Monday, April 17, 2017
A couple of weeks ago I attended a workshop taught by Beth Schnellenberger called "Extreme Embroidery." Beth has been working in this intensive format for several years, filling every speck of base fabric with hand stitching to make elaborate designs. I've admired her work and was happy to have her show us the technique.
Happy to report that I have finished the piece that I started in that workshop, hung it at Pyro Gallery last week, and it was sold at the opening reception of our new show.
Here's a detail shot. I used french knots for the iris, and plain old straight stitches for everything else. In some areas the straight stitches were neatly aligned in the same direction, but in others they go every which way. I started with six strands of embroidery floss for the blue and white, then switched to three strands for the rest of the picture.
When I finished, I cut the felt away from the back right at the edge of the stitching, then turned over a quarter-inch of fabric and overcast the edge heavily with black.
I mounted it on a 6x6" canvas; you can't see in this photo but the canvas is 1 1/2 inches deep so it has a good heft on the wall.
I've felt for a long time that eyes are a good motif for me to work with. I used them a lot in my year of daily hand-stitching, and in my three years of daily collage, so it's kind of a default image when I need to doodle or practice. I think this little embroidery, which I've called "Desert Eye," may be the first in a series.