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Sustainable Design and Material Futures

James Merry's Embroidery Wonderland

James Merry's Embroidery Wonderland

Meet James Merry, self-taught embroidery artist and creative assistant to Bjork.

 James Merry via  @james.t.merry

James Merry via @james.t.merry

Residing in a small cabin studio just outside Reykjavik Merry dreams up wondrous works of stitch, imagining a place of transformation where anatomy and botany meet.

I was fascinated by that overlap between botanical and anatomical. It’s always such a lush place, where two seemingly different worlds can overlap.
— Jame Merry
 Fuchsia growing out of a tear duct from the book Anatomies

Fuchsia growing out of a tear duct from the book Anatomies

In addition to Merry’s latest embroidery headpiece for Bjork, Tactile Trends looks at ‘The Embroidered Gaze’ for the V&A Museum and ‘Sporticulture’ for Opening Ceremony. 

Bjork

Bjork steps out in the ‘Ghost Orchid’ headpiece at her recent concert in Montreal, looking like a fantastical creature from a Techno Wonderland. The 3D sculptural embroidery features plastic, wire and glass and also glows under UV light adding extra depth and dimension.

This latest artwork from the ongoing collaboration between Merry and Bjork sees their creative partnership continue to push boundaries giving us tactile artworks that appeal to our senses on so many levels.

 Bjork wearing the 'Ghost Orchid' Headpiece via  @james.t.merry

Bjork wearing the 'Ghost Orchid' Headpiece via @james.t.merry

 Bjork wearing the 'Ghost Orchid' head piece via  @james.t.merry

Bjork wearing the 'Ghost Orchid' head piece via @james.t.merry


…meeting and working with her has definitely been the best thing that ever happened to me, in so many ways.
— James Merry

The Embroidered Gaze

Commissioned by the V&A Museum this hand-embroidered piece used eye-tracking technology to record the precise position of Merry’s pupils as he looked at a series of sculptures from the Museum collection. After analyzing the many hours of raw data Merry was left with a ‘personal gaze journey’ which he re-imagined into a tactile embroidery piece using gold, silk and neon threads, beadwork and French knots. 

 Close up of the Embroidered Gaze

Close up of the Embroidered Gaze

Sporticulture

The flora and fauna of Iceland grows organically into Merry’s work for Opening Ceremony. We see glacier flowers, moss, vegetables and local endangered plants rooting themselves into sportswear logos suggesting a kind of fertilization. It’s a whimsical transformation of a machine made aesthetic and strongly represents the growing trend movement for individual style and slow fashion.

 Image via  @james.t.merry

Image via @james.t.merry

 Image via  @james.t.merry

Image via @james.t.merry

I guess these embroideries are similar to the drawings in Anatomies, in that they both focus on a very particular point of transformation—the moment when one thing turns into something else. I’m obsessed with that.
— James Merry

The way Merry elegantly bridges the gap between traditional needle craft and technology could easily play into emerging trends for data informed design and equally the theatre he injects into his works is hugely inspiring for trend building around themes of transformation. 

Cashmere - The Real Cost

Cashmere - The Real Cost

Byborre Elevate Wearable Tech

Byborre Elevate Wearable Tech