Monday, 14 November 2011

Embroidery of Botanical Roses

This is an embroidery sample in which I started on Monday the 7th of November and have only just finished it on the Saturday the 12th of November. I have been slaving away embