About Bette Noire

Upholstery is a craft I have come to in the last few years. Coming from a background of theatre costume, I particularly enjoy the more dramatic and extreme ends of upholstery, like a collision between a sparkling drag queen and your favourite sofa. I have an interest in the spaces where are and upholstery meet, with a specific interest in low voltage electrics and furniture as used in the child’s toy-cum-chair, the Disco Chair, and Dark Sacred Night.

I am currently involved in a property renovation project in Bristol which takes up much of my time but love it when I can find time for my upholstery and art work.

About my training

I studied upholstery at the Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design at London Metropolitan University, receiving a total over over 1,080 teaching hours during my four years’ attendance.

Prizes and awards

In 2013 I was one of the winners of the annual Heico competition, awarded by Heico and the Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishers. The competition is to design and upholster a child’s chair frame featuring Heico’s decorative nails. My entry was called Disco Chair for Solomon and was exhibited on the Heico/London Met stand at the Interiors UK exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham in January 2013. I was also awarded a prize for advanced upholstery skills for my year’s work by the Worshipful Company of Upholders, following which I accepted their invitation to become a Yeoman.

Exhibitions

My work has been displayed at various locations including London Metropolitan University, the NEC in Birmingham, Ruthin Craft Centre and most recently with the Bristol Upholstery Collective at Joseph Studios in Bristol. Find out more in the Exhibitions section of my website.

Thank you for visiting.

Bette Noire profile photograph

Portrait by photographer David Heke