Meet the Maker: Kerry Butterworth

What’s your most interesting item in your studio? 

My sketch book

I spend a lot of my time drawing, painting and sketching. My sketchbook is my diary where I can express my mind.

Who are your craft heroes?

I admire many, however my all time hero is actually a fashion designer, Alexander McQueen.

I love how he used his medium to create wearable pieces of art, the beauty in how he constructs his garments, and how he rebels against the rules of tradition.

Alexander McQueen gallery



What have you got coming up?

Before I started the cultivated programme, I was really eager to run my own workshops, as it has always been something I have been interested in. I love helping people and sharing my passion. As an emerging designer I see it as my duty to give back to the next generation of makers in the hope of keeping craft alive.

I have recently been sketching some ideas, with the help of Jennifer who has really encouraged and supported my ideas. So watch this space.

Have you got a favourite book? What are you reading at the moment?

Whenever I do get the time to read its something dramatic like The Hunger Games, which really gets your blood pumping.

I live through my eyes.

Although reading isn’t at the top of my to do list flicking through Vogue/ Elle magazine is. Its something I love on a personal level, but it is also fed into my practice by storing visual information and being trend aware.

Have you got a favourite film?

I am a crazy Disney fanatic, so any film that’s Disney is already my favourite film. I couldn’t possibly choose a favourite but up at the top has to be ‘Tangled’. I love her rebellious behaviour, how far she pushes herself to get her dream, and of course the hair! Who doesn’t want her hair? And who wouldn’t love a friend like pascal?

Where would you most like to see your work exhibited? 

I have always looked at the V & A and I recently had the opportunity to work alongside a senior lecturer Jo Horton. Jo is a electro-chemical textile specialist who asked me to design and make some ‘couture beads’ for her garments which will be exhibited next year at the V & A museum.

So although this has given me a taster of what it could be like, if I am successful this will be one of my long term goals.

Here’s your chance to get on your soapbox – is there anything that makes you angry or frustrated within the world of craft?

I love the world of craft and most importantly  quirky characters you come across within it. However what does sometimes upset me the is when/if people don’t understand or appreciate the value of the work. The time, design and hours spent into making the piece by hand are sometimes underestimated.

Do you ever question what you’re doing?

I constantly question what I am doing and always think ‘am I doing enough’ ‘could I be doing more’ confidence is one of my biggest battles. I find reflection time is what helps me battle through these thoughts, something that Iain Perry (print garage) has demonstrated the importance of.

I reflect by picking out the positives, as opposed to the negatives which I find myself doing a lot of. This could be re thinking all the things I have achieved. Focussing on the good qualities in a piece of work, and being more constructive about the areas I don’t like and looking at how I can improve it.

What’s so special about the materials you use?

I see myself as an artist who has taken the path of a jeweller. This is why my work is so experimental and I able to express myself through the marks of my hammer and the unpredictability of the enamel.

image1

What you do to take time out and relax?

don’t often relax as i am somewhat of a social butterfly. If I do have some spare time it usually drives me crazy because i am so used to being up and on the go all the time.

However my idea of ‘time out’ is out shopping, socialising and exercising. But most importantly going on walks where my eyes are free to wonder, pulling inspiration from all around me. Which is one that never fails to make me look crazy for being over obsessed by that crumpled up leaf on the floor, or some fungi on a tree.

What’s your greatest achievement so far?

My greatest achievement so far is being recognised by Jennifer and Iain who have taken me on as a graduate for there cultivated programme.

My degree was a very difficult time for me where I was always left feeling unsure on what I was doing. Jennifer and Iain have given me so much confidence within my work and finding my feet to start growing as maker and not be scared to be different.

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