In the first of our blog posts about the six new designers exhibiting with us at the Barbican this winter, DJG member Jane Moore interviews Emma McFarline about her jewellery.
JM: Where did you train?
EMF: I did a foundation course in Northern Ireland. I was keen to do ceramics and or textiles and very interested in combining these materials to produce wearable jewellery so I decided to apply to do a degree at Edinburgh University. I was accepted on my first choice.
JM: How did you get into enamelling?
EMF: I was fortunate enough to have Stacey Bentley as an Artist in Resident who helped and encouraged me quite a bit. Also Jessica Turrell came to teach a few days. I then was very interested in learning more and had the opportunity to go to West Dean where I did a short residential course with Elizabeth Turrell.
Elizabeth was very inspiring, she introduced me to working with liquid enamel and how to apply transfers to the surface of pre enamel coated steel. This is what I work with now and set it into a silver base.
JM: Where do you find your inspiration for the imagery you are using?
EMF: I am constantly taking photos of urban landscapes and particularly interested in the visual concept of graffiti. I then manipulate the images on Photoshop and then have these digitally printed by a company in Stoke on Trent.
JM: Where is your workshop now?
EMF: I work from my workshop back home in Ireland. On graduating I was successful in acquiring a bursary from The British Society of Enamellers. This enabled me to buy a kiln and guillotine to start my workshop but I really miss living in a city where I get my inspiration and look forward to moving sometime.
JM: Did you have a successful show at New Designers ?
EMF: Yes I did. I was thrilled to be invited to exhibit at the Barbican with the Designer Jewellers Group and I was also invited by Tony Gordon to take part in this years’ Dazzle. This has given me a great start in my career.