A 2014 graduate of Mixed Media Textiles at the RCA – before that studying Printed Textiles at Central Saint Martins – Gemma Kay Waggett makes wonderful graphic embroidered or printed textile pieces in bold colour combinations. Based in Stroud, she is showing her work at two venues at this month’s London Design Festival: Design Junction, where the focus is on her tables, and Making Matters, Material Lab where she will be demonstrating her working process live.
“I’m inspired by my daily surroundings – I photograph anything that intrigues me,” says Waggett, who references the shapes and patterns of her collection Beyond Woven back to a book about wicker and woven furniture making and a set of Geometric educational stamps. “My main processes are screen-printing, hand/machine embroidery and material collage. I have sewn since I was a child, but it was only at the RCA that this technique found its way into my practice as I began to use the digital embroiderer as a tool for recreating my patterns and drawn shapes through stitch.”
Waggett is also the brains behind a pop up shop venture, Nothing But Navy, which sells homewares products, accessories and stationery by various independent designers, all in her favourite shade. “I think navy has a unisex, timeless appeal so I thought it would make the perfect environment for shopping,” she says. The next pop ups will open later in the year at In House Studios on London’s Redchurch Street from 20-23 November and on 7 December at Premas’ Christmas Crackers in Gloucestershire. Meanwhile look out for Waggett’s most recent commission – and her biggest piece of embroidery yet – at the new PURO hotel in Poznan, Poland.