Melanie Porter uses traditional craft techniques such as spinning and lino weaving to create her signature hand-knitted homewares. She undertakes the entire process by hand, from upholstering furniture to crocheting individual buttons. We love the little hand spun lampshades from her latest collection; 100% British wool is individually dyed before being knitted on giant needles to create a custom-made heirlooms for your home.
What made you want to become a designer?
My family was exceptionally creative. My grandfather was an architect who upholstered on the side, my grandmother made lampshades and tapestries and my mother taught spinning and weaving – you could say craft is in my blood! I spent 10 years working in the fashion industry before giving into my urge to start making things for myself again. That’s when I started to work on my hand-knitted chair range.
Where do you work?
I work on my large scale pieces in a converted chapel in Buckingham. It has a little living space in the vestry, so I can stay for several days at a time and focus on a project. I also work from home quite a bit as I spend many hours knitting.
What inspires you?
Vintage craft is my main source of inspiration. I love to consider a traditional craft and find a way to put a modern twist on it. I spend many hours on every piece that I make, I couldn’t do this work if I didn’t love every minute.
I have recently started selling my fat bubba wool to give knitters the chance to create their own super chunky knits. Learning to spin has also opened up new lines of experimentation for me. At the moment I’m working on hand-spun fairy lights wrapped in pompoms and different coloured fibres.
Describe your creative style in three words.
Surprising, slow and handmade.