Textile artist and designer Ealish Wilson creates bespoke sculptural textiles that showcases materiality and craft. Her architectural and whimsical constructions are inspired by travel, fashion, photography, and traditional sewing techniques. Each piece contrasts the old with the new, building layers of constructed and deconstructed elements.
The art of making is at the heart of every step of the work. Making is not just an end point, but the very first step in the creation of each piece. Early samples, images, and textures are worked and reworked throughout the process. Investigating and creating new patterns through fabric manipulation is key to her work. Materials are often converted to digital form, manipulated, then returned to textile to be meticulously finished by hand.
Drawing on aesthetic traditions from Japan and the arts and crafts movement, Ealish’s personal touch is evident in all she produces. Whether the piece features many hours of smocking work or patterns carefully manipulated to trick the eye and create depth, the result of this meditative process is a work of timeless beauty.
I had been using mizuhiki strings – Japanese washi paper ties). After moving to California I became aware of the zip tie after visiting an electronics store. I thought these would be a great alternative to the mizuhiki string – the California version! I started to experiment with them in my work to tie my pleating and smocking. The texture they create when used on mass is wonderful. Dying them adds a whole new dimension and creates a level of intrigue for people, at first they have no idea what they are viewing. I like the idea of taking a mundane item and turning it into something unexpected.