Head and shoulders photo of Julia Laing

Hello, I’m Julia, an artist and craft maker. I live in an early 20th century miner’s cottage, just outside Edinburgh, and I run my business from what used to be the livingroom of my home.

My creative interests are diverse; I design and make accessories and textile-art dolls, enjoy hand-embroidery, making my own clothes, as well as drawing and painting (which is what I originally studied at college). I've never wanted to...or have been able to limit myself to just one area, and love the satisfaction of learning something new.

Everything I make, whether a simple woollen purse, a painting, or hand embroidered artwork, has been created with love and care. Each characterful item tells a unique story. It might be a playful story, like the cute kitten dolls, or it could be altogether more poignant, such as cards to send to the people you miss. I'm sure there will be a story you relate to.

In 1990 I graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with an Honours Degree in Painting and later I studied Creative Embroidery. For many years I worked in manufacturing and retail - making hand pleated lampshades and selling vintage clothing, amongst other things. Now I put all that experience into practice on a daily basis in my creative work.

What Inspires Me?

The gorgeous colour palette and styles of mid 20th-century design inspire me hugely, but inspiration is also to be found closer to home in the things I'm surrounded by here and now: my beautiful cats Melba and Marco; the flowers growing in my garden; the textures of the hand-thrown pottery I’ve collected over the years.

I believe in the transformative power of art – not just for the maker but the viewer too. Did you know scans have shown, looking at works of art triggers a surge of dopamine in the pleasure centre of the brain, akin to falling in love!

In a world of mass-produced blandness, where life can appear drab and grey, I enjoy using colour to create an uplifting mood. 

 green crafts initiative logo

 I’m a member of the Green Craft Initiative, a community of Scottish makers, committed to reducing our environmental impact so you can buy with a happy heart and safe in the knowledge you have made an ecologically sensitive purchase