Quidditch Through the Ages Illustrated Edition is out today! And you can catch more from Emily with our exclusive interview with her here.
This tapestry, which depicts an ancient hunt for a Golden Snidget, is one of the biggest pieces in the entire book. It took Emily around 2 weeks to complete. If you look closely, it’s filled with all sorts of commotion, magical creatures, a Latin description and other little details.
‘The tapestry, inspired by the Bayeaux tapestry, was a massive challenge actually, because there were so many elements that I had to make look right,’ Emily said. ‘And I’m not a sewer, so I had to figure out a way to make it look like I’d sewn it in Photoshop – working out how to make stitches and then using individual stitches in Photoshop, so it took about two weeks! I scanned in an old piece of linen as the background and then sewed it together digitally.’
Emily also called out this Kenmare Kestral’s leprechaun mascot as one of her favourite pieces, which she made a real-life version of using needle-felting. “I still have him somewhere!” she said.
‘Each one of the Quidditch teams has a badge, so I designed them as logos, but then I thought I’d put all the team ‘merchandise’ in there and make that for real – that’s how I ended up making patches too.’
The British and Irish Quidditch Teams section of the book was one of the first chapters Emily worked on. And for each team, she was sure to include little details that were true to their real-life locations.
‘There’s little chapter headings in the book so I was trying to find references for each place. Appleby, for example, has a horse fair, so that’s why there’s a little carriage on it and Wigtown has the books.
‘I used to play roller derby, so in my head, roller derby and Quidditch have sort of become the same sport. Roller skates and brooms are not the same at all, but it’s that kind of speed and the ‘being hit’ element of it, so I was thinking of safety gear, knee pads and wrist guards, etc. And the players. The thing I liked about roller derby is there’s quite a lot of diversity, in body shapes and sizes, and I wanted to get that across in the team members I was drawing – make sure they weren’t all just svelte athletes. It’s quite an inclusive sport. After all, you’re sitting on a broom!
I was a bit worried about this chapter because at first, I thought it would be a bit dull – it’s just about balls! But the actual fold-out Quidditch balls sort of amazed me – I thought it’d be a great thing to actually put the actual-size of the balls in – so I measured them on Photoshop. When I saw them printed out, I thought, ‘that can’t be right?’. But I did loads of research into the sizes to make sure I had the most accurate Quaffle!
A portion of proceeds from the sale of this edition will go to J.K. Rowling’s own international children’s charity Lumos, which helps some of the world’s most vulnerable children and young people to have a better life; and to Comic Relief.