About Me

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After graduating from Art College with a Foundation Degree in Applied Arts. I have decided to focus on textiles and creating textile art, using a range of media and surface embellishments. I have recently started a two year course which is focused on design and stitched textiles worked and embroidered by hand and on the sewing machine. I love the mix of traditional and contemporary elements, as I love the history of embroidery and stitches and enjoy sampling and experimenting with them to make them contemporary. Living near to Durham City I am close to endless sources of inspiration to use in my work. Please note all text and images are subject to copyright © Emma Mears

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Knitting and Stitching Show Harrogate

Thanks to a lovely friend, I got to go to the Show!  I was a Knitting and Stitching Show virgin and the experience was absolutely brilliant but overwhelming too.  The best part was speaking to designers and makers.  I really enjoyed speaking to Julia Jowett, whose career is taking off in a big way, or I told her it was! I was so pleased for her - She has been invited to dress the Selvedge window early next year, now that is an opportunity of a lifetime.  I enjoyed too seeing everyone having such a great time - I saw the biggest crochet needles ever - where the workshops were being held.  Next time I go, I am going armed with a list of all the things I want to see and want to buy - then it will not feel so scary.  It's great too that something like this event is happening in the NORTH too.  I came away very inspired to try about a hundred new techniques, but right this minute I am enjoying learning to crochet as part of my current brief, it is all starting to make sense and I am learning to read my work and stitches too - my tutor Eyv will be so happy.  I have just mastered the popcorn and the square - by using chains and trebles into the same stitch...It's great, I love it, I just want to learn more and more...

Monday, 7 November 2011

Being bold has now gone cold...I think...

Ok, so I tried to be messy and I did for a while...and I did get out of my comfort zone, so much so that I did not know really how to get back to being me.  It was the 'it looks like 80s florals' that did it, I'm only kidding you know who!  Well, I gave it my all and I have learned loads about using different materials to draw and paint with and mixing them all up too - I loved the 'play' part and playing with hand printing methods and getting my hands dirty.  However, my inspiration - the alcoholic bevvies under the microscope have now turned into looking at deadly diseases under the microscope (a sensitive subject I know) as well as cells, bacteria and diatoms - of all things.  The images are beautiful in actual fact and I can see so much potential in terms of 'making' products within them.  I am now well into my brief and I'm sampling like mad to push the techniques and processes of using acrylic in jewellery, printing and coloured clay in ceramics and in textiles, well I am so excited; stitching on bubblewrap, felting and drawing circles and going in circles with the sewing machine, hand embroidery and hand printing - I am basically doing everything!  Well, I think it's time to get back to more sampling - looking forward to trying 'inlay' with acrylic rods and trying out some printing and dyeing methods using acrylic, hope all goes well... 

Sunday, 16 October 2011

you make me happy...design event Newcastle

Had an absolutely fab day on Saturday, soaking up loads of gorgeous products at: The Biscuit Factory, The Holy Biscuit and Shipley Art Gallery.  The Exhibition 'The Good Life' at The Biscuit...was scrummy, loved the retro furniture and screen prints by Emma Lawrenson.  Downstairs was an 'unexpected' opportunity to look at some of the jewellers I had been researching online, just the night before!  I had gone to the gallery with a friend and had my mind focused on looking at jewellery made with non-precious materials and printing methods on clay - I found lots of inspiration for my new brief.  Plus Sarah Morpeth's stitch books were gorgeous and I so want one.  Hint, hint!  The Holy Biscuit a venue just over the road to 'The Biscuit'...was the venue for the designer marketplace (the same as the event at Middlesbrough Town Hall), it was great to see past students and lecturers from CCAD and share experiences and advice.  Not to mention I spent a fortune!  Last but not least, I had to visit Nora Fok's 'Cloud Nylon' exhibition.  Absolutely brilliant!  Everyone in the region should go, her pieces or 'ethereal sculptures' are amazing.  Well done Shipley for hosting such a lovely, inspiring exhibition, the staff are always so helpful and knowledgeable. 
 - Still buzzing from my experiences and purchases today! Also, enjoyed being with my friend Helen and lunch! 

