Friday, 4 February 2011

Artisan Feature: Meet Kirsty Elson


Driftwood Boats

I am so pleased to be able to share the work of the talented designer maker Kirsty Elson with you all today.  Her distinctive nautical style is naturally appealing, with boats made from driftwood that Kirsty finds on her local beaches, to cards, framed work and textile art.

But lets start at the beginning:

Kirsty studied illustration and printmaking at Anglia Polytechnic University, which is now known as Cambridge School of Art.  Following the birth of her first child, her family made the move to Cornwall which is where she now lives and works.
Wanting to find something that was both flexible and creative to do whilst looking after her son, Kirsty began designing and making driftwood greetings cards...  

Driftwood Boat Greetings Card

And that was just the start of things to come.

Her work has blossomed into a thriving business, and she regularly trawls beaches close to her studio for driftwood and found objects that she can turn into wonderfully unique pieces of sculpture or art.
She considers herself very lucky that part of her work involves wandering about on beaches for a living (I agree - she is!)

Driftwood Beach Huts ~ Framed Art

Working with driftwood is Kirsty's favourite medium- each piece is absolutely unique, embellished with cheery fabric bunting and other beach-combed objects.  I love the recycled element of kirsty's work - something that has been thrown away or discarded, or washed up on the shore finds a new life in her bright, contemporary pieces such as this beautiful Driftwood Heart, or the Paintbrush Fish made from the handles of old paintbrushes!

Driftwood Heart

Paintbrush Fish

Kirsty is also a talented textile artist; polka dots and ticking fabrics feature widely in her work and she has designed and created the most covetable items in her studio ~ take a look:

'Cornish Harbour' Framed Textile Art

Sea Life Mobile

Kirsty is influenced strongly by her Cornish surroundings, especially the beautiful coastline ~ and the inspiration she draws from it is clearly reflected in the work she produces.

Lavender Fish

Love Birds

More recently, Kirsty has begun working on her collages again.  She creates these beautiful one off pieces using magazines and builds up the most amazing visual art work of local coastal landmarks.

'St Ives' Collage

This is a personal favourite of mine.  The attention to detail is absolutely amazing - I'm sure you will agree.

I have got to know Kirsty through Blogging, and am both inspired and awed by her outrageous talent.  If you would like to see more of Kirstys' work, you are welcome to visit her brand new gallery website:  Kirsty Elson Designs which was launched just this week, as well as the following online galleries which stock her work:

Kirsty Elson at Folksy
Not on the High Street

You can also find her inspiring Blog by visiting Sixty One A, and visit her Facebook Page for current updates on what she's up to.

I hope you have enjoyed this second Artisan Feature - I'll be hosting another one in March for you!

Julia x


  1. Great feature Julia - I want ALL of her work!!! That collage of ST Ives is

  2. Fantastic work! Thank you so much for presenting such fine British artists (starting with you, of course!) :)

  3. Gorgeous, don't know which I like most... I loved the driftwood heart, then fell for the birds in a cage, then that collage... all beautiful. Thank you.

  4. What a talented artist. Thanks for sharing.
    A x

  5. Fabulous post! I recently found Kirsty's blog and work (it might even have been through your blog, Julia) and absolutely love it! It was so interesting to read more about her here and to find out about her new gallery which I'll go and visit. Thanks, Julia! Have a great weekend. Helen x

  6. Just my sort of artist - thanks for sharing - I will follow the links.

  7. What lovely stuff ~ I'm a big fan of seaside inspired art and this work is great ~ Thanks for posting about it :O)xx

  8. I love her work, so wonderful! I love this feature idea, I am doing a similar thing on my blog too so if you fancy a role reversal and featuring on my blog please do pop me an e-mail :-)

  9. You know I'm a big fan of Kirsty's work too, I love it all! I agree, am very jealous of the beach combing for a living, lucky thing :) xxx

  10. Hello Julia! Thank you for a lovely feature! I like to think that Kirsty is my blog friend and I love all her unique works! Her paper colagges was the first thing that I payed attention and later found all the wonderful things she creates!
    I wish you sunny weekend! Teje

  11. Lovely work! Thanks Julia for sharing this. xx

  12. Hi Julia, I've followed Kirsty for a while now and love her work. I would love the cornish harbour fabric picture but then I would love any of her stuff. Nice post thanks
    Pene x

  13. very creative ,and i am your new follower..would love if you visit back my blog..thanks

  14. Hi Julia thank you for sharing such a talented and versatile artist. I am particularly drawn to driftwood.
    Jo x

  15. Her work is interesting and I think has a certain quirkiness and even a sense of humour. The bundle of fish had me giving a bit of a giggle with all those googly eyes and their likeness to a bunch of sardines! Loved the tangled driftwood heart too as well as other pieces.

  16. What a wonderful find, Kirsty's work is fabulous and right up my street. I went a bit weak at the knees over those cute little driftwood houses!
    Lovely new feature on your blog Julia....who's coming next I wonder?

  17. love the fish and the driftwood heart...great post


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