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Seaweed Drawings

The organic shapes of the sea are the main influence on my mother's work. She swims, collects seaweed, dries it and draws it - reimagining the shape in ink, before moulding beeswax into the unconventional and beautiful shapes found naturally on the shore.

These ink drawings are often discarded, they are part of the process of making work, and once they have helped her to understand the ebbs and flows of a piece of kelp they are no longer useful.

When I was asked to redesign the way that Emily Nixon jewellery is packaged, and how the values and design process of the work can be reinterpreted into print, tissue paper, and stationary, I knew that my mother's doodles were the place to start. They encompass everything her work represents; they are spontaneous creative moments, captured permanently - and most of all they are beautiful. 

I asked her to spend a few days drawing more than usual. Using ink and a small brush, she drew pieces of dried seaweed, slowly developing each one until we had pages full of drawings.

Mum and I then spent a day piecing her drawings together onto a huge sheet, creating a tapestry of marks. We wanted a universal design; a wall paper of seaweed that we could pick and choose sections to turn into print. 

The final designs I hope do justice to the original drawings; and translates the beautiful doodles that can be found on the backs of envelopes all over our house into packaging that is sophisticated, exciting - but also as unconventional and as unique as the jewellery that it wraps. 

Written by George Nixon 

 

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