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Jacky Puzey is a designer-artist, who specialises in digital embroidery. From her studio in Bristol, Jacky creates unique and beautiful statement furniture such as silk wallpapers and velvet footstools. Jacky kindly spoke to us about her one-of-a-kind work and the inspiration behind it.
Were you always interested in creating things from childhood?
I’ve been drawing and making things as long as I can remember yes!
How did your business start? What led you into it?
I started my business as people started to ask to commission embroidered work based on the embroideries they’d seen on my artwork pieces. I was making a series of embroidered bespoke suits as part of my PhD project (practice led PhD in Visual Culture and fashion/textile identities) and from there the embroideries started attracting many commissions, while the bespoke tailoring I learnt instilled a love of detail and craftsmanship as well, which helped me to win the Hand and Lock Prize for embroidery in 2015.
I was lucky enough to be selected for the Crafts Council’s Hothouse business development scheme in 2016, and from there I have developed my business into specialising in statement interiors pieces and bespoke commissions for private clients, interior and fashion designers, and artists. I show regularly at Decorex and London Craft Week, and last year at Focus/19.
Where do you draw your inspiration from for your pieces?
My current interiors collection features statement furniture and embroidered wallpaper and screens.
The Peacocks silk wallpaper is inspired by Chinoiserie motifs and historical scenic wallpapers, with a contemporary urban twist. These Peacocks peer proudly off a graffitied and shadowed concrete urban wall as a background, the peonies have been hand-drawn across the wall, and then re-embroidered using laser cut petals to give depth and detail. The Peacocks have gorgeous silk organza and voile laser cut tails, their feathered necks carrying tattoo and henna tattoo patterns.
On the Ottoman, traditionally upholstered in custom printed velvet, the squirrels take over from the Peacocks and Pomegranates, evoking a stately garden run riot. London Parakeets continue this theme, flying through garden clematis across an embroidered Cocktail Chair.
The Koi design, on both footstools and silk wallpaper, is inspired by historical tattoos, urban landscapes and Japanese Koi. The footstools reference the shapes of lily-pads in a Koi pond. In Japan, the Koi are kept both for ornamentation, and, in traditional Japanese towns, as functional urban helpers, living in the waterways under the houses and temples, and keeping the water clean. They are hugely popular as tattoo motifs too, where they symbolise endeavour and perseverance.
The embroideries bring alive shifting cultural allegiances to create contemporary embellished landscapes. The mixing of tattoo and urban graffiti imagery with traditional decorative patterns and motifs, creates a gorgeous theme of ‘urban chinoiserie’ that is both contemporary and luxurious.
What is your favourite part of the making process?
Design, drawing, research, embroidery… I love it all!
Do you have any particular design heroes or other makers your work has been influenced by?
Its quite eclectic – for me an inspirational maker or artist has to be fusing both amazing ideas and great craftsmanship. I love going to fashion exhibitions at the V&A, whether its Kimono and traditional fabrics or cutting edge Couture. Equally Ai WeiWei at the Royal Academy was amazing for his use of formal craftsmanship to add to the political resonances of his work, and Tim Walker’s recent photography show at the V&A entered a whole new visual realm.
I’ve been lucky enough to work with Watts of Westminster, who really have the most amazing cut velvet fabrics and pattern archives, but I love Vivienne Westwood’s signature punk take on luxury fabrics and historical styles too.
Any upcoming projects/pieces you’re working on that you’d like to tell us about?
One I can’t until it opens! But in my own work I’m also very much enjoying developing a new urban re-wilding theme and new pieces.
Anything else in particular you’d like us to mention?
All of my fabrics are designed and embroidered bespoke in-house, so I am also happy to work to commission if a particular piece is required for an interiors scheme. My upholsterer also focuses on bespoke work so we can make single pieces or series.
So delighted to have you on board at AUTHOR, how do you feel about working with us?
It’s lovely to work with a team so dedicated to contemporary British craftsmanship and interiors!
SHOP JACKY’S PIECES:
*All images of Jacky in her studio and her work on a white background by photographer Jo Hounsome*
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