Erin Endicott’s Healing Sutras

Sutra 35, Erin Endicott, courtesy EE

It’s not just beautiful. It’s not just historical awareness. I’ts not just sublime craftsmanship. It’s all this.

Only last year I came upon the work Healing Sutras of Erin Endicott (USA), although she delivered it around 2010. The Sanskrit word Sutra means stitch: a thread or line that holds things together. The slow process of stitching becomes a kind of “rite of healing” to the artist.

Philosophy behind it

When I saw Erin’s work for the first time it immediately caught me.  It’s beauty thrilled me with wonder, along with the great philosophy that’s about it. Erin herself says she makes stuff that has real meaning behind it. The medium (embroidery, MM) is secondary to the message for her.

In her artist statement Erins says:

The “Healing Sutras” grew out of years of work examining psychological wounds, mainly my own. I was particularly intrigued by the concept of inherited wounds, specific patterns, behaviors, reactions, that we are born with. Already seeded into our psyche at birth. I imagined that the little ”seed” attracted negativity, until we end up with a dense area of negative energy built up in our physical bodies. By literally bringing these dark areas into the light, by making them visible, I want to heal these wounds.

detail Healing Sutras, Erin Endicott, courtesy EE

Her philosophy appeals to me. Being a coach / counselor I recognize that each of us has to deal with certain aspects in our lives, since we were children already. With specific characteristics in our “personality”. With influences and patterns of behavior connected to our family history. Lot’s of people aren’t aware of this mechanism and experience dissatisfaction in life. Start blaming others instead of facing and healing themselves. For me too making art is such a effective way to start healing. Erin shows that twice over.


Erin always felt the need to create, even as a young child. Being an artist was the only thing she wanted to be. She comes from a family with women who loved to sew. Who made things. Her grandmother was an artist too and encouraged her to take art lessons. So she did. She studied in Scotland and after that she got a BFA degree from Moore college of Art & Design in Philadelphia. Her inspiration is above all (solitude in) nature, as a child she grew up in the woods and near a lake.

Sutra 36, Erin Endicott, courtesy EE

Working process

Erin works with vintage fabrics, antique clothing and linen, passed down by the women in her family or given to her by strangers. The embroidery floss she uses is DMC number 321, she says it’s the truest red she could find.

Healing Sutra, Erin Endicott, courtesy EE

With walnut ink oil she stains slightly damp fabric. This creates a kind of a map, which tells where to put the embroidery marks. Ink on fabric has a mind of it’ s own, it takes the control away, does it’ s own thing. That was kind of a challenge for Erin, to trust and let go. What triggered her positively was watching the (ink) “wound” grow and take shape before her eyes.

Intuition and healing

Interesting is that Erin hasn’t got a traditional embroidery training, she just follows her intuition. Her hand follows where her hart wants to go. Something more people should do, as far as I ‘m concerned. Let your own creativity and instincts lead you. Instead of listen to what you are supposed to do.

For Erin her art is process-oriented work. Stitching is like drawing to her, but then much slower.


Almost ten years have passed. Erin has changed directions. She married and became Erin Daniels. Nowadays she runs designstudio Erin Daniels Art + Design, A New Jersey-based interior decorating firm. Her company also sells art, in which her “stitchy style” is still visible.

“Chinoiserie Chrysanthemum” in Peacock, Erin Endicott, copyright artist

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