Saturday, 16 June 2012

Experimenting: goldwork stones

Living by a beach has its advantages. Whenever I'm out for a walk along the beach I have the habit of looking down at my feet - it's strangely compelling - to look at all the millions of stones on the beach, each with unique and fascinating shapes, colours and patterns.

Since I seem to be constantly bringing new and 'interesting' stones home to sit on my studio windowsill, it seems the next step to start incorporating them into my stitching.

These two have been covered entirely in various couched goldwork threads. They're lovely to work on because the stones 'sit' snugly in your hand, and of course the tension doesn't loosen off like fabric in a frame tends to do. They aren't actually 'for' anything, more of just an experiment in taking stitch techniques (in this case couching) into the third dimension.

The secret is to use a curved needle: it just makes the whole process much easier when sewing onto curved or three-dimensional surfaces, as any surgeon will vouch. (Look at the purple stitches - they're actually surgical sutures. The only trouble is that surgical needles are intended for single-use purposes, meaning they come with a limited amount of thread pre-attatched and can then only be thrown away. The mission is now to procure a robust enough curved needle with an integral eye.)

Meanwhile, I have some gorgeous three-dimensional Berlin Wool Work underway, undertaken as part of a collaboration with embroidery artist James Hunting - stay tuned!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Degree Show

Degree Show
Last weekend I was proud to participate in the RSN’s exhibition of Foundation Degree graduates, held in the Clore Centre at Hampton Court Palace.

It was a hectic rush to get everything up and installed in the short turnaround space, but I think the show was very successful and showcased a diverse range of final outcomes – and to see the work of my peers properly presented, instead of work-in-progress within the classroom, seemed to mark a significant milestone in our progression.  

I was also privileged to receive an award in ‘Best Stitchcraft’ from the Worshipful Company of Needlemakers, whom I shall be attending a function with over the summer:

Academic year now done and over with, it's time to start stitching with a greater sense of self-directed purpose! Inbetween enjoying Brighton this summer, I now find myself with more time to play with stitch than I've had in a long while....