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Emma Cassi

Published:

I love creating beautiful images with textures and objects.

My home is located outside Windsor town, near the river Thames and five minutes from Windsor Great Park, where many of the oak and yew trees have stood for over 1,000 years.

Emma Cassi

I grew up in a village near Dijon, playing in the sawmill of my grandfather and the metal scrap yard of my dad. My games as a child were making dens with old blankets on piles of wooden planks, searching for treasures in the piles of crushed cars (which was pretty dangerous and not really allowed) and my favorite pastime was time traveling in a 19th-century horse carriage. Nature was a very important part of my upbringing, from collecting mushrooms to taking long walks in the forest and mountains.

Emma Cassi

I was eleven when my aunt, a painter, gave me my first lesson in portrait drawing. I think it all started there, and after that I decided to go to art college as a student. Thanks to my family, I have learned to be a free thinker, and this is what I am trying to pass on to my own kids. It has helped me to work on my own and be more resourceful.

I have been creating for as long as I can remember, but my first real ‘body of work’ was my final exhibition at Fine Art college. It was drawings and Chinese ink on vintage papers (which I found in my parents’ cellar) with trees and landscapes from a place in the middle of France called Aubrac.

Emma Cassi

In 1999, when I started making jewelry, I used only recuperated materials; vintage lace from my parents’ attic, reclaimed beads and sequins. I studied the embroidery of Indian saris and also drew inspiration from Dries Van Noten garments, then I practiced embroidery for hours. I was based in London and I started to sell my jewellery to Cath Kidston, Harrods, The Cross, and Topshop.

Emma Cassi

I have been making jewelry for the past 20 years; I still make some occasionally to hang on trees as decoration or for my daughter, members of my family and myself of course! When my husband and I moved to England 20 years ago, I had to find a way to earn a living, and jewelry-making happily became a good way to claim financial independence.

Emma Cassi
A lot of my inspiration comes from my walks in nature, my love for trees, my dreams…

After a few years of working on my own, I joined Country Living magazine to explore the world of styling, but it turns out that office life was not really me. So I became a freelance stylist, working for Laura Ashley and The White Company. At that time I was still making jewelry, so I was combining all the things I loved doing and still love doing.

Emma Cassi
My styling projects slowed down little by little after the birth of my second child, so I decided to focus all my energy on my jewelry business, which also meant I could work from home. During these years I was producing lots of jewelry, and our home transformed into a ‘mini-factory’ with the help of a small creative team. I was able to sell my work to Anthropologie in the U.S. and London and still hand-make big orders for H.P France Goldie shops all over Japan.

Emma Cassi

Selling my jewelry to H.P France Goldie and traveling to Japan has been the most interesting part of my work. I feel very lucky because I discovered the beauty of the Japanese culture: the temples, the gardens, the amazing traditional textiles, the pottery such as Raku, the amazing food…and above all, I met some fantastic people.

It was also a new way of seeing the power of nature, which I was longing to regain while living in London. Japanese artists and artisans love to show the mystery of nature in their creations; a good example is the animated movie Totoro by Studio Ghilbli. You can experience it in the Japanese way of living too, which mixes both the perfection of beauty and modesty.

Emma Cassi

After having to make so many pieces by hand, my shoulder and neck were hurting so I hired some help from embroiderers in India. Their work was fantastic, but because it wasn’t my hands making the jewellery, my passion naturally went in another direction.

I found myself focusing more on my garden, and gradually I had to make some tough business decisions. When I decided to stop selling jewelry, I spent a year studying anatomy, physiology and massage in order to get a degree and start the next step in my life, which was learning herbalism and aromatherapy.

Emma Cassi

It is a long extended training and a mysterious initiation, and I’m really interested in doing it on my own for the moment. Like everything I’ve done in life, the most important thing is to find my own way…

I’m only at the beginning of my apprenticeship in herbalism. I am learning how to make teas, syrups and cakes with plants and flowers. I grow a few like comfrey, chamomile and angelica in my garden, but I haven’t got enough to use roots just yet. My next step will be Echinacea and marshmallow. I am also dreaming up a project to create oak leaf tinctures made with my dad’s homemade alcohol, but I will have to wait for the spring buds.

Emma Cassi

The hedgerow handbook Recipes, Remedies and Rituals by Adele Nozedar is a good book to start—but be careful: you need to be 100% sure about the herbs you are using.

I love to take photographs and play around with Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement. I incorporate inspired florals with the leftovers of my foraging, and sometimes go on special trips with lots of paper bags to collect nuts, leaves and berries to dye silk and few of my clothes. Sometimes it works, and other times it is not successful at all!

