“I’m in love with processes, techniques and finishes, and hopefully try to execute all the work in a sophisticated way.” Emma Jacobs invites me into the tactile world of textile design, sharing her projects and an insight into their production. Home & Away (Image 1) is a collection of eight head-masks. Described by Jacobs as “beautiful and strange” these pieces are created using ceramic. Despite being an “alien” choice of material for the Chelsea College of Art & Design student, Jacobs summer research of caves in Ireland had “Unearthly” qualities that she felt would translate well to ceramic.
“The fact that I knew very little about this type of practice, helped to create something unusual and experimental. I have found that often the best pieces of work are the spontaneous ones, and sometimes having an outcome in your head can stop you from experimenting, and experimenting was exactly what I wanted to achieve in this project.”
Flexibility & Connections (Images 2 + 3) came into being after researching numerous materials, colour palettes, surfaces and textures, all with the idea of upcycling and sustainability in mind. After dismantling found car seats from a scrapyard, Jacobs discovered “great shapes” that formed the basis for a garment. “The material in parts already had some beautiful naturally occuring features, like sun bleaching and wear and tear from use … I tried out a lot of different spraying techniques onto the material, foiling techniques, engraving and embroidery, all the help give the material texture.” Despite working with peculiar materials, Jacobs manages to refine the objects into elegant and very ornate objects, that are a treat to the eye.
Jacobs talks highly of mixed-media book maker Anselm Keifer as an inspiration of hers, but she also references her upbringing in South East Kent as a big influence on her practice. It’s clear her father’s occupation as a builder has informed her robust choice of materials, whilst her fascination with wild animals stems from the rural surroundings. “I love Polly Morgans work, a modern day taxidermist who does the most bizare things with birds and mice and foxes. It is actually somthing that I would really love to try myself very soon.”
Emma aims to take her work to new heights with intentions to collaborate with a design team specialising in one off couture garments, or jewellery, with ambitions to even crossover into interiors, textiles for furniture, and sculpture.