Frances Carter

I was born in London, England. I have degrees in Early Education and the Art of Printmaking from London University, which prepared me for years of teaching young children in London, Cambridge, UK, Berkley, CA, and Durham, NC. I took welding, silver jewelry, and photography classes and started creating and selling jewelry.

Working with children kindled my enthusiasm for a simple creative style of jewelry making. During the 3 years that we lived in Kenya, Africa, I became fascinated with the colorful beaded jewelry, hand painted fabrics, and woven basketry of the Kenyan women. Working with some of the local tribal women, I learned a few of their skills. The desire to incorporate fabrics and jewelry was always at the back of my mind. After moving to Chapel Hill, NC I expanded my interest in bag making by taking Fiber Arts, Quilting, Sewing and Wool-Felting classes in Durham and Chapel Hill.

These influences as well as my fascination for the Carpetbags of the past greatly inspired my creations. The Franbag was thus created as a whimsical 21st Century Carpetbag. Franbags were first created using contemporary upholstery fabric and have evolved to also being made with cotton, hand-painted canvas, hand-dyed wool, silk and vintage linen. The early Franbags were simple and colorful, but over the years they have evolved into pieces of decorative, wearable art, which incorporate many different techniques such as wool dying, quilting and Nuno-felting. Nuno-felting, my most recent technique is the practice of felting wool into silk.