EXPLORING THE COUNTRYSIDE WITH GEMMA HOLLIS
This month’s theme explores the impacts of Lockdown, calling on emerging talent to look for the positives that have come out of these challenging times and consequently, how these experiences have inspired design.
Carry on reading to discover what our designers think about how lockdowns will shape the future of the design world!
INTRODUCING THE DESIGNER
My work is inspired by the countryside and influenced by the variety of birds I see when walking and birdwatching. I specialise in blown, fused, and cast glass which are skills I have developed in the workshops. I like pushing myself to learn different techniques and make conscious effort to use sustainable and natural materials where possible in my designs.
How much do you think the pandemic and lockdowns has influenced your design work?
The lockdown allowed me time to explore the Northamptonshire countryside that surrounds where I live. Seeing the value of nature to my wellbeing at this time made me shift focus to designing more glasswork that was inspired by natural beauty, such as birds.
Where did your interest in design stem from?
My interest in design stemmed from when I was very little. I loved sticking things together and making a mess! My primary school teacher used to say I was the first one to the crafts table, always eager to get experimenting with the glitter and glue. That passion never died but evolved to what I do now.
Do you think the ways in which lockdown has changed our lifestyle will continue to influence the design industry? What are your trend predictions for 2022?
I think following Covid and lockdowns many people’s priorities have changed by them wanting pieces that are designed for the family with themes of togetherness, that could be capturing a memory of a moment of happiness and freedom before lockdown as people’s lifestyles have evolved to be looking out for one another, young and old. These emotions captured during lockdown time I feel will influence how we design, creating designs that are influenced by the maker thinking of what is important to them.
My trend predictions for 2022 is seeing more designs that are showing the freedom of being out of lockdown which are celebratory, however more cautious on the environmental impact they have.
What helped you get through lockdown?
It was my friends and family that helped me to get through lockdown. Giving me their support when I was unsure of what was happening and even if it would be possible to go back into the hot shop. They encouraged me to keep designing and take influence from what was around me, and what made me happy. These resulted in my going out and collecting drawings and photography of birds in the fields at the back of my house. Capturing and evolving these moments in my design of what I would see when bird watching.
What inspires you most on a day-to-day basis?
On a day-to-day basis I am inspired by what lies outside my door. This could be the wildlife I see whilst on walks or the people I meet. They all have a story to share which I can be influenced by.
When spending so much time at home within the last year, what did you realise you were grateful for?
Throughout the last year I have been grateful for the support I have been given not only by my friends and family, but by other people in the design and craft world. Seeing them share their knowledge and pull together in times of need.
What’s your go to stimulus when you start to create work?
My go to stimulus is to grab my water colours and fine liner and go on a walk taking observational drawings of the world around me. Currently focusing on bird watching. As well as collecting natural foraged materials I could use in or develop my design work.