Dr Emma Shercliff is Associate Professor of Textiles and Participatory Making. Emma has responsibility for teaching textile practices and contexts on the BA (Hons) Textiles course as well as co-ordinating the MRes Arts (Master of Research) and supervising PhD students. With over 20 years’ experience devising, participating in and leading creative workshops with various participants she has developed a focus on creative participatory research methodologies and participatory approaches to design, making and cultural engagement applicable to wider cross- and interdisciplinary research, knowledge exchange and consultancy settings.
Emma’s specialist practical and design experience is in stitched textiles, stretching from bespoke tailoring through the hand crafts of embroidery, plain sewing, braiding, patchwork and quilting, to manipulated textile surfaces and constructions, including the production of unique prototypes. Emma joined AUB in 2009. Prior to a career in academia Emma worked in Paris from 1995-2006 as a freelance textile designer and maker on design briefs for embroidery, print and knitwear; in textile and fashion forecasting for trend agencies; and for Premiere Vision, the international textile trade fair. She also worked for a number of years with cross-disciplinary teams on the production of installation works and prototypes for internationally renowned artist, Lucy Orta; collaborated with colleagues on the development of creative ideation workshops for design professionals; and led participatory community arts projects encouraging inter-generational communication and creative exchange. She has exhibited in France and the UK, but also has works in homes, community centres and other people’s memories.
She coordinates the Stitching Together research network (funded by the AHRC from 2019-2021), which brings together researchers, professional textile practitioners, project commissioners and enthusiast textile maker groups to foster critical dialogue around participatory textile making in research and practice. Current research addresses the development of community owned work-flow systems for the making of life-saving buoyancy aids in Zanzibar using a participatory workshop-based methodology with tailors.
Emma’s key publications can be found in the AUBREI repository. In addition to publications, conference papers, talks and presentations, Emma is a peer reviewer for various academic journals and co-edits the Journal of Arts and Communities. Emma welcomes invitations for collaborative research projects and is interested in receiving applications from students who wish to undertake PhD study.