Beyond the Sea

Molly Asbury

“I have chosen to use the British seaside as a starting point and source of inspiration for my final Major Project, and I am aiming to create a playful and nostalgic fashion and accessories collection for my final outcome.

The seaside is very important to me and my family, I grew up on the coast and we all say how we could never move far away (I live 30 seconds from the sea!) so it just made sense to me to choose a subject that I have a strong personal connection with for inspiration. Over last summer my Grandma was sorting through old family photos taken at the beach in her hometown of St. Leonards, and these photos from the 1940s to the 1970s really set the tone of my project.

I have always had a love of seaside culture: the weird food, nature and wonderful landscapes. So I based my initial research on things that I think of as quintessentially ‘seaside’ – arcades, piers, helter-skelters, ice cream parlours etc. There is a decidedly tacky element to all these sorts of things, and I wanted to explore this further through my work.

As my work progressed, it became clear that food was the dominant subject matter in my project so my final pieces are all dedicated to showcasing seaside foods.

I am working with a lot of different hand embroidery techniques including Goldwork, Stumpwork, Crewelwork, Beading, Ribbon Embroidery, and Canvaswork. I am also including digital print in my work to showcase my drawings that I feel are really integral to my work and give it the nostalgic aesthetic I am aiming to achieve.”

Top tip for embroidery:  Just keep going! I’ve occasionally found myself in the middle of a piece, not entirely sure how its going to turn out and worried about the outcome, but nine times out of ten it’s worth seeing it through to the end and being pleasantly surprised with the finished piece.

Advice for future students:  Try everything, and don’t hold yourself back. Not everything you make will be wonderful and that’s okay, it doesn’t need to be, but by just trying things out you will learn and improve so much. The finished pieces will be worth the experimentation.


You can follow Molly on her Instagram page.


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