Before you get all amazed, no, I did not make this beautiful stitchery. It's a picture I took from a book I bought (the piece was stitched by Rosie James). I like to look at art books for inspiration and to find artists whose work I like so I can find more of their work. Usually I find these perusing the library because I just can't afford to buy and house so many pretty books. That being said, when a good deal presents itself, I indulge. And that is just what happened on a trip to Barnes & Noble.
I was looking through the clearance bin when I uncovered this book on modern stitchery artists called Push Stitchery. Although it mainly includes the more "edgy" artists in the industry (the kind that use needle and thread to stitch unusual subjects such as meat, freeway scenes, and luchadores), the ideas can be used for a wide variety of subjects or applications. Today, I'll share a few of my favorite pieces from this book.
This first piece is by a Lithuanian artist whose name I can't spell without visiting a foreign alphabets website: Severija Inčirauskaitė-Kriaunevičienė (a mouthful to be sure). I particularly like that she chose a traditional design for her non-traditional canvas. There is nothing like embroidered watering cans to prove that anything can be stitched on. Drill or punch a few holes and you can make anything a canvas. Some of the things I would like to use this idea on are chair backs, window screens, and book covers. Really, the options are endless with the right tools.
Clyde Olliver definitely challenges what it means to do stitchery. A pile of rocks and a piece of knotted rope threaded through holes in the rocks. It's not something I would ever think of, and I can't help liking it, perhaps for that very reason.
I love the dimensionality in this piece from a series by Diem Chau. Of all the ideas in this book, this is one I really want to figure out how to do. I can't be sure, but it looks like she uses some sort of stabilizer for the stitchery that then gets fused to the plates. As with the watering can, there are endless applications. Liven up a window, a wall, or other smooth surface with the swipe of an iron. They can even be made and sold like patches for people to apply to their chosen surface. I feel a future tutorial forming...
This piece by Gillian Bates uses raw edge applique to add blocks of color and stitched lines to create dimension and texture. Although machine stitched, the technique can be used with handstitching or embroidery. In fact, this is an idea I have been mulling over for some time, albeit in a smaller scale. I would like to use it to make "artist cards" to hand out to people or perhaps a quilt tag. Whatever I decide on, I'm sure you'll be seeing something like this soon.
There are several pieces by Joetta Maue that I found intensely interesting. This one, depicting a woman embroidering what I assume to be aspects of her life, oozes with self-revelation. I can almost hear the author telling her story through the images she stitched. And her story is easy to mistake for our own. The strands connecting each item can easily become a complicated web as another and another are added (life in a nutshell, yes?). In her Q & A she says that she uses methods and materials traditional to "the domain of the home and the female" to help the viewer "identify the conflict being explored in the work." And that is the essence of art: to get the feelings we have inside out into the world for others to see, understand, and identify with.
This stitched paper work by Peter Crawley is one of the main reasons I bought the book. It is such a simple idea with a bold effect. The letters seem to both draw towards and away from the viewer. And the loose strands juxtapose nicely with the rigid stitched lines. Although the technique he discusses in the book sounds time-consuming in order to achieve anything close to perfection, I imagine even an amateur (i.e. me) could create something beautiful. Or, at least that is my hope, as I intend to give this one a try at some point.
Hi. My name is Carley. I love to sew, craft, and create. As a Jane-of all-crafts so to speak, I enjoy sewing, writing, cooking, drawing, photographing. But the constant thread (if you'll excuse the pun) throughout my weeks is needle arts.