Jo Rolfe is inspired by the colours and patterns of the East Anglian sea, land, sky and architecture. She also has a strong interest in local rural crafts such as sail-making and thatching.

Her recent work features the upcycling of old boat sails into bags and bunting, and coffee sacks into log carriers. She makes both framed and unframed textile pieces, and functional items such as bags, aprons, artists’ brush rolls and covered sketchbooks.

Jo’s work is made using a variety of techniques including hand-dyeing, layering, hand and machine stitch, laser-cutting and print. She uses mainly natural cottons, linens and upcycled fabrics. She has exhibited throughout East Anglia, participates in the Norfolk Open Studios scheme and is happy to work to commission.

Jo studied Surface Pattern at the Norfolk Institute of Art and Design in the 1990s and returned to gain an MA in Textile Design from Norwich University of the Arts in 2012. She has carried out extensive research (with Norwich University of the Arts) into traditional local building crafts – thatching, sail, net and lobster-pot making, wattle and daub and rush-weaving. Her work often references the repeated patterns and motifs to be found in these crafts, for example the eyelets and ‘tell-tales’ on boat sails.

She has taught art in primary schools for over 20 years and took part in the Suffolk Crafts Education programme ‘Rags to Riches’, with a residency in a Felixstowe school.

Jo’s work will be exhibited alongside 24 other artists at the west Norfolk taster exhibition, as part of Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios 2019.

10am-5pm, 25 APRIL-2 MAY