Graduating in Embroidery, Zoë Hillyard’s career has combined part-time lecturing with a range of other roles; initially producing embellished knitwear for the fashion industry and later designing tailored knitwear collections for Marion Foale.
An interest in the role of craft production as a livelihood strategy saw Zoë undertake an MSc, developing research interests in the use of design as a strategy within International Development. This led her to spending a sabbatical year developing design education provision at the Textile Institute in Mongolia with the charity VSO.
This experience laid the foundations of her current craft-based practice called ceramic patchwork. Zoë has developed a new application for the tradition of hand-stitched patchwork, using it as a mending process to revive broken ceramics. Her work explores concepts of fragility, imperfection, impermanence and resilience.
Zoë exhibits widely and has undertaken private and public commissions, including bespoke ranges for the British Museum and site-specific work for the National Trust. She exhibited in COLLECT17 at Saatchi Gallery this year and to coincide with her solo show Balancing Tensions at The Anthropologie Gallery in September, held a public stitch event as part of London Design Festival. Zoë is a member of Contemporary Applied Arts and the Society of Designer Craftsmen.