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Soft Systems

Ellie Carr-Smith

Ellie Carr-Smith is a Contemporary Wool Craftsman, based in Warwickshire. While completing her RCA studies remotely, Ellie has gradually grown and developed her own experimental material interdependent studio practice. Which has led her to explore soft systems and what they could potentially be?

Before her studies at the RCA, Ellie gained a degree in product design at Edinburgh College of Art, exhibiting her work around the UK, Design Exhibition Scotland, New Designers and BreezeFair. 

Ellie was recently awarded the Zoffany Visual Arts Award for her conscious approach to materials and an inspiring concept for manufacturing in the future.

RECONNECTING // Interdependent Landscapes´╗┐

Through rug tufting and sculpture, Ellie visually communicates the stories of vulnerable ecologies woven within the local landscapes surrounding her in rural Warwickshire. Her work aims to be a sustainable, thoughtful studio process; she hand tufts British wool onto hessian backings repurposed from used coffee bean sacks from a local coffee roasting company. 

Ellie utilises the fibre by-product produced from her hand tufting process creating 3D forms which exploit colour and tactile surface qualities. Collecting and sorting the excess fibre of various tufted colours and combining these with potato starch, Ellie has developed an experimental biomaterial 3D production technique. Through selecting and adapting a combination of wool-craft methodologies, Ellie is then able to intertwine them together into a small-scale production of crafted home interior artefacts. The material interdependent studio practice reconnects the value of overlooked materials, revealing how old and new processes can be combined to enhance and emphasise visual and tactile qualities of the collective pieces.

Sculpting Tufting
Interior Artefacts


Wool, hessian, potato starch
Tuft Evolution
Tufts and Tufting
Interdependent Landscapes
Tufting product production
Connecting Landscapes


Wool, potato starch, hessian


Winner of the Zoffany Visual Arts Award 2021


Monsoon Estates Coffee Company