Yearly, Hand & lock organizes a competition for the prestigious Price for embroidery Promote the use of hand embroidery and discover emerging embroidery talents. In the 2019 letter “Fool the Senses”, participants were asked to look at the texture and feel of the embroidery. The projects focused on adornments with magnificent surfaces that fascinated and surprised when they deceived, confused and deceived the senses. The organizers encouraged the artists to recycle and reuse old materials, reinvent them and transform them into something new.
London Bishopsgate Institute The final evaluation and award ceremony was hosted by 24 masterpieces by the finalists, which were divided into four categories: textile works by students and textile works by non-students, fashion by students and fashion by non-students. A separate exhibition featured remarkable works selected by Hand & Lock partners for Associate Awards.
Today we meet the second place winner in the Fashion Student category, Sophie Elisabeth Reynolds.
Place: Richmond, Surrey
Education: MA Textile Design Innovation, Embroidery – Graduation 2019
Describe your Hand & Lock entry and the inspiration behind it:
My Hand & Lock entry came from researching materials, tactility and well-being. I was inspired by repeating natural shapes, photos under the microscope and naturally occurring patterns. Creation of organic embroidery patterns and layer materials using modern and traditional techniques.
I really wanted to explore and expand the limits of my possibilities with the multi-head embroidery machine. After a few fights with the machine between me and the wonderful technicians, we were able to achieve some results on an extreme scale.
I am always very driven by tactility and work in a multimedia discipline. In addition to digital embroidery, laser cutting also created surprising and tactile elements that play with the comparison of hard / soft and matt / glossy materials such as wood, leather, silicone and acrylic. Pearls and hand embroidery have also been used to complement contemporary techniques, add intricate details and bring the eye closer.
Are there any secrets that you can now reveal about your listing?
Originally, the coat didn’t have as many fringes as it did at the end. There were several times when I thought I was definitely done, but after a few days of thinking and thinking, I couldn’t stop adding more. I think I was a bit obsessed with fringes, which I think ultimately worked in my favor because the coat’s effect is so much bigger because it’s so extravagant.
When and how did you learn embroidery, sewing etc. and what impression did it make on you?
I first learned embroidery during my BA at Bath Spa University. I went to a lecture given by the Royal School of Needlework in Bath with a friend, took part in a competition to get the chance to take part in an embroidery course with them, and won! I attended a silk shading workshop that caught my attention, and I developed the embroidery through my BA and beyond.
Why did you want to study fashion and textiles at school?
I’ve always been interested in something creative, I wasn’t the most academic person in school and I found textiles and art to be something that I enjoyed and of course was pretty good at. I never really thought about doing anything other than a career as something creative, so it was a natural step to continue studying textiles. Back then, embroidery was something that I specialized in for my master.
What was your favorite degree so far?
So far, my favorite course has been Intermediate Gold Work at the London School of Embroidery. Gold embroidery is my favorite hand embroidery technique; I like the amount of details and textures that can be created with the materials, and the medium has something very special.
My job in The Funk Files is to interview “Pioneers at the Border of Embroidery”. You are that! What is the embroidery limit and what does it mean to be a pioneer here?
Thank you very much. That is so nice; I am very honored! I think it means always looking for techniques and ideas. It doesn’t really matter if you know the result. In fact, the work is usually completely different if you had an idea from the start. This is the most exciting part – explore, process, and have fun!
Where else can we see your work?
What projects are on the horizon for you?
I am currently working full-time in the industry and have therefore found it difficult to find time between work and commuting. But I’m just starting to work on a small collection that I hope to publish soon.
Describe your ideal career.
I still don’t really know what my ideal career would be, I never really did! But in an ideal world, it would only mean that I can continue to create, enjoy researching embroidery, and maybe one day have my own company.
What advice would you give someone who wants to expand their embroidery skills?
Just keep exploring and don’t be afraid to work outside your comfort zone. Push yourself and enjoy.
Rapid Fire Round: (Don’t think too much about it.)
You can work with just one color for the next year. What color do you choose? It must be pastel, probably pink.
Which sewing motif would you choose to represent yourself and your life? Go for a walk with my friend and my sausage dog.
A book you recently enjoyed: Reasons to stay alive by Matt Haig.
You have to include something fragrant in your next piece. What do you use and how do you integrate it? Embed coconut, oils in the threads.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be? Probably something to do with dogs, groomer maybe!
You make lunch for the artist of your choice – and he / she will love it. Who is the artist and what do you do for lunch? Grayson Perry, Technically not a lunch, but a really good chocolate cake.
A studio makes a movie new and they want you to design the costumes. What is the film and what is your favorite costume in it? Not necessarily the film though The Lion King. I’m just in awe of all the costumes of the theater shows. It would be a dream to work on one of them!
Favorite material to work with: organza
You need to create a garment or accessory for an animal. What is the animal and what do you create? A sausage dog, top hat.
You need to turn a song into a garment. What is the song and what is the garment? What a wonderful world, a colorful rainbow dress.
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