Valerie and her craftsman husband, Hugh, formed a symbiotic team very early on with much of her textile work existing alongside his launch into spinning wheel production as she often used handspun fibres in her pieces. By the 1990’s, however, after Hugh had ventured into her territory by taking up rug weaving, she retaliated by playing with wood.
Still predominantly interested in picture making she used a dremel to carve into wooden panels to give depth and drama to the images she painted on top. While she continued to be inspired by wide ranging subject matter, including religious images, she used this technique to great effect in her historical photo series. This low relief carving proved particularly effective in these pieces, evoking the staged stiffness of early formal portraiture and giving these often playful works solidity and a strong presence.