The Indian Font

Shruti Barton MA Creative Economy

Designer Embroidery.

Designer Embroidery with Becky Hogg, Hand Embroiderer

www.beckyhogg.com

BeckyHoggLogo

Design thinking can be applied in many contexts, as seen in my last post. In my opinion, design thinking has been a concept used by many craftsmen and artisans for centuries, in order to depict symbolic meaning and a sign of high social status, from the Islamic world to more recently, the Wedding Dress, worn by the Duchess of Cambridge. Whilst the industrial revolution has enabled us to mass produce embroidery using machines, the delicate nature of hand embroidery remains an art form in itself. It is for these reasons that I wanted to share with you the work of hand embroiderer, Becky Hogg.

Royal Opera House Embroidery

Royal Opera House curtains

What exactly is it that you do?

I am a specialist hand embroiderer. I do client commissions (new projects and restoration) have written 2 embroidery technique books, produce kits, teach (workshops at Our Patterned hand and on the diploma at the Royal School of Needlework) , and make and sell my own work on Etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop/BeckyHogg.

Blackwork Embroidery Kit

Blackwork Embroidery Kit

How long have you been doing it for?

15 years.

What did you study?

Multi media textiles at Loughborough then I did an apprenticeship in hand embroidery at the Royal School of Needlework (RSN).

What were your favourite subjects and why?

From school age always Art and Textiles because it was an outlet for my creativity. I loved drawing, colour and pattern.

Who gave you your first big break?

It was when I worked in the RSN studios after my apprenticeship, and I got to work on the new Royal Opera house curtains.

Can you list your most successful pieces of work to date and explain why they are so successful?

  1. Royal Opera house curtains
  2. Lace appliqué on the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress
  3. Embroidery on a corset for Alexandra McQueen Paris show
  4. My embroidery kits.
Duchess of Cambridge's Wedding Dress, lace applique by Becky Hogg.

Duchess of Cambridge’s Wedding Dress, lace applique by Becky Hogg. (Image by Madgnus D, creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

I suppose the success of the first 3 is because they were so high profile, they were/are seen by millions of people worldwide! On a personal level the 2 embroidery kits I’ve produced have sold well and are still selling over a year on. These help to promote my brand and also the classes I do.

Who is your biggest inspiration in life?

It sounds corny but I would say Richard Hogg, my husband who is a graphic designer. Since we met I have always been in awe of his work and amazing ideas! He’s great at motivating me too!

What is your opinion of the internet and social media and its impact on your craft?

I think it’s a great thing and has certainly helped build my business. I use Twitter to let people know about new products and classes I have. I sell my products through the website shop Etsy.

How do you market yourself?

I have a website, I use twitter, mail outs. Handing out business cards. Showing retailers my products.

Wooden Moth Brooch

Wooden Moth Brooch

What are your words of advice to prospective artists/craftspeople looking to pursue a career in the art world?

It is a hard industry to make it in as there is so much competition, and also embroidery and craft is seen as a lesser art than say a painting, but you mustn’t under value what you do!

Becky and I met on a ski holiday about 5 years ago. Becky is as skilled at skiing, (she managed to get down that black run which left me with a broken leg!) as she is at embroidery. You can watch out for her in the Alps in January! Becky your work is an inspiration, thank you!

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