 

On the top of Great Whernside, Wharfedale.

Tell us something we don’t know

Currently, my oldest sewing machine is called Colin. (He has chrome bits.)


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