About – Leah Nikolaou

Hi I'm Leah, I grow, press, print & embroider flowers!

I wanted to approach embroidery differently

Music: Feeling Fine Musician: Uncleboris URL: https://icons8.com/music/

Let's collaborate, ''because you're the best person to
hand craft your next piece of artwork''

Rediscovering What Woolly Means

It happened just how the little written memoir below begins to descibe.  In 2018 I began a journey of rediscovery, finding my creativity again after working in media for over 12 years.    It wasn't easy and wasn't a path I'd expected I'd take.  As I roamed fields  and parkland with my daughter, just two years old, we stuffed her toy flower press to the brim and my love of pressing flowers, an activity I also did as a child, was re-ignited.   At the same time I'd started embroidering again, something I'd not done since my teenage years.   

I discovered the work of early 17th centry botanists and the contemporary artist Susanna Bauer and my interest in  using natural  materials with hand stitching began.  I started embroidering little bits of paper onto leaves, lot and lot of them and immediately I just knew there was something about piercing paper that excited me.   However there was still something missing, something that made me immensly happy, that was wool!  Chunky soft wool.  Graduating from the Royal College Of Art in London with an MA in Constructed Textiles and having had many hand knitting patterns published by Rowan Yarns and Vogue Knitting under my maiden name Leah Sutton, double knit and chunky wool was the material I adored more than anything else.  I think I'm always drawn to the feeling of comfort, homliness and familiarity it provides.  Design for me had to involve wool, so I began experimenting with fusing the worlds of woolly hand embroidery and flower pressing together.   


My experients combining the two materials have seen successes and plenty of rippped frustrating failures;   And so the way I've used the materials has evolved. I also missed working with you, so I decided, if I provided the botanical papers, that would allow you to collaborate with me. I use a wide range of papers in my designs but my recent work has involved stitching into museum quality giclee prints because they provide the high definition quality in which I want to preserve my pressed flowers. My embroidery kits then provide the chunky wool so you can embroider the second half of the design, because you are the best person to hand craft your next piece of artwork. Hand crafted pieces become heirlooms, have value and sentiment far greater than anything bought from the high street.  

I design from my home in the rural setting of Frome in Somerset where I also use my little garden to grow many of the flowers that I dry in my flower press.  Just like an artist might use a paintbrush, I use page upon page of flowers to add colour and detail to my world.  Otto the cat can be frequently found trying to share my office chair or photo-bombing my product shoots , he just loves to be where the action is.  To read more about my weekly life please follow me on social media, links at the bottom of the page.

Creative Days...