Hannah Ashwell







I design and make origami using textiles for use in weddings, fashion, interiors and retail. My Story. After graduating from the University of Edinburgh in History or Art and Architectural History, my hands were itching to create. A childhood dream had been to design and make costumes so I did corsetry and pattern cutting courses in the evening and worked in a textile store by day. It was whilst working there that I re-discovered another project from childhood. The clean lines, geometry and meditative folding techniques of origami had appealed to me ever since my mother showed me some simple shapes as a small child. However I had always wanted to find a way to make the origami models more permanent and useful. Using the materials in front of me, remnants of silks and cottons, I experimented until I found a method that captured the essence of the paper art form that I loved. Friends and colleagues encouraged me to pursue it as a business and in 2008 I set up bY Mi. It has been almost 10 years in its evolution and I feel now that I have found the path I want to take my craft. During this time I have sometimes worked full time but most often part time, I have made tiny pieces and gigantic ones and most importantly learnt and developed the techniques needed to make the origami truly adaptable. I most enjoy working on bespoke projects and collaborations where I can explore creative solutions and produce beautiful work. Play has been my friend from the beginning, simply picking up the fabric and manipulating it in every way I could imagine until I was able to produce the effects I envisioned. Even today when I need to create a new form, object or piece I start with paper to work out the folds before using the textiles to create the finished design. Having artistic and self employed parents meant I was encouraged to find creative solutions and think imaginatively. I grew up with a thirst to learn, a love of textiles and an awareness of space and form. Most importantly I learnt that I needed to create my own career and perfect job, and that working for yourself was both hard and achievable. My current goals are to explore scale as well as experiment with more abstract, geometric forms and repeated patterns. I would also like to find ways to support other self employed creatives in getting things done and growing their business.