Hello, my name’s Emma and I’m an illustrator, embroiderer and maker! I’ve spent the past 24 years working in the design industry and my work has been stocked in many places including Liberty, Fenwick, JoJo Maman Bebe and John Lewis. Over the last few years, I’ve combined my two passions for illustrating and making into one with the embroidery technique called Punch Needle.
You make a range of products featuring your unique style, can you tell us a little about why you work with the different types of media and what’s special about each one.
Although illustration is the path I took in terms of qualifications, I’ve always been really drawn to turning flat designs into something 2D or 3D. That’s why you’ll see me embroidering, illustrating on vintage book covers and making items in papier mache. I think it’s the tactile element that I’m drawn to and the fact that your initial flat design is now an object that you can hold.
Who is The Little Cloth Rabbit and how have they influenced your work?
I feel very nostalgic towards old forgotten crafts and old, worn, things in general as they all have a story to tell so I get a lot of my inspiration by routing around charity and antique shops. I’ll find a 1970s piece of fabric for example and take inspiration from the colour way. But in complete contrast to that I love all things Kawaii! Which is why a lot of my designs have cute faces. I love designers like Donna Wilson, Sally Nencini & the Kawaii company Smoko.
We love your punch needle work. Can you tell us how you got in to it and what it means to you?
I was actually watching Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas on T.V in 2018. A designer was showing the technique of Punch Needle & I got so excited I literally jumped out of my chair to Google it! It’s now my dearest passion. I love the relaxing rhythm of using the punch needle- it’s so therapeutic and once you know what you’re doing there are no limits to what you can do if you have the right equipment. The possibilities are endless when choosing yarn, fabrics, textures, colours & thicknesses. What I did discover however is that although it is a simple technique to learn there’s lots of different advice out there and I had a few hiccups along the way! There is definitely a right way to learn Punch Needle! So in my kits, patterns and classes, I address all these issues & give lots of tips to make it a relaxing & enjoyable experience for a beginner.
If you could create anything, without limits what would it be?
I would make an absolutely huge animal cushion or wall hanging out of punch needle!
Your brand has so much personality and charm. If your work could speak, what do you think it would say?
This is a tough question! Trying not to get too deep on you, I think my creativity is like my best friend- my therapy- it keeps me sane! So I think if it could speak it would give me a squeeze and remind me to relax & keep looking for the joyful things in life.
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