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An Interview with Textile Designer Jacky Puzey

Jacky Puzey specializes in designing and producing digital embroidery for interiors and fashion. Combining traditional embroidery skills with digital technology Jacky uses fur, feathers, tweed and organza with drawing, laser cutting and digital embroidery to explore her distinctive imagery and style. From feral lace to embellished creatures, from feathered interior screens to shimmering metallic bomber jackets, Jacky’s embroidery creates a baroque pleasure; forming new fabrics, textures and stories.

Jacky became a Design-Nation member in 2017 and will be part of our Decorex stand this September.

Design-Nation asked: Who has been your most influential teacher or mentor?

JP: There are several: Beatrice Mayfield and Louisa Pacifico, who I met while doing the Crafts Council’s Hothouse scheme. Also John Miles, Louise Pickles and Andrew Richards who I studied with and then taught with at Bath Spa University, for really showing me what textiles and fashion could achieve! I also follow the work of embroiderer Karen Nicols, as she is a great inspiration for the diversity and creativity evident throughout her career! And I’ve been really lucky to also have access to the more technical side of digital embroidery, as I’m currently working with Melanie Hoerr and ZSK Stickmaschinen in Germany – this company made my embroidery machine.

DN: What inspires you?

JP: Urban cities, diverse cultures, ornate patterns from street art to historical textiles, and textures, colours and movement, from silky animal fur textures to vibrant feather patterns to the otherworldly glow of night time urban landscapes. I love a unique look or style, often inspired by radical fashion cultures. I love collaboration either intentionally or not, between cultures, from patterns that show shared histories, such as chintz and tree of life motifs, to designs that are deliberately about traditional ornament with a contemporary twist.

DN: If you weren’t a designer what would you be?

JP: Hmmm….not sure!!

DN: Do you work hard on your PR or do you work with others on marketing?

JP: I work hard on my social media, love the networking, and get as much help as possible with all other kinds of PR, as I think it’s better to work with other people who can write about your work and give a new perspective.

DN: Can you tell us a bit about the collaborative aspect of your new work for Decorex?

JP: The theme is all about collaboration, and I’m working on some exciting new pieces in collaboration with some great makers as I develop my rich and vibrant embroidery screens into some gorgeous new cocktail chair pieces. Leighanne Treadwell, founder of Bristol Upholstery Collective and pioneering social entrepreneur, is creating the upholstery for the chairs. Leighanne enjoys the more complicated bespoke jobs, and believes in enjoying quality hand- made processes and extraordinary craftsmanship. Simion of Reloved Upholstery has provided a couple of his newly commissioned Reloved cocktail chair frames, as well as invaluable advice to the project.  Reloved Upholstery was born from Simion’s passion for vintage chairs, luxurious fabrics and interior design. Reloved  produce their signature cocktail chair across a stunning range of fabrics, and are also Ercol specialists, creating some great new upholstery on vintage Ercol frames.

In this collaboration, we are all motivated by our passion for creative process, design, craftsmanship and innovation – the great thing about collaboration is that we can really explore all those things together!

DN: What are the main challenges in your practice?

JP: Having way too much to do, and eagerly awaiting my new VA to get started as I’ve reached the point where I need admin support and eventually a studio manager. It’s been a great year of growth and new opportunities for my business.

DN: Where would you like your practice to be in 10 years?

JP: I would like to be selling and showing internationally, and still to be known for developing cutting edge digital embroidery and contemporary craftsmanship. I’d love to be a regular with my own stand at Decorex, and hopefully also showing at Design Miami. I would also aim to have gallery representation, as my work is both about functionality and a unique bespoke beauty:  each piece is individually developed and embellished, as collectable crafted pieces.

DN: If you could collaborate with someone who would you like that to be?

JP: I love my current collaboration, and would like to do some more with these lovely people! I’ve also got a few potential collaborations in the pipeline that I can’t yet mention. I think collaboration is a necessary part of practice development. It would be great to work with Fromental, for their beautiful embroidered wallpapers, as I’m prototyping my own digital embroidered wallpapers at the moment. Though I’m a great believer in collaboration as something that arises organically from shared aims as well, so it’s not always possible to specify potential collaborators until you’ve met them!

Interview by Laura Jacometti. Images courtesy the artist

Jacky will be showing her work on the ZSK stand B15 at MoOD Brussels 6  – 8 September and she can also be found exhibiting her new collaborative upholstery collection at Decorex on our stand F17, from  17 – 20 September.

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Laura Jacometti


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