About the Artist
I am an artist, photographer, designer and author whose textile books are used throughout the world. I was born into a typical Lewis family of Gaelic speaking crofter-fishermen. The culture in which I was brought up and the nature of the landscape around me have greatly influenced my work.
In 1975 I became a professional textile designer and three years later I was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship which enabled me to travel to Norway, Sweden and Finland to study the textile traditions of those countries. I started to write after this, and have since had 16 books published, plus numerous magazine articles. I have established an international reputation as a leading expert on knitting design and technique. My books on Fair Isle knitting and Aran knitting are regarded as the standard texts on those subjects, and I have taught and lectured extensively throughout Britain, Europe and USA. Since 1995 I have moved into a more general sphere of textile art, focusing on interior decoration and stand-alone artwork.
Photography, drawing and painting are constant threads weaving through all aspects of my career. My current work in these media tends strongly towards the natural world. I am deeply interested in nature and conservation, and in this connection I aslo work seasonally for the RSPB as their Walks and Education Officer for the Isles of Lewis and Harris.