Emma Cassi

In French we have a this philosophy called “au petit bonheur la chance,” which means “leaving something up to luck.” I follow this philosophy when I’m cooking (I don’t follow any recipes really, I just look at the pretty images). This is how I like to garden too.

Moving to the countryside and entering my work for consideration to the prestigious Hand and Lock competition was the very beginning of my embroidery project Silk without me knowing it. It allowed me to reconnect with nature and art. I am very intuitive and I don’t really like planning too much ahead. I make the most from my mistakes and truly believe that following my heart is the best way. When I try to think about it too much, I lose interest.

Emma Cassi

I love to search through soft fabrics at the Cloth House in London; it is a lovely shop full of Indian cottons, vintage fabrics and ribbons. I am always looking for vintage threads in charity shops in Windsor.

Inspiration comes from authors such as alchemist Patrick Burensteinas, traveller Sylvain Tesson, and shaman Corine Sombrun. I watch YouTube channels such as Li Ziqi, Passe-moi les jumelles, and Hym media. I love TV programs such as INREES TV and Lilou Macé, as well as films such as Only Lovers Left Alive by Jim Jarmusch, The Salt of the Earth by Win Wenders, The Seasons in Quincy by Tilda Swinton and The Derek Jarman Lab.

Emma Cassi

I’m also immensely inspired by gardeners Gilles Clement and Piet Oudolf, as well as scientists and thinkers Tom Campbell, Nassim Haramein, and Philippe Guillemant. I admire musicians Nadia Simon and Yatao, artists Hilma Af Klint and Emma Kunz, parfumer Sandrine Giordanengo and chefs Jeong Kwan and Matthew and Ian Pennington from The Ethicurean.

Most of the time, I do embroidery in the morning, drinking herbal tea, listening to science and spirituality podcasts or music like Laboratorium Piesni. I move around a lot in order to not hurt my hand and shoulder with repetitive strains, so I sit, I stand and I stop quite often. I take notes in my little red book, I prepare lunch, clean the house, and do the laundry.

Emma Cassi

Silk is the softest fabric for my fingers to push my needle in. I have worked with so many hard or thick lace fabrics for my previous embroidery that now I need soft, thin fabric between my fingers. I use long threads and, unlike my earlier work, I don’t embroider with beads or sequins so my arm can do big, fluid and free motions with thread.

I have come to realize that embroidery is more seasonal in this house; I have a tendency to embroider more in winter. Winters are so long in England that embroidery helps me in biding my time for spring to reveal itself so I can go out into my garden again.

Emma Cassi

My biggest challenge is yet to come, deciding how best to communicate my new body of stitchery work. How can I showcase it, how can I find the right words to express what Silk is about and find spaces to exhibit in? This is all ahead of me.

Another new body of work is called The Secret Teachings of Plants in the direct perception of nature from a book by Stephen Harrod Buhner. It is silk flags embroidered with circles of long colorful threads and beaded links, dyed with leaves, berries and conkers. The fabric is embroidered on both sides and mounted on a bamboo frame.

Emma Cassi

My aim is to display these flags in gardens. The long threads will fly in the wind or even make knots with any branches or seeds living in the garden.

My biggest accomplishment is the refurbishing of our home we live in and most of the entire garden. I am so proud to grow big courgettes, beautiful rainbow Swiss chards, beetroots and carrots using the permaculture lasagna techniques. I am growing amaranth and flowers from seeds—these are small but immense successes for me.

Emma Cassic

The house is quite modern and maybe not what I love, but I had the image of the house in The Secret World of Arrietty (Studio Ghibli), where the vegetation covers all of the house inside and outside with a big meadow around. It will take time for that, but the vines grow quickly and the poor soil is recovering already. I mix vegetables and flowers like Comfrey and Phacelia and I am growing a little meadow on one side and the wildlife is now thriving.

Emma Cassi

I feel that now that I live in the countryside, creation is in everything I do or make, from collecting twigs to making floral arrangements to looking for solutions to using less plastic packaging at home or even making compost. Foraging plants and flowers during my daily walks or runs is such a pleasure; back home I mix them to make teas. Many of them I dry so I have a stock for winter, and I also document them in my herbariums to learn and remember the names of medicinal plants.

I love the almond smell of meadowsweet that I collect near the river, and the powerful fragrance of lime flowers in bloom near The Savill Garden. The scent of the elderflowers in spring is everywhere here.

I am grateful that here in the countryside I can teach my kids about wild plants, watch as they rub the leaves of Tansy against their fingers and smell the intense perfume, and taste the cow parsnip’s dried up fruits in September. We all love being surrounded by the creativity of nature.

