All about Katherine Keatley

Katherine-Keatley - At Work-Kizzyka-DesignsI have been stitching since I was eight and am a self-confessed thread junkie. I buy amazing threads, get them home and wonder what I shall do with them! I make bags, panels, pictures and cushions. My work includes technically correct embroidered pieces, freestyle work, and I make and embellish felt. I use whatever technique I feel suits the project and I’ve always got at least three or four things on the go.

I also knit for fun, and do extreme knitting making rugs and throws. Crewelwork is my favourite technique, and I love to experiment with threads and fabrics using a crewel design style. My current inspirations are butterflies and dragons.

I taught myself many techniques and in 2005 achieved my RSN Certificate. I have worked for an embroidery company but now prefer to work freelance as I can ‘play’ more. I ran Zweigart’s UK distribution for a while, which gave me a good insight into different fabrics and how they can be used.

My inspiration often comes from nature, I spend a lot of time walking my dogs on Cannock Chase and over the Welsh mountains. Watching the seasons change is fascinating and inspiring. I am obsessed with Cow Parsley.

It is my dogs who inspired the name too. My first two German Shepherds were called Kika and Izzy. So I put them together and came up with Kizzyka. Those two are sadly long gone, and my current pair of Artistic Directors are Carlos and Ellie.

My other love is history. I use a lot of traditional techniques in my textile work, and have a broad knowledge of many aspects of textiles through time. This comes into use in my school workshops. I inherited a company called Timezones. I had worked as part of Timezones for about five years, then when the owner, Tony Sherratt, became ill I took the company on. We go into schools and deliver ‘Hands On’ historical workshops. These give children the opportunity to learn in a very different way, using drama, and artefacts to learn about the past. I am a qualified Primary teacher with over 20 years’ experience in schools, not just in a classroom situation, but as Timezones, and in Forest schools.

As long as I can stitch I am happy!