Emma Mitchell is an author, mental health advocate, naturalist, illustrator and designer-maker. She studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge, spent time in academia studying molecular cell biology and was an technology consultant in emerging technologies in Silicon Fen until 2008, when her struggles with depression and anxiety led her to begin writing about the positive impact of both nature and time spent creatively on mental health. Emma’s latest book The Wild Remedy became a Sunday Times bestseller in June 2020. Read more about and order her books here.
Emma has written and presented films for BBC Springwatch & Autumnwatch and appeared on BBC Countryfile, Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and been the focus of an episode of Ramblings with Clare Balding. She is a Guardian Country Diarist and has contributed pieces on nature and mental health for the Times, Big Issue, inews & Psychologies magazine. Read more about her media appearances here.
Emma has been teaching creative workshops with a focus on mental health for more than a decade. She taught Anita Rani to cast yarrow in silver on BBC Countryfile and has taught classes at the Victoria & Albert museum, Cambridge University Botanic Gardens and Highgrove.
In Emma’s classes students learn the techniques needed to make and draw beautiful things, but crucially she combines this with teaching the science that explains why and how spending time creatively can shift brain biochemistry to improve mental health.
Until now all Emma’s workshops have been face to face, but as the pandemic continues she has developed two online courses:
In her silver workshop foundation course Emma will teach you how to cast nature finds to make intricate silver jewellery and how this process can lift your mood and alleviate anxiety. This series of lessons Emma will teach you all the techniques in her sell-out workshop as featured on BBC Countryfile and includes one or two extra videos about which plants to look out for on walks to that you can cast in silver and how to be extra thrifty with your precious materials.
Silver workshop extra has all the information in the foundation course but with more silver bells, whistles and tips. Emma has included super detailed lessons on the casting technique she’s developed over the last decade, the seasonal nature finds to look out for that make incredibly beautiful silver pieces and even more in depth science explaining why incorporating creative activity regularly into your week can really make a difference to your mental health This course will be perfect if you’d like to take this near-magical process up as a hobby.
Enrolments are opening soon…
All pieces shown were made by beginners in Emma’s workshops
Emma’s first book, Making Winter, a creative survival guide to the colder months, was published in 2017. Robert Macfarlane, one of Britain’s best known nature writers says it is ‘gentle, beautiful, skilled and creative‘ and the Sunday Times said: ‘…Emma has found a way to alleviate seasonal affective disorder with crafts and creativity.’
In her second book, The Wild Remedy, how nature mends us, Emma combines a detailed self- illustrated diary of her nature walks with scientific explanations for the impact they have on her mental health. The Wild Remedy was featured on BBC Spring- & Autumnwatch 2020, is a Sunday Times bestseller, the Guardian describes it as ‘excellent’ and Amy Liptrot, author of The Outrun and winner of the Wainwright prize calls it ‘…precise, gorgeous and inspiring‘.
The Wild Remedy will be out in paperback in December 2021.