Live Purposefully Embroidery
I started this embroidery work at Squam in Rebecca Rinquist's Embroidered Memories class. (If you haven't seen her work yet, check it out. It's amazing).
I've been working on this all summer. Hand embroidery is funny like that-- I can work on it all day and then only have a few inches to show for it. But I like that it is slow, thoughtful work.
The work is done on an early 1900s hand-sewn embroidery holder that I found at an antique shop. It's hard to see in this picture but there are vertical spaces created to hold embroidery thread, and you can see the row of embroidery thread colors peaking out at the top. I decided to stitch directly on top of all of the rows of thread-- it makes for a very interesting texture. I also very much like the idea of working directly on something that someone made from hand, that they carried with them so that their embroidery thread would be close by. Sometimes while I'm working I imagine who this might have belonged to.
Conceptually this piece is about me thinking about the switch from painting to stitch work. It stems from a conversation I had at Squam with Rebecca about the intentionality of making a mark with embroidery thread. As a painter who will sometimes spend months on a painting only to completely paint over it in a drastic way within minutes, embroidery is a good medium for me right now. I have to be intentional with every mark. There is no erasing-- no putting white on top of everything. I can only keep working with what I have.
Yesterday I was thinking that maybe I'm close to being done with it but now I think that no, I have a long ways to go. I have a lot of ideas about where to go with it from here and I'm excited to continue on with it.