Aimee Betts: a new breed of designer
Rather than thinking forward, Mixed Media Embroidery Designer Aimee Betts uses techniques and fashions from history to create her eclectic and stunning designs. Having studied at the Royal College of Art, she has learnt a wide range of skills to put to use when hand-making these pieces, including weaving, knitting, metal work, fabric dying, embroidery and undoubtedly a lot more that haven’t graced her website yet. Her work shows striking and intricate attention to detail with an added flare for individuality, something we truly value here at The Upcoming!
“Aimee acknowledges that some of the pieces from her collections may be considered too heavy and unsuitable for modern-day wear. Her collections reference a time in history when heavy adornments were worn to display positions of power and elegance.”
For example, the Gold Rope, part of The Adorned Woman Collection, is inspired by Gold Torcs worn around women’s necks during the Iron Age, specifically in Britain, Ireland and in Continental Europe. Torcs were first made during the Bronze Age, so around 2000-800BC. Despite this slightly vague and broad time zone, it is easy to fathom how this kind of ancient jewellery could be inspirational to modern designers. There is a strength and simplicity in the art of it that would still resonate some meaning if worn today. Despite our progression through the years, there are signifiers from history that are still relevant in the sense that we use certain types of decoration to put across a message. Aimee Betts has certainly succeeded in making a piece that oozes power and luxury.
Personally, I find this piece absolutely astounding. In some ancient Asian cultures it was not uncommon to see the wings of various Metallic Wood-Boring Beetles to adorn clothing, jewellery and art. The species often depended on the region, but the wings are surprisingly endurable. Betts has created a stunning investigation into the ancient crafts belonging to Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Indian history.
Aimee Betts certainly knows her way around arts and crafts, in fact that is a serious understatement. Her level and variety of skill continues to amaze as I meander through her website, wishing I had even a fraction of her passion and proficiency in this area of expertise. Betts is currently working in a studio in Deptford, was involved in the Crafts Council UK Hothouse ’11/’12 Programme for Emerging Designer Makers and will be presenting her own exhibit at the World Event Young Artists in Nottingham this September.
Check out the rest of her work here.