emily maude presents illustrative hand drawn unique gifts

Emily Maude presents illustrative hand drawn unique gifts

Homegirl London pays homage to Emily Maude.  This design business is owned by Emily Maude Cross who makes everything from decorated plates, cotton tea towels, blank greeting cards, gift wrapping paper, stationery note pads and plenty of unique gifts like pull-along animals on wheels.  Her style is illustrative and hand-drawn with a muted colour palette added digitally.  She describes her work as in the style of mid-century modern, an era she’s passionate about.  Emily spends time in France which is evident through her eccentric and somewhat quirky illustrations which include bunny rabbits, cats, dogs and birds.  It’s a mix of heritage, nature and French folk art charm all rolled into one.  I caught up with Emily Maude to find out more.

emily maude silk lavender pillow

La Maison Silk Lavender Pillow

Meet Emily Maude

Emily studied Illustration at Brighton University.  She tells me – “I started realising at University that there was a different way to make illustration work that was moving away from the traditional editorial illustration market.  At the end of my course, I won a prize which was set up by John Vernon Lord called the John Vernon Lord Sketchbook Prize.  I decided to use that money to get my first exhibition stand and was lucky to be taken under the wings of MADE Brighton so I took a stand at that exhibition.  I decided that if it worked out well I would carry on and if it didn’t I would try something else.  Luckily, it worked!  Then I needed to settle on a name for the business.  I ended up using my first and middle names – Maude comes from my great grandmothers on both sides of my family who were both called Alice Maude so I felt that it reflected well upon my themes of heritage.”

emily maude owner emily cross

Emily Maude Cross

Growing up in a creative household, Emily has always been surrounded by the beautiful artist-made homewares, she reveals – “My mother didn’t believe in plastic or treating children differently, I was given the same ceramic bowls as adults were but were taught to treat things with respect.  I never broke one piece as a result and love homewares.  She also bought a Gerard Rigot cat shaped chair for me.  The same one is held in the Bethnal Green Toy Museum, it’s stunning.  Sadly it’s too small for me these days but the cat enjoys sitting on the cat!”

emily maude cat card set

Cat Card Set

Today Emily is based in Brighton, she tells me – “I have always loved the city from coming here with my Dad when I was younger and it seemed the right fit for the university.  Afterwards, I decided to stay and have now bought a home so I feel firmly rooted in Brighton.  It’s not the most affordable city to live in but it’s got a great community and there’s always something going on.  Plus it’s got the best restaurants outside of London and it’s only an hour to the big smoke so you can never get bored.”

emily maude boozy bunny brooch

Boozy Bunny Brooch

Working mostly alone, Emily does call upon her friends when she has a big rush on.  She enjoys the variety her business brings her – “Every day is different and there’s real satisfaction in creating something from start to finish and getting to see the joy that your products make to people’s everyday lives.  I had a wonderful moment when a lady told me she was in love with my ‘Boozy Bunnies’ and had been collecting them over the years so that she now had a total of six along her mantelpiece.  Seeing how happy they made her was priceless.”

Emily Maude Collection

Emily tells me about her product range – “I make a real mixture from ceramics to unique collages and animals on wheels.”  Homewares include decorative plates, mugs, cotton tea towels, trays, cushions, candles and art.  Stationery gifts include notepads, greeting cards and gift wrap.  Additional items range from lavender bags, brooches and her animals on wheels.

emily maude tea towel and mug

Kitchenalia Tea Towel and Mug

Emily describes her style – “It’s mid-century modern and I use a muted palette of tones from this era and the 1930s to colour my work.  I’m inspired by the interwar period and artists such as Edward Bawden, Eric Ravilious, Graham Sutherland and Paul Nash.  Someone I admire from today is Margo Selby who has a distinctive and beautiful style.  Everything I draw is in black and white with very fine pens and then I scan these and colour them digitally.  I enjoy drawing different patterns within my drawings and finding new ways to make a mark.  I have my Foundation tutor in my head often saying “make every line matter” so I try to make every mark purposeful.”

emily maude ladux note books

Laduz Note Book

Inspiration comes from heritage and nature, Emily reveals – “You’re just as likely to find me dipping into a book about the history of a certain building as you are to see me drawing random objects in a remote museum.  I’m like a blackbird, once I’ve got hold of the worm I’m not letting it go until I’ve learnt it all!  I’m also inspired a lot by my travels, particularly to France.  We spend a lot of time out there as a family in the summers and I have found a great little museum in a village called Laduz.  This has inspired my Laduz collection which features items drawn from the museum and is seen on everything from wrapping paper to wooden trays.  It’s great because it’s devoted to the history and traditions of rural France and there are some exceptional pieces of folk art in there too.  I just love it and feel very inspired by seeing such a great collection.”

emily maude ladux tea towel

 Laduz Tea Towel

The most popular selling product which Emily is known for is called Boozy Bunny, she tells me – “They are made from vintage beermats and old solicitor’s letters from the 19th Century.  I managed to find a job lot of letters and think when they run out so have the bunnies.  I imagine a whole group of solicitors that are sitting around a table in a pub and these naughty rabbits hop in and steal their papers and beermats to make new outfits.  Each one is totally unique and can be personalised.  I’ve made them for babies, weddings, mother’s day gifts but the most popular person is for men.  They cannot resist them.”

emily maude boozy bunny artwork

Boozy Bunny Art

Emily makes her products in Europe, mainly the UK and a vast quantity by hand in her studio.  She tells me – “A lot of people think that some of my pieces are made in a factory but the reality is I make most of the products by hand but I use techniques such as laser cutting to speed things up.  I like to use UK based manufacturers to help me because I believe in regenerating our industries.  It’s amazing to see what’s coming out of Stoke on Trent for instance when the pottery industry there very nearly died.  There are a lot of small businesses working to build it up again and I think we should be proud of them and support them.  There’s a lot of knowledge which I don’t think we should lose, it’s the same with the printing presses.”

Buy Emily Maude Products

To find out more about Emily Maude products go to the website at www.emilymaude.com.  In terms of price points, a card starts at £2.50, bone china mugs are £12 and a pull along animal is just £50. Emily can personalise the Boozy Bunnies with important dates, places or names for £70.  She can ship her products overseas.

Author: Homegirl London.  Photographs and Thanks: Emily.