About Emerald Estock – Photographer and Weaver

I was born in the small town of Oneida, TN. After being adopted, I grew up in the Nashville/Franklin area.  I’ve had some hearing loss since childhood and developed moderately severe tinnitus so having art as a focus has been very helpful way to cope with that 24/7 condition.

I was drawn to art from an early age. My second-grade teacher noted “he often becomes too involved in his art to keep his desk in a workable condition.” My studio space today is about the same. I enjoyed ceramics and oil painting in high school before I discovered my visual voice in photography. I continued to pursue photography in college, particularly printing.

Mostly self-taught, I read Ansel Adam’s books and looked for workshops to pick up more skills. I studied fine art printing with John Sexton and Craig Stevens, nature photography with John Shaw, and platinum printing with Sal Lopes. I like to travel and try to combine photography and travel whenever possible, especially hiking.

After 35 years of photography, I took a break. I studied basket weaving with Susan Laswell (Heartsong Baskets) and thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail. I also got hearing aids.  Adjusting to hearing aids and coming off the trail after five and a half months, were both important experiences for me. I was astonished with how busy the world is, how fractured our attention. All these endeavors recharged my creativity and influenced the direction of my art.

I returned to photography intrigued with uniting the tactile elements of basket weaving with my photographic prints. The added dimension invites the viewer into the image. I strive to instill a peacefulness in each piece. Nature photography is my primary source of inspiration, but shapes, texture, and light interplay in many places, majestic and ordinary. My images and baskets serve as meditation points, a way for the viewer to bring some contemplation and focus into their day.

ARTIST’S STATEMENT

I have always been an experiential learner with a passion for photography.

The photographic print has been my visual voice and I’ve explored multiple alternative printing processes, over the years including platinum and hand made substrates. I enjoy doing my own printing.

Creating an expressive print is both challenging and rewarding.

I began weaving as a break from photography, but soon found I wanted to bring the tactile quality of weaving to my photographs.

In my latest body of work, I am exploring the creative potential of woven images. I feel the woven texture helps engage the viewer, and draws them deeper into the image.