Monthly Archives: August 2013

Thread and Needle

Recently I’ve really gotten into embroidery.  It all started at work. For those who don’t know, I’m an art instructor  at a local Santa Barbara non-profit, that focuses on adults with special needs. While thinking of ideas for a demo on needlework…I wanted to show something slightly outside the box.  Something more visually interesting than the cross-stitched hot pads Granny lovingly taught you  to make way back when.  I had noticed that some of the people I teach, had been working on embroidery in a pretty straight forward way… basic stitching on a hand drawn outline. This was great practice for them and helped at becoming comfortable with a new medium. But, I felt we needed to step it up a notch. Loosen up a bit and think about it as an overall completed art piece. While looking at the materials available in the studio: fabric paint, linen, beads, embroidery floss etc…i began thinking. What creates the perfect balance between loose mark making and tight detail work?  My answer? Why painting AND needlework of course!  As  I continued to research embroidery as “art” instead of just “craft” i discovered a few artists worth mentioning:

Takashi Iwasaki

Lauren DiCioccio

Stephanie Toppin

Stacey Page

While I’ve done many fiber arts, costume making, crocheting, knitting and general textile dabbling in the past..I’ve never tied together  painting ideas with fabric and thread.  This is an exciting new exploration of materials…and something equally as intriguing to witness the artists in my group delve into and interpret with their own unique flare.  They are already impressing me.

Here is a pic of my demo of paint on fabric. ( pre-embroidery)

LR (1 of 1)-2

On my days off from the “work studio” when I get to jump into my own artwork I’ve started working on a new embroidery piece on pre-stretched black canvas.  I have only just begun…but am already loving the contrast of the vibrant threads against the dark background. LR (1 of 1)

On this piece, I would like to experiment with pattern and chaos while exploring the negative space surrounding the figure.

Here are some  inspiring textures and patterns I discovered in my apartment…



Well, back to work!