‘Clumber Egg’ commissioned by the National Trust  |  Copper placemats woven for Comins Teahouse Bath  |  Community centre (made from waste clothing) for a refugee camp, Greece  |  Women’s space (‘Breast Nest’) at The Rye Bakery, Frome

Studio Shop 3 : Ellen Mulcrone

I weave pods for people to BE in; nests, cocoons, dens, havens, nooks, rest spaces..

Ellen is glad to find a space to call her own at Studio Shop 3. Previously she has used temporary spaces to work from and describes this move as “the perfect development for my creative practice”.  The consistent workshop space will allow her to continue large-scale sculpting, but also expand on painting and other forms of weaving.

She began creating pods during her art foundation degree in Falmouth. Her desire to create these cocoon-like structures stemmed from two strong interests: mindfulness and pears.

Mindfulness: Given we live in a society which is pro busy-ness, it seems essential that we find a way to harbour the slower, reflective sides of ourself, yet there are so few spaces to do this, sometimes not even in our own homes. The desire to create environments within which peoples introverted sides are nourished seems ever more essential. Most of western society is heavily extrovert-dominated and I believe creating rest-spaces are becoming ever more essential ; places where people can find stillness and simplicity, reflect on how they are, relax, wind down. I make them for public spaces, private clients, parks, schools, gardens, homes. They can be hung or free-standing, both indoors and outdoors.

Pears: During my art/design years at uni I grew an obsession with pears. Not so much eating them but drawing, baking, casting, photographing, sculpting, painting… even wearing in my hair..  The form and texture seemed captivating in some way, and I knew I had to try building a life size one which could be sat inside. It felt like the perfect shape to nurture stillness and reflection. And here the name Pearpod was birthed for my business.

Ellen sometimes works in willow which is sourced either locally or from a willow supplier on the Somerset levels. Keeping alive traditional craft is an important aspect of her work. She also, however, enjoys the process of applying modern materials to traditional techniques and has been known to weave with sea plastic, electric cables, old clothes and copper to name a few.

Some commissions have been the National Trust, Freerangers Forest School, Randle Siddeley (landscape architects), Lilly Gomm (garden designer), Royal Hampton Flower Court show, ONCA Gallery, Ealing Park London, Comins Teahouse Bath.

As well as installing her pods within relaxing environments (gardens, meditation retreats, yoga centres), Ellen believes that the inclusion of these rest-spaces within typically high-stress settings could be transformational (schools, prisons, offices).

Having travelled on foot and bicycle through many parts of the world, living and learning with people from all walks of life, Ellen has recognised that life is simply too short to be doing something she doesn’t enjoy. With this insight Ellen has returned to her hometown, Frome, to continue following a creative career that brings herself and others joy, here in Studio Shop 3 at Black Swan Arts.