Thursday, 24 July 2014

Artist Feature: The Wonderful work of Molly Ellis (Ewe Sir)

Ewe sir is an Irish paper goods and textile range by Cork based artist Molly Ellis. This unique wildlife art is designed with the individual character and personality of each animal in mind and animal lover Molly aims to awaken nature in the hearts and homes of the owner.

Molly has a unique method of creating her artworks- the process includes stitching together materials such as raw wool fibers, Irish moss, and vintage fabrics. She then captures the image and prints it in 2D onto paper and card. The result is something that is beautiful and delicate and it appears to be so textured and tactile that you just have to try and touch it!

These endearing and unusual and collectibles are the perfect gift for an art and animal lover, dreamer and nature enthusiast.

1. How did your business come about (and when did you start)?

Molly = art + animals. That’s just how I was made. I need both of these things to be me. I was teaching art for a few years which sparked an interest in the craft side of things. I loved the buzz around fairs and experimenting with materials. It seemed like lots more fun than exhibitions and galleries and parent teacher meetings.

2. Can you give a quick insight into your working method? (ideas, techniques, etc.)

Each piece has a process. I usually study the animal through sketches, photos and generally interaction. I want to capture its essence not just its likeness. I sketch out the outline on pre-felt and then pop it under the sewing machine. I completely free hand it from there. Often I work on several pieces at once and come back to it a few weeks later. I like to work on all the stitching at once or all the felting or dying at the same time. I think I get better work that way.
I turn a lot of my originals into prints and notebooks. I have to photograph each piece really carefully to get the texture and detail just right. I am always looking for the print to fool the buyer. They should go to touch it, even though they know it’s just paper. I am as precise about my pocket notebooks as I am about my originals.

3. What has been the hardest single obstacle to your life in design (apart from a shortage of time, which seems to be universal amongst creatives!)? 

If I can’t say time as that’s non-existent, I would say space! I work from home so trying to squeeze it all in is just mind boggling. Last time people visited I spent three days perilously stacking boxes of paper, ink, and wool so they had a bed to sleep in. 

4. How do you stay motivated? What inspires you?

I am always buzzing with ideas. Its because I love nature and have filled my life with it. I live 3 minutes from an amazing beach. I have surrounded myself with chickens, dogs, horses, wild rabbits and donkeys. I built a life that inspires me.

Motivation is different. That’s tough, there are aspects of the business I am just pure stubborn about. It takes a lot of chocolate to get me through that.

5. Describe your creative space

At present it's in my head! The actual space is in my kitchen as it has the best light. If I looked around I might have to tidy or cook or something and I wouldn’t get much done. I have a lovely old table and a tree branch over my head to hang my ideas from.

6. What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

To say “I” rather than “we”. I used to say stuff like “sure we all think that..” now I say “I think that”. It's empowering, and confidence building. I own my own opinions, dreams and thoughts. I do not need to validate it.

You can keep up to date with Molly's work here...

(all above images are © Molly Ellis)