I love creating beautiful images with textures and objects.

My home is located outside Windsor town, near the river Thames and five minutes from Windsor Great Park, where many of the oak and yew trees have stood for over 1,000 years.

Emma Cassi

I grew up in a village near Dijon, playing in the sawmill of my grandfather and the metal scrap yard of my dad. My games as a child were making dens with old blankets on piles of wooden planks, searching for treasures in the piles of crushed cars (which was pretty dangerous and not really allowed) and my favorite pastime was time traveling in a 19th-century horse carriage. Nature was a very important part of my upbringing, from collecting mushrooms to taking long walks in the forest and mountains.

Emma Cassi

I was eleven when my aunt, a painter, gave me my first lesson in portrait drawing. I think it all started there, and after that I decided to go to art college as a student. Thanks to my family, I have learned to be a free thinker, and this is what I am trying to pass on to my own kids. It has helped me to work on my own and be more resourceful.

I have been creating for as long as I can remember, but my first real ‘body of work’ was my final exhibition at Fine Art college. It was drawings and Chinese ink on vintage papers (which I found in my parents’ cellar) with trees and landscapes from a place in the middle of France called Aubrac.

Emma Cassi

In 1999, when I started making jewelry, I used only recuperated materials; vintage lace from my parents’ attic, reclaimed beads and sequins. I studied the embroidery of Indian saris and also drew inspiration from Dries Van Noten garments, then I practiced embroidery for hours. I was based in London and I started to sell my jewellery to Cath Kidston, Harrods, The Cross, and Topshop.

Emma Cassi

I have been making jewelry for the past 20 years; I still make some occasionally to hang on trees as decoration or for my daughter, members of my family and myself of course! When my husband and I moved to England 20 years ago, I had to find a way to earn a living, and jewelry-making happily became a good way to claim financial independence.

Emma Cassi
A lot of my inspiration comes from my walks in nature, my love for trees, my dreams…

After a few years of working on my own, I joined Country Living magazine to explore the world of styling, but it turns out that office life was not really me. So I became a freelance stylist, working for Laura Ashley and The White Company. At that time I was still making jewelry, so I was combining all the things I loved doing and still love doing.

Emma Cassi
My styling projects slowed down little by little after the birth of my second child, so I decided to focus all my energy on my jewelry business, which also meant I could work from home. During these years I was producing lots of jewelry, and our home transformed into a ‘mini-factory’ with the help of a small creative team. I was able to sell my work to Anthropologie in the U.S. and London and still hand-make big orders for H.P France Goldie shops all over Japan.

Emma Cassi

Selling my jewelry to H.P France Goldie and traveling to Japan has been the most interesting part of my work. I feel very lucky because I discovered the beauty of the Japanese culture: the temples, the gardens, the amazing traditional textiles, the pottery such as Raku, the amazing food…and above all, I met some fantastic people.

It was also a new way of seeing the power of nature, which I was longing to regain while living in London. Japanese artists and artisans love to show the mystery of nature in their creations; a good example is the animated movie Totoro by Studio Ghilbli. You can experience it in the Japanese way of living too, which mixes both the perfection of beauty and modesty.

Emma Cassi

After having to make so many pieces by hand, my shoulder and neck were hurting so I hired some help from embroiderers in India. Their work was fantastic, but because it wasn’t my hands making the jewellery, my passion naturally went in another direction.

I found myself focusing more on my garden, and gradually I had to make some tough business decisions. When I decided to stop selling jewelry, I spent a year studying anatomy, physiology and massage in order to get a degree and start the next step in my life, which was learning herbalism and aromatherapy.

Emma Cassi

It is a long extended training and a mysterious initiation, and I’m really interested in doing it on my own for the moment. Like everything I’ve done in life, the most important thing is to find my own way…

I’m only at the beginning of my apprenticeship in herbalism. I am learning how to make teas, syrups and cakes with plants and flowers. I grow a few like comfrey, chamomile and angelica in my garden, but I haven’t got enough to use roots just yet. My next step will be Echinacea and marshmallow. I am also dreaming up a project to create oak leaf tinctures made with my dad’s homemade alcohol, but I will have to wait for the spring buds.

Emma Cassi

The hedgerow handbook Recipes, Remedies and Rituals by Adele Nozedar is a good book to start—but be careful: you need to be 100% sure about the herbs you are using.

I love to take photographs and play around with Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement. I incorporate inspired florals with the leftovers of my foraging, and sometimes go on special trips with lots of paper bags to collect nuts, leaves and berries to dye silk and few of my clothes. Sometimes it works, and other times it is not successful at all!

