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Les Petits Bonheurs – Emma Cassi, Jewellery Maker

10735040_1568682246687082_1412280970_nThis week I am really very excited to introduce a very special artist, someone who has inspired me immensely since I took the plunge into creating with textiles.

I don’t think I have ever seen an image of Emmas work, home and art that I haven’t loved and desired. Everything that Emma puts her hand to is incredibly beautiful and personal, delicate and feminine, she combines found objects, antique lace, vintage sequins and lace to make something very contemporary and utterly gorgeous to behold. My husband surprised me with one of her necklaces for my birthday and I have worn it ever since for any occasion where I want to feel special. Literally I attempt to put on a different necklace but always revert to her piece, it is a love affair!

When I started this series I always wanted to ask Emma to participate. I was fascinated to find out how she started working with textiles, how she went about creating her collections (was it the lace that found Emma or Emma who sought out a specific lace?), what inspired her, how did she manage to make so much beauty (in her home and work) with two young children (I’m still struggling) and was she actually human because seriously how can one woman be this talented (okay so I didn’t ask this question specifically but really!).

All I can say is that when Emma responded and said she would love to participate – I think I might have squealed and perhaps even performed a little happy dance around the living room – but of course I did.

Emma has shared some really wonderful insights and snapshots into her life, her inspiration and her creative business and even glimpses into her jewellery sketchbooks. I hope you love discovering more about Emma as much as I did.

P1130314wOn the first piece of textile that made her heart sing:

 “As a kid, I used to keep in my pocket my grannys embroidered  handkerchief or my grandpas traditional “mouchoir a carreaux”  but my first real textile love was the Dries Van Noten embroidered scarf from the 1998-99 collection” (see photograph above)

P1130340wOn her creative process:

I use the pieces I have found quite quickly, just after 2 weeks, if I am not in a middle of a big order. I am very free, I will choose anything I think is unusual and interesting and I am not tight to a theme. I get help sometimes for embroidery when I have got lots of orders. For the past few month, I have been working with an art director, Audrey Bozetto and it is so refreshing…I use to be a stylist so it handy for photography. I know some amazing photographers too such as Kristin Perers. “

f29cd351b94098c6ed312bf264cb0d55“I have a little corner in my living room so I can work anytime I feel like it, almost all the time… My lace is in vintage boxes underneath my desk and when I am planning the collection I am keeping it  in veggies recycled boxes… My sequins and beads are in a vintage box with draws.”

NELS120801-TRIBES-PAPUA-NEW-GUINEA-021Photograph from GOROKO series by photographer Jimmy Nelson

On inspiration:

“Each season, it will be something different, from Hmong textiles to Bauhaus paintings… This season it was the exuberance of the Great Gatsby meet the craft and face paint of the tribes (Jimmy Nelson photography)”

P1130360wOn dealing with creative block:

“I don’t have creative blocks, I have repetitive strain injury so that is my block… While I rest my arm or think, I watch many inspiring videos on youtube or arte about craft, travels series and also creative projects on science, astronomy, economy or education.”

P1130377wHer favourite places for sourcing materials:

“I love to go to markets during my summer holidays in France or Italy. I know vintage textiles exhibitors in fairs, I have been working for over 10 years with them, they call me as soon as they have new materials… My favorites are Alfies and Portobello in London.”

P1130357wOn where she is happiest:

“Doing embroidery, weaving, running or on holidays with my family.”

P1130344wEmmas favourite corner in her house:

“It changes…the mantel piece in the living room, black and white display with jet bead vintage necklaces, lots of silver mirrors and sequins vintage ribbons…”
 P1130352wOn her Spring Summer 2015 collection:

“My theme was dance: Lil buck, ballet and opera costume, Chanel iridescent embroidery and Rochas spring-summer 2014 collection (the brocade fabric and feather shoes)”

Lil Buck

P1130321wI am a little obsessed with Emmas weavings – if anyone is reading – this is on my Christmas wishlist – pretty pretty please!

On juggling a successful creative business & motherhood:

“For the moment, it is easy because the school is five minutes from home and food markets as well.  My work is very relaxed, I know the buyers of the shops that I have stocked for 10 years, I am never late and always so thankful so keeping a good relationship is my motto. My kids are very independent so they play and create next to my desk. We have time together from 4pm to 8pm time to play, to cook, be together…”

10725035_646046418848698_1739546599_n

“I love the idea to be free from belongings… But from travelling around I have accumulated pieces like paintings, books or fabrics and I treasure them.”

P1130356wSome of Emmas favourite treasures including a vintage linen sake bag from Kyoto

58110602997509f33e68e50662b67465Interior » Kristin Perers | Photographer – Interior, Still life, Food, Fashion & Portraits

I urge you to check out Emmas beautiful jewellery on her website and for daily inspiration you can follow her instagram here.

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{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Kathryn November 23, 2014, 12:07 pm

    Ruth,
    This was such a brilliant post, loved Emma Cassi’s work for ages like you. But this is the most insightful interview I have read about her, you asked great questions, things I have wanted to know to.
    thanks for sharing, hope Santa brings you a weaving or more jewellery
    Kat x

    • Ruth November 23, 2014, 6:06 pm

      Hi Kat,

      Lovely to meet you here! It is odd that there are not more interviews with Emma as I know she inspires many many people and she is a wonderfully generous and open person.
      Take care
      Ruth

  • joan February 1, 2017, 1:11 pm

    Hi Ruth, brilliant article and beautiful photos :)

    • ruth February 1, 2017, 4:46 pm

      Merci Joan! x

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