A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Narrative and Poetic Structure of the Stitched and Beaded Surface

 Beth’s technically so clear instructions showed us the first steps towards an interesting creative embroidery. As a new resident artist on this blog i would like to contribute on a complementary way, by making the bridge to a few outstanding examples in the contemporary art world. I know, this is something new on this blog, so I would love to hear your opinions if you’re interested in this kind of „outlooks“ at all.

I love boro embroidery which has ist origin in utilitarian mending. The repetition of this sashiko stitches give a secondary structure to the mended, pieced clothes. 
Very much in the sense of the traditional quilting stitches. In this context I’d like to point out the work of Matthew Harris. You find more of his work here

Matthew Harris: Crumb Cloth No. III

But embroidery/stitches doesn’t have to be secondary on a pieced surface. Contemporary artist use it in such a versatile, poetic way. Just to give you some new insights of the endless possibilities this technique has. 
I admire the works of Christine Mauersberger. Her work has deep poetic quality. For more check out her blog here.
Christine Mauersberger: Mind Map, 2011
You might be familiar with the versatile and captivating work of Emily Barletta - here,

Emily Barletta: Untitled
with the sensitive and for me extraordinarily emotional work of Erin Endicott - link,

Erin Endicott: Healing Sutra No. 7
or with the wonderful, delicate landscapes of Emily Felderman - link,

Emily Felderman: Mist
Embroidery creates a structure on the surface, which can be grafic or narrative, just by repetition and variety of a few elements. In these works the stitches are not used as embellishment but as essential, structural marks, just like a simple brick in the wall. Each one is needed and each of them is justified. This conveys a a message of necessity and also of truthfulness of the whole composition.

In addition to embroidery I would like to point out the wonderful beading art of Liza Lou - link.
Her beaded pieces have similar simplicity and refreshingly new and expressive way of using this technique.

Liza Lou: Untitled No.17

Well, as I mentioned, this is just a complementary "outlook". For me it is always fascinating to see how different artist use the same technique and interpret it on their own unique way, creating an artwork with depth. 

Thank you for reading this and please, tell us what you think.


  1. Thank you for sharing, I love it very much!!

  2. Embroidery is a very versatile and expressive medium.

  3. Amazing work(s)!! Thanks so much for enlightening us with these artists!!

  4. I like this outlook. Sometimes we forget that technique (so easy to write about and learn) is only as good as what we do with it (so hard....)

  5. I tend to see things and interpret things in a concrete realistically way.
    I am trying to adapt myself in see things more abstractly and working that way. "Contemporary" art is hard for me. I do not "get" some of it and other I find very beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Very interesing, thanks for sharing!

  7. It is so interesting to see how artists use stitching and beading to convey a message--some so intricate and some so simple. Thank you for introducing me to some new artists to check out.

  8. I'm so thankful that embroidery has come back into vogue! its so interesting as this post proves! thanks!!

  9. Thanks for sharing -beautiful work and talented artists.

  10. As always an enlightening and thoughtful approach to the subject. Liza Lou's work is beyond amazing and I am thoroughly enjoying your blog on human marks. Fabulous! So thrilled you are part of our FIRE blog!!

  11. Seeing a focus on the stitch by hand in so many works in shows today delights me; as a person who enjoys working with the machine, there is always that pull to take the piece in hand and feel the fabrics, see where the needle and thread can be used to augment to image, to bring more depth to the piece, and yes, simply to feel the work as stitch adds to the texture and vision of the piece being created. Thank you for bringing this group of diverse textile artists who use stitch so very successfully to our attention in the blog. Reading the posts is one of my delights; I appreciate the tutorials, the look out into the world of exhibiting artists and the look at pieces created just for self or for giving.

  12. Ah, the simple joy of seeing art.

  13. Love to see this. Please go on.
    Thank you so much.


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