V&A Dundee

Daytrippers: Ellen Martin

With sustainability in design at the heart of this year's Daytrippers venture, we've commissioned two designers to create patterns for 4 different Furoshiki's, that celebrate friendship, summertime and being outdoors. Each is made in Scotland. In this series, you'll meet the designers behind these collectable products. Today, we chat with Ellen Martin of Ellen Martin Textiles.
A portrait of a woman with short brown hair looking at the camera.
Ellen Martin

Ellen Martin is an Edinburgh based designer who trained as a textile designer at Edinburgh College and then The Glasgow School of Art, where she specialised in Printed Textiles. During her studies, Ellen spent four months at Kyoto Seika University in Japan through an exchange programme. The experience she gained in Japan has greatly informed her approach to design and continues to inspire her work today.

Local Heroes commissioned Ellen Martin to create two designs for Daytrippers!

Her large furoshiki-scarf is titled Maple “I lived in Japan during the spring and summer so didn’t get to see the spectacle of the maple trees changing colour, however there are some that are red all year round.” Her smaller sized design is called Omikuji. “This design is based on the paper fortunes found at temples and shrines in Japan. Omikuji are often folded and tied to trees or on rows of wires in the temple or shrine grounds.”

We asked Ellen to describe her design process and her special commission for V&A Dundee.

“With a focus on hand-drawing, collage and repeat pattern, my work captures details found in my surroundings, often when visiting new places. I use a combination of traditional and contemporary techniques including digital printing, screen-printing and katazome - a Japanese resist-dyeing method.”

“Having only launched my design business in 2020, I feel privileged to have the support of Local Heroes and V&A Dundee. Creating bespoke designs for V&A Dundee has been a joy and I can’t wait to see the finished pieces for sale in Scotland’s design museum!"

Ellen founded Ellen Martin Textiles after graduating in 2020, Her work was selected to be featured in the Crafts Council’s Future Edit showcase in London which is intended to introduce makers who have been selected for their creative flair, thoughtful design and skilled execution. Last year, Ellen was awarded funding to produce a new body of work using katazome, a Japanese resist-dyeing method that she learned while studying in Kyoto.

“I continue to practise the technique and also run occasional katazome workshops at Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh.”

“I was delighted when Local Heroes contacted me about the project. I’ve followed Local Heroes for a while and when I saw the Daytrippers! collection launch last year, I thought ‘I’d love to work on a project like that’!”

'Omikuji' Furoshiki by Ellen Martin

Local Heroes, founded by design curator and exhibition maker Dr Stacey Hunter, is a curatorial studio that connects audiences with contemporary Scottish design and craft.

All the products are available on the museum plaza, in our shop or online.

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'Omikuji' Furoshiki by Ellen Martin

Trained in Kyoto & living in Edinburgh, Ellen designs printed textiles and surface designs with a Japanese influence. Designed and made in Scotland. Ellen's inspiration for the print design of this furoshiki is based on paper fortunes found at temples and shrines in Japan called Omikuji. These fortunes are often folded and tied onto trees or on rows of wires in the temple or shrine grounds. Furoshiki's are multi-purpose, they can be used as a scarf, as fabric gift wrapping, as a food wrapper & carrier, as a bag, or as a wall hanging.

£45 - Buy now

'Maple' Furoshiki by Ellen Martin

Ellen Martin created this wonderful designed inspired by her time in Japan, training in Kyoto. Now she is living in Edinburgh, Ellen designs printed textiles and surface designs with a Japanese influence. Designed and made in Scotland.

££70 - Buy now