Emma Cassi

In French we have a this philosophy called “au petit bonheur la chance,” which means “leaving something up to luck.” I follow this philosophy when I’m cooking (I don’t follow any recipes really, I just look at the pretty images). This is how I like to garden too.

Moving to the countryside and entering my work for consideration to the prestigious Hand and Lock competition was the very beginning of my embroidery project Silk without me knowing it. It allowed me to reconnect with nature and art. I am very intuitive and I don’t really like planning too much ahead. I make the most from my mistakes and truly believe that following my heart is the best way. When I try to think about it too much, I lose interest.

Emma Cassi

I love to search through soft fabrics at the Cloth House in London; it is a lovely shop full of Indian cottons, vintage fabrics and ribbons. I am always looking for vintage threads in charity shops in Windsor.

Inspiration comes from authors such as alchemist Patrick Burensteinas, traveller Sylvain Tesson, and shaman Corine Sombrun. I watch YouTube channels such as Li Ziqi, Passe-moi les jumelles, and Hym media. I love TV programs such as INREES TV and Lilou Macé, as well as films such as Only Lovers Left Alive by Jim Jarmusch, The Salt of the Earth by Win Wenders, The Seasons in Quincy by Tilda Swinton and The Derek Jarman Lab.

Emma Cassi

I’m also immensely inspired by gardeners Gilles Clement and Piet Oudolf, as well as scientists and thinkers Tom Campbell, Nassim Haramein, and Philippe Guillemant. I admire musicians Nadia Simon and Yatao, artists Hilma Af Klint and Emma Kunz, parfumer Sandrine Giordanengo and chefs Jeong Kwan and Matthew and Ian Pennington from The Ethicurean.

Most of the time, I do embroidery in the morning, drinking herbal tea, listening to science and spirituality podcasts or music like Laboratorium Piesni. I move around a lot in order to not hurt my hand and shoulder with repetitive strains, so I sit, I stand and I stop quite often. I take notes in my little red book, I prepare lunch, clean the house, and do the laundry.

Emma Cassi

Silk is the softest fabric for my fingers to push my needle in. I have worked with so many hard or thick lace fabrics for my previous embroidery that now I need soft, thin fabric between my fingers. I use long threads and, unlike my earlier work, I don’t embroider with beads or sequins so my arm can do big, fluid and free motions with thread.

I have come to realize that embroidery is more seasonal in this house; I have a tendency to embroider more in winter. Winters are so long in England that embroidery helps me in biding my time for spring to reveal itself so I can go out into my garden again.

Emma Cassi

My biggest challenge is yet to come, deciding how best to communicate my new body of stitchery work. How can I showcase it, how can I find the right words to express what Silk is about and find spaces to exhibit in? This is all ahead of me.

Another new body of work is called The Secret Teachings of Plants in the direct perception of nature from a book by Stephen Harrod Buhner. It is silk flags embroidered with circles of long colorful threads and beaded links, dyed with leaves, berries and conkers. The fabric is embroidered on both sides and mounted on a bamboo frame.

Emma Cassi

My aim is to display these flags in gardens. The long threads will fly in the wind or even make knots with any branches or seeds living in the garden.

My biggest accomplishment is the refurbishing of our home we live in and most of the entire garden. I am so proud to grow big courgettes, beautiful rainbow Swiss chards, beetroots and carrots using the permaculture lasagna techniques. I am growing amaranth and flowers from seeds—these are small but immense successes for me.

Emma Cassic

The house is quite modern and maybe not what I love, but I had the image of the house in The Secret World of Arrietty (Studio Ghibli), where the vegetation covers all of the house inside and outside with a big meadow around. It will take time for that, but the vines grow quickly and the poor soil is recovering already. I mix vegetables and flowers like Comfrey and Phacelia and I am growing a little meadow on one side and the wildlife is now thriving.

Emma Cassi

I feel that now that I live in the countryside, creation is in everything I do or make, from collecting twigs to making floral arrangements to looking for solutions to using less plastic packaging at home or even making compost. Foraging plants and flowers during my daily walks or runs is such a pleasure; back home I mix them to make teas. Many of them I dry so I have a stock for winter, and I also document them in my herbariums to learn and remember the names of medicinal plants.

I love the almond smell of meadowsweet that I collect near the river, and the powerful fragrance of lime flowers in bloom near The Savill Garden. The scent of the elderflowers in spring is everywhere here.

I am grateful that here in the countryside I can teach my kids about wild plants, watch as they rub the leaves of Tansy against their fingers and smell the intense perfume, and taste the cow parsnip’s dried up fruits in September. We all love being surrounded by the creativity of nature.