Combine your skills as a graphic artist and paper cutter, use a mix of card, acrylic, paper and plywood and what do get? In Emma Westwater’s case you get beautifully crafted wall mounted pictures, cards and jewellery. That’s the genius of a designer whose unusual and highly sellable products light up a corner of the Scottish Design Exchange shop in Ocean Terminal and will soon be available in its new store in Glasgow’s Buchanan Galleries.
It doesn’t take long to glean where Emma’s talents and passions come from. With her father a printer and her husband Murray, an illustrator, who works in advertising, her family is positively steeped in the world of creative production. Now her daughter, Sorcha, aged 8, is also in on the act. “She has become adept at picking off the protective film from my cut acrylic pieces and helps me barcode my products.” says Emma.
For years, she depended on her own eye for detail and accuracy to do the paper cutting.” Now with the benefit of a laser cutter in her home-based studio Emma’s improved her productivity and potential for growth.
It was the opportunity to sell through the Scottish Design Exchange that provided the big breakthrough for Emma.
“That chance came two years ago and it was a game-changer for me. It allowed me to test the market in a way I had never been able to do. That in itself was a huge boost. Each of the staff at SDX has been brilliant - guiding me on what is most and least likely to sell and how best to display my products. Because they care about the artists and want us to do well they use their eyes and ears on a daily basis – they know what customers are most drawn to and hear what they say. That is such a bonus. With an expanding range of jewellery on display Emma has a simple philosophy “If I want to wear it, I make it.”
As for the future, Emma simply wants to make more great stuff.