ECA graduate Emma Wilkinson has waltzed away with the top prize in the student subcategory of the annual Hand & Lock Prize competition.

On Thursday 15th November, 2018 BA(Hons) Textiles graduate Emma Wilkinson was awarded first place in the esteemed Hand & Lock Hand Embroidery awards. She was placed first in the student fashion category for her graduate collection entitled 'Rebuild', which looks at decline and development within the city of Edinburgh.

The annual Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery was established in 2000 to give new embroidery designers the opportunity to showcase their talents and gain crucial experience. The competition aims to highlight impeccable craftsmanship as well as bring the whole embroidery community together to celebrate. This year's brief was entitled 'Material Alchemy: Modern Morality'. 

Emma Wilkinson Textiles H & L Prize 2018
Image: Emma Wilkinson
'Rebuild' collection by Emma Wilkinson, 2018

"“My prize-winning project was a development of my graduate collection entitled 'Rebuild' - looking deeply at the decay and progression that exists within the city of Edinburgh, my home town.”"

Emma Wilkinson, BA (Hons) Textiles, 2018

Emma's winning piece was created using traditional embroidery techniques, incorporating a transparent yet structured frock coat and a fringe of beading at the shoulders. She was inspired by women being allowed to fight on the front line in conflict situations for the first time in 2018.

Prior to judging, Emma's work was shown in an exhibition alongside other shortlisted entries. The public were invited to help determine who would take home the awards by voting for their favourite piece after considering the brief and carefully examining each work.

Emma received a commemorative framed hand-embroidered plaque produced by Hand & Lock's skilled craftsmen along with a cash prize for her winning design.

“To be a winner of this prestigious award that the embroidery and design worlds await every year is beyond describing in words,” said Emma. “I couldn't be happier, not just for the award, but for the acknowledgement from both the esteemed judges, Hand & Lock and the public too, that my work is worth such an accolade.”

“I plan to combine the platforms I have achieved this year from the Hand & Lock prize and the funding from the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust to continue creating work that will combine both hand embroidery and kilt making. I hope to create a business in Scotland that celebrates traditional technique, continue its teaching, and generates prosperity and opportunities not just for myself, but the next generation of makers too, while building relationships between Scotland and the rest of the UK.”

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