the art of embroidery

For the last couple years I have been dabbling here and there with embroidery. I think it’s a cute touch on DIY projects. For a friend’s bridal shower I got her a cookbook, a few spatulas, and made her an apron. My first thought was to buy the apron, however after finding out the going price is $40, I took an alternative route. Picking out customized fabrics, and making my own pattern was way more fun and personal anyway. My friend LOVES birds so I stitched a cute little bird (similar to that of my header) on the apron pocket. I guess I prefer doodle stitching over embroidery solely based on my lack of skill and knowledge of the art of embroidery.

Recently I came across 2 women who have truly taken embroidery to a new level and have me in complete awe over their work.

Nat, writer of the smallest forest blog is primarily a bookbinder however, her latest post featuring her embroidery proves she is a woman of many talents. Especially drawn to the collaboration of contour lines she creates with small linked stitches with a section of solid vibrant color really make this a phenomenal piece!

Cayce Zavaglia:

The next artist is a painter, having received her BFA from Wheaton College and her MFA from Washington University. It wasn’t until Zavaglia was pregnant and decided to remove herself from the toxins of painting that she experimented with a number of mediums before landing on embroidery.

I find her embroidery to have such a painterly feel, the stitches reflect texture similar to that of a Van Gogh and yet the way she is able to blend colors creates distinct realism. Her work is absolutely amazing!

Artist Statement:

“I still consider myself a painter and find it difficult not to refer to these embroidered portraits as “paintings”. Although the medium employed is crewel embroidery wool, the technique borrows more from the worlds of drawing and painting.

Initially, working with an established range of wool colors proved frustrating. Unlike painting, I was unable to mix the colors by hand. Progressively, I created a system of sewing the threads in a sequence that would ultimately give the allusion of a certain color or tone. The direction in which the threads were sewn had to mimic the way lines are layered in a drawing to give the allusion of depth, volume, and form. Over time the stitches have become tighter and more complex but ultimately more evocative of flesh, hair, and cloth.

My work unabashedly nods its head to the tradition of tapestry and my own love of craft. Using wool instead of oils has allowed me to broaden the dialogue between portrait and process as well as propose a new definition for the word “painting”.”

I was lucky enough to find an interview on trish blurr’s blog

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