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News > Community > Catching up with former pupil Juliette Hamilton (1989)

Catching up with former pupil Juliette Hamilton (1989)

7 Jul 2021
Written by Jenny Armitage
Willow Lion by Juliette Hamilton
Willow Lion by Juliette Hamilton

Juliette left King’s after two years of Sixth Form in 1989, and even back then she was walking a new path being part of only the second year of girls at King’s. Art and creative outlets have always been a focus of Juliette’s, from her time at school, university and most recently coming in to school to work with our Junior Division students.

After leaving King’s, Juliette joined Manchester Polytechnic University to study a foundation course in art. Juliette recognises this as one of the best ways to explore your creative interests, as it covers such a broad spectrum of techniques. Juliette then continued on at Manchester to gain a BA in Textile Design before leaping out into the world. Although Juliette mentioned it was a tough time to find work in the textile world, after lots of hard work she landed on her feet as an embroidery designer for Marks and Spencer’s. As Juliette’s family started to grow, she decided to start her soft furnishing business before returning to college to study horticulture.

It is during her time at college that Juliette starting working in garden design and making willow features. Although her vision was to focus on the garden design with the willow features for the winter months, Juliette’s designs took off and after winning a Silver Guild at the Tatton RHS show she decided to focus on her sculptures. All while still following her family’s passion of music festivals and until last year Juliette would travel to run workshops at festivals all around the UK.

The beauty of Juliette’s work led to King’s inviting her back to create a family of lion figures to be placed around the Infant and Junior Division of the new school. Although Juliette created the female lion and her cubs at home she joined some of the students at the old school site to build the male lion. However, with the excitement of the students and the beauty of the lion he grew a little too big and when it came to the move he wouldn’t fit through the door, so the door frame had to be removed to get him out and placed in his new position outside Infants and Juniors. Juliette created the idea of willow archways and domes for the children to play in and so she joined us on the new campus in February to check on the lions and install the living playground for the students. Juliette said “it was lovely coming back to King’s” and we know the children will enjoy her sculptures for years to come.

Juliette recommends to anyone who wants a creative career to try everything until you find the area you love and not to be afraid, it can take time to find your place, whether that is in a company or working alone but you will find it! In the meantime, volunteering is the most valuable thing you can do and most importantly don’t give up!


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