Polly Pinder studied graphics at Leeds Art College. Her first job was with a Yorkshire newspaper, and she subsequently worked as a lecturer in graphic design at Wakefield District College. She has written and illustrated a number of books on a variety of other subjects including cake decoration and growing herbs, papermaking and paper crafts. Her illustrations in Muck and Magic were commended when that book won the 1993 Sir Peter Kent Conservation Book Prize. She has also designed bed linen and wallpapers, and the graphics for a wallpaper book based on newly-discovered eighteenth-century wallpapers.