Also explore:  thebiscuitfactory.com

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

'i've been told to play'...

Its a new term, new brief, new style, new me...
Aparently play and process makes perfect - and we all strive to be sort of 'perfect' - or good, I think.  I have chosen the theme of'lens' to research and visually investigate.  Asking people what they think of when they hear the word lens was my starting point, as well as the dictionary, of course, predictable I know but very informative.  Dis you know the Latin word for lens is Lentil? 
The brief focuses on surface decoration, pattern and colour which are gorgeous things to explore.  I am totally out of my comfort zone, I am usually very tidy - oh yes and precious about everything and I am trying to be the total opposite - messy - BOLD - and 'random' a favourite word of my friends!  Again, I am loving every minute but also feel strange about the whole thing and what things I am producing in my sketchbook. 
So far, I have just 'played' with materials, mixin' it all up - its great!  I have looked at weird and wonderful but beautiful things under the microscope, such as deadly diseases - they are strangely beautiful, its an odd concept really.  Also, I have been enjoying looking at our favourite alcoholic 'bevvies' under the microscope which are gorgeous, and I am sure these alone, will inspire me to make gorgeous products!    

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Heading for the summer...

College is almost finished now.  The end of year shows have been so inspiring and stunning displays of all our hard work - the whole college was alive with creativity and inspiring work. 
I did finally make a whole table linen range for my final project and also other functional items such as tea towels, using my own designs from sketches and free machine embroidery, and used the heat transfer press to create and finalise them.  The table runner and matching napkin were finished and embellished with some gorgeous hand stitching.  I also have a buyer for my tea towels!
I also made some beautiful silver jewellery, a fairytale house pendant, supplied on a silver torque and also a fairytale tree brooch, again both were finished with hand stitches such as cross stitch and my favourite stitch the french knot!  I also added to my 'Home Sweet Home' range by making some cover buttons with my own designs and hand stitches and beads.  I also 'recycled' an old woollen blanket to make a range of felt 'fairytale cottage' brooches as part of my bread and butter range - as I wanted to make something beautiful for everyone at all ends of the market and for all ages too!
My slip cast vases worked out really well too and to compliment and complete the Home Sweet Home range, I used my machine embroidered designs to decorate the surface of the vases, having the design made into a 'decal' which I think looked professional and therefore, a good final result.  I was really pleased with my range of work which was inspired by the phrase 'home sweet home' and the use of lettering and hand embroidery within the old fashioned Victorian 'sampler'.  I was also inspired by my own surroundings, my home and my favourite, functional,  household objects, such as my iron and ironing board, my retro kettle, cutlery and an old flowery teapot! Of which all became a modern day sampler and a modern take on the old fashioned sampler. 
The whole project has been exhausting, but I have again loved every minute - from learning mitred corners to working with a very naughty one piece mould! 
I am looking forward to really getting into my Summer 'Visual' project, which is all about mapping out my Summer holiday by drawing and soaking up my surroundings! 

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

I am really excited at the prospect of sharing my past and present work, my inspirations and my ideas.  My blog is a work in progress and I intend to use it as a tool to record my ideas, creativity and progress as a (student) Applied Artist and Designer Maker.  At college, I am working on a new project in Applied Arts, which is on the theme of Home Sweet Home.   My task is to create a range of functional products.  At this moment in time, I am very inspired by linking stitch, both hand embroidery and free machine embroidery, with metal to make a range of brooches in textiles and silver. I am also sampling ideas to create a table linen range, embroidering domestic and quirky household idems onto gorgeous linens and ginghams.  A range of porcelain vases also may be in the offing, using my embroidery on decals to complete the range. Whatever, I do, I know I am loving every minute, so, Back to work!