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meet mrs marvellous

Joanna Shepherd Textile Artist

hi, i'm joanna

Creativity runs throughout the family, as does the value of doing a job properly - "if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing well" was heard regularly when growing up - so attention to detail is second nature.

With a dislike for waste of any kind, giving textiles more than one life is the very least I can do.  We only have one planet, that needs respect and care so creating pieces ethically is high on my list of priorities.

There is real joy for me, in listening to a story and interpreting it with beautiful textiles.

So what makes me best placed to create something unique for you? 


Well, from making dolls clothes at the age of 4 to teaching textiles in schools around the world I have always loved creating. Travel enchants me too, I'm inspired by the vibrant colours and textures of different cultures. But hey we live in beautiful Cornwall, so much of my creativity comes from the view outside my workshop window of the glorious River Tamar and from jaunts around the beaches and moors in our camper van.


Then there's the love of interacting with people. The tapestry of my life has taken me along a varied path where I have had the honour of working with amazing people. I listen to their stories and together we find solutions to overcome their challenges.


When I faced my own obstacles, becoming very poorly, I wanted to use my skills in a more creative and nurturing way so I returned to my true passion - sewing.


"The conversation is what makes my personal approach to creating textile pieces so unique."

I believe we all have a story to tell of precious times which create the richness our life. Certain occasions are so special that they warrant being commemorated with something unique to treasure those memories. 


By carefully listening, nurturing and having the vision to be creative with the words I hear, you receive a truly personalised service. 

Focusing on unique projects inspires me, it makes me look at colour, texture, personality and experiences through different eyes on a daily basis. Each piece is created with exceptional attention to detail.


How did I come to be involved with supporting dementia care?

When our lovely Dad was diagnosed with dementia we worked hard to keep him independent but when this was no longer possible we had to condense his 84 years of life into one room. Truly distressing, especially when handling those tactile reminders of history can be so beneficial. Sometimes treasured possessions can be lost or become too cumbersome to take. Hence my work expanded to enable people to take snippets of their life history with them in a nurturing, portable piece.  


You can read more about my Dad's story here.


My Social Enterprise

After gaining a place at Dartington Trust’s School for Social Entrepreneurs I decided to invest my profits for social benefit rather than personal gain. Thus my profits allow me to provide free talks at Memory Cafes. And to create aprons for those living with memory loss which maintain dignity and instigate conversation. Find out more here .


I am a qualified teacher, DBS and HMRC registered.

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