Jessica Dance’s Textile Art Has a Playful Edge to It

There’s little that Jessica Dance can’t do. An interior designer and model maker, she specializes in crafting models and props that are used across advertising campaigns, editorial commissions, and art installations. Since graduating in 2010, she received commissions for window displays, installations, and editorial projects for the likes of Christian Louboutin, BBC, Google, Mulberry, and Selfridges.

But it’s her textile art that first caught our attention. Recreating everyday objects in realistic detail, her knitted and embroidered creations include anything from Ketchup bottles to Nike trainers. “I’m often inspired by very ‘normal’ everyday items, items that portray the luxury of choice and comfort in the western world, whilst at the same time hinting at the excess that is often taken for granted in a fast-paced, immediate society,” Dance relayed in an interview with Lifestyle Tails, adding that “the irony being each knitted or embroidered piece that I make has taken hours/days/weeks to create.”

“I always aim for my work to be graphical, with a playful edge,” she adds. “Knitting and embroidery is typically perceived as a ‘feminine craft’ however I try to take gender out of the equation when coming up with ideas. I always strive to produce a carefully considered design, with a strong concept, using quality materials.”

Much like her approach to art, her approach to interior design is entwined with craftsmanship. Describing herself as an interior designer with a holistic approach to designing homes and workplaces, Dance is known for her luxury and contemporary interiors that have craftsmanship at the heart.

With so much going on for her, her days are very much packed. “I’m usually sculpting, knitting or stitching, which is always good time to put a podcast or music on…. or if I’m trying to work something out or write, I need total silence,” she describes her workday. “I usually work until around 6 depending on what I’m working on,” she adds.

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I'm regularly reminded by my Step Dad that at the age of 9 I proudly professed that 'working is a mugs game'. And to be honest I've always thought I've never really 'worked' to this day, at least not in the traditional sense of the word, working the 9-5, wearing grown up clothes, commuting. Perhaps that's because I have (mostly) always enjoyed what I do, even though that can be stressful some days. . When I thought about it, I realised I have worked a lot of jobs. From the age of 14 I was desperate to work and went out and got a Saturday job in a pet shop (loved that job), other highlights include packaging P-Diddy aftershave, cleaner after school at a builders office (I mostly I chatted so that job didn't last long- they had to let me go 😂). I then did a stint as a 'lid tightener' at a factory (soon got demoted to box taper), Then I was a foot model for a brief moment. I was Kylie body double- not my official job title at all, I was working on a kylie music video and in the absence of anyone else 5ft I was nominated body double for about 7 minutes, where I stood awkwardly on a portable stage that was to carry Kylie to check it would take her weight (sacrificial lamb 😂), I also worked in pubs, shops and bars. In roles where I was 'employed' always felt a big disconnect, even though I had a strong work ethic. At that point I don't think I knew I wanted to work for myself, something just wasn't working for me. I'm curious to know if other self employed people and entrepreneurs followed a similair path before taking the leap into setting up a business? The fear of getting a job and handing over responsibility to someone else is definitely a factor that drives me, it's not healthy to operate from a place of scarcity but I often think 'Shit I better make this work other wise I'm getting a real job' 😬😬😬 I try and turn 'The fear' into a positive energy (not always successful😂) but I would be lying if I said I don't have thoughts which say 'your unemployable… and you've just told everyone on Instagram that you don't want to be employed' … so now I'm even more unemployable 😂 Bugger. Better make it work I guess 😂🤷🏼‍♀️ #businessnuggets #jessicadance

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