Frankly, The Folksy Magazine


New Designer – Emma Cowell

by Emily. Average Reading Time: about 2 minutes.

emma cowell detail

Decorative Arts Graduate Emma Cowell creates beautifully delicate patterns using pen and paper. It makes me want to get my Sharpie out…

Tell us about your work and your style.

My work is 2D relief illustration and paper cutting. I mostly produce framed pieces and also do commissioned pieces, drawings/illustrations, and have done larger scale installation pieces. I begin with drawing, and develop the lines with the use of traditional hand paper cutting techniques, building up layers of paper. I love line and structure even within organic forms, so in the past I’ve also used wire/metal/ceramics and my work can be applied to other mediums which I love. Using paper as a material allows the use of light, scale, depth, and provides a platform for the traditional techniques I value so much. I think my style is creating work that fits with our times, using traditional techniques, beauty within craft.

How did you get into surface design?

I have always been creative, from being a small child I just loved drawing, and finding interesting things. I studied Decorative Arts at university, during which time I experimented with a wide variety of materials, whatever I did, I always came back to decoration and constructing works with many components, which is the way I also draw, building line upon line to create a final piece. I started paper-cutting by experimenting with drawing techniques and thats how I found a happy medium between 2D and 3D.

Emma Cowell - Leafy
Emma Cowell - Leafy

What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment I’m doing lots of drawings on new subjects and also introducing more colour. I have also discovered doing portraits with paper cuts, which I started purely as a gift for some friends and found that I really enjoyed it and it took how I work in a new direction and a new commissions opportunity. I like to keep creative in all areas so I’m always taking photographs and creating typology pieces as a result of this, I love repetition which I think shows in my work.

Emma Cowell - Peony
Emma Cowell - Peony

Where would you like to be in 5 years time?

I would like to be making. I’d love to collaborate with a more 3D artists and just grow as a maker. Obviously I’d love to have a massive studio looking out into nature, getting commissions left right and centre, and travelling around the world with my work, but as long as I still love being a maker, thats the important thing.

Emma Cowell - Leafy
Emma Cowell - Leafy

You can see more of Emma’s work on her website or on Arts Thread. Want to see more? Browse paper artists on Folksy.