Inspired: Emma Iles

by Webmaster, 19th March 2019

Textile art by Emma Iles (Seaforth Designs), Pembrokeshire

Originally from Wiltshire, Emma moved to Solva in Pembrokeshire in 2003 with husband Chris and sons Connor, Finn and Jack. A former window dresser and seamstress, she launched Seaforth Designs when she moved to the coast and now works as a textile artist full time.


Above: Seabird Collection

“These are some of my coastal cushion designs, with Solva Harbour in the background.”



“Often I’ll find a tweed and the colours in it will remind me of a certain bird or animal which will spark a design – and that was the case with this. An Irish tweed made me think of the dunlins I often see pottering around the harbour. Then it was a case of getting its shape right, but luckily my husband is very knowledgeable about birds so I often ask his advice. The dunlin ended up becoming the logo for Seaforth Designs. It might seem an obscure choice, but it has a lovely coastal feel, is a very popular design of mine, and the way that dunlins feed, by flitting up and down the shore, is often described as being like a sewing machine or stitching – very apt for my business.”



“After creating my dunlin design, I could see it as a fabric, so last year I launched that and a mug featuring the same pattern. Both have proved very popular.”



“The puffin was one of the designs I thought I ought to do, because of where I live and their importance locally. However, after a trip to Skomer with the boys – who loved it and have been back several times since – I also really wanted to create a puffin design and it’s another popular one. They’re such comedic birds and with thousands of them on the island it makes for a bizarre scene. Black, red and yellow might seem an odd colour combination to have in the house but these cushions look really retro and funky.”



“You hear oystercatchers before you see them – they make a little noise like one of those boiled sweet whistles you used to get. You then look across and see them darting over the sand. But what I particularly like about the oystercatcher is the white wave-like shape on their chests – so I incorporated this into my design and exaggerated it for effect.”


Scroll down for more examples of Emma’s work…


For more information

• To see more of Emma’s work visit her website and online shop at: www.seaforthdesigns.com


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