Chris Rogers' Beaded Herringbone Mandala
I found Chris’ blog, Ella’s Craft Creations, though her participation in Sharon B’s TAST challenge this year. She is doing amazing things with all the stitches so far, using beads and mandala forms.
At the end of the year, she is going to put all the mandalas together into a wall hanging and auction it for St. Luke’s Hospice Charity in the UK.
In the meantime, we can all enjoy her beautiful work as she posts detailed photos on her blog!
Marilyn on a gemstone
I found this while bopping about on the net this weekend. Not exactly stitching or dance related, but he DOES put his tiny sculptures inside the eyes of needles…
Go see the video interview with the artist!
A possibly recurring series of cool needlework things I find on the web.
I found this on an old post on Craft recently and was just amazed at the lengths artists will take things. It’s kind of cool, though. Go look and then tell me what you think. Embroidery on Toast? Cross stitch on cereal? Cameos made out of oreos (OK, those are pretty cool…)
Angled View of Poppy Embroidery
Yesterday on whim, after telling the staff at my Father’s favorite restaurant about his passing, I stopped at the local antique store, with the hope of finding a copy of Priscilla Magazine or Home Needlework or somesuch (I’m an antique publications fanatic).
Instead, I found this treasure. As usual, you can click the pictures for more detail. I highly recommend it. The stitching is exquisite.) It’s about 22 by 22 inches, still with the original price tag of 50 cents from Kindall. So I need to go do some research and track it down.
The design reflects much of the art needlework done in the 1890s through about 1910 in the U.S. This one is poppies. It’s stitched on linen in a thick filament silk – not twisted at all, it looks like they put enough strands in the needle to be about the equivalent of 4-5 strands of cotton floss. But because it’s so much softer, it blends much better than that much cotton would. I’m sure that this was packaged in this size as thread… I’ve seen the advertisements for it.
As you can see, it’s not faded at all, and the stitching is exquisite. There is a small triangular voided area in the poppies shown above, where the petals meet, that I thought was an error, but then I realized that all of the poppies in that position have identical voided areas. It was designed to be made into a pillow – the linen to back the pillow is attached to the embroidered linen, ready to be made.
Coveting the threads I can no longer get, and feeling very pleased with myself for finding this.
Detail of open poppy
See the little trianglular voided spot? It’s in all the poppies shaped this way.
Detail of ribbon and the poppy buds
Detail of ribbon
Angled shot. I love how smooth the edges are on the stitching.
Edited 3/12/11 to add the photo of the poppy with the voided spot.
It’s something you sometimes hear in art circles – “Don’t get too precious” “Don’t be precious about it!” “Keep your work fresh, not precious.” Precious connotes perfectionism – sometimes overworking, sometimes underworking a piece in order to get it “just so.” For some reason, this is considered bad. (I’m a perfectionist…) But who am I to talk? When a friend complained about a town being too “twee,” I said, but I LOVE that town! (I also never told her that I was planning ot move there… and in fact, I didn’t – I fell in love and moved 2500 miles away instead!) maybe “precious” is in my blood.
You don’t hear the word precious thrown around in American needlework circles very often – sometimes I’ll hear it in the more avant-garde UK textile forums. I have, however, have had acquaintances tell me that American stitchers tend to replace creativity in design with perfect craftsmanship. Indeed, needlework kits feel the need to underscore “the back should look as good as the front.” And there is a fear here that someone will turn over your work and analyze the back… (I do, but not for neatness… I want to know HOW they did what they did!!)
Note on the photo – I’ve never met a cat named Precious that wasn’t psychotic and scary. Dora is NOT named precious, but she has the nickname of The Cuteness… does that count?
I’m not sure where I’m going with this ramble. So let me ask y’all a question – are spontaneity and craftsmanship deadly enemies? Can we have spontaneous, fresh design and still keep quality of stitching? Can stitching be taken into the “real art” world without sacrificing this?