Embroidery is … making marks. You never looked at it that way, did you?
Covering the surface
When embroidering, in fact you’re covering the surface of textile with different stitches. Those become marks. Helen Parrott has written a book about this, Mark-making in Textile Art (2013).
In the book she shows how marks can be used making textile art, both simple and complex. She explores the crossover between stitch and drawing. Helen herself is often inspired by nature and landscape, for her they lead to a wide range of marks.
Stages of mark making
Helen talks about different stages of developing marks. She starts with the beginning of observing, collecting and recording marks. Then you think about making drawings or photographs of those. The next stage is making marks and prints on paper, inspired by the collected marks. With her tips about drawing techniques and materials, you can do that well.
Then there’s a chapter of information about hand- and machine stitched marks and lines. This is accompanied by a lot of very clear and helpful photographs of examples.
Finishing your work of art
After that attention is given to crossing the line from making nice samplers, to making a finished work of art. An issue I personally am regularly dealing with.
Helen states living a creative life can help you with that. Luckily she offers 7 strategies that will support you to accomplish that:
- take good care of yourself, mentally and physically.
- help yourself staying motivated, she gives some tips how to do that.
- use your time wisely
- make the most of your workspace
- become a member of artistic groups
- find out what helps you when you’re stuck
- plan days out to get inspired by other artist
Overall I find this to be a useful and inspiring book, especially for people who want to make abstract embroidered works.
Do you want to read more about “arty” embroidery books? Then leave your email address below.