Contributor to first edition of Parchment Craft: meet Alison Yeates

20 November 2020
We talk to Alison Yeates about how she developed her love of parchment craft, teaching and favourite projects. Plus, you get to see her craft room!

Long-standing parchment crafter turned teacher and contributor Alison Yeates has created hundreds of parchment projects over the past years having contributed to the very first edition of Parchment Craft magazine.

Alison lives close to Bournemouth with her family and takes time to explain what parchment craft means to her.

How did you get into parchment craft?

I first started parchment craft in 1993 when I saw a parchment pattern in a craft magazine for a heart-shaped anniversary card. It was my parent’s ruby wedding coming up and I thought I'd like to do the card for them. I sent away for the starter kit and some red ink and as soon as I put pen to paper – or embossing tool to parchment – I was hooked.

Alison Yeates on Zoom

Teaching workshops on Zoom.

After a while I went to do the teacher’s course with Martha Ospina (the founder of Pergamano). I was self-taught at that stage, and the course was so enlightening as I was shown how the techniques were supposed to be done – this was of course before YouTube or very many teachers were about. I've been teaching and demonstrating the craft ever since and now even teach via Zoom, an online video service. 

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Why do you think you enjoy parchment craft so much?

I love parchment craft as it's so varied with so many aspects, from the white embossed work, delicate lace and grid work to the coloured pencils and paints.

Alison Yeates congratulations card

Alison Yeates' 'Congratulations' card from the May/June 2020 issue of Parchment Craft magazine.

Where do you get your inspiration from/what inspires you? 

I get inspiration from all sorts of places and things – flowers and the natural world are favourite, along with animals and birds, but it could be a reflection of a specific person’s interest.

Do you have a favourite technique or project you’ve created?

Parchment craft lace work project

I think my favourite technique would be lace work. I love the delicate, fine and intricate work and all that careful cutting. Although, I do also really enjoy using the coloured pencils and making objects and flowers look as realistic as possible. One of my favourite projects was a 3D advent calendar I created in 2008. It was a lot of work but totally worth it. 

Do you have any top tips you could share?

My top tips are practice and patience – watch others to see how they hold the tools, brushes, etc. Oh and enjoy it!

Tell us about your craft room/work space – we’d love to see pictures, too! 

When I first started parchment craft the dining room table was my work room. We did put an extension on the house which became a guest bedroom for the grandparents and also doubled up as a music room as for a long time I taught music too. Once my parents moved to be closer to us, I was able to move a large table into the room and that became my craft room, completely full of shelves, boxes and craft equipment – but there's still a piano in there! 

Alison Yeates craft room wall

Inspired by Alison? Have a go at creating this white work Christmas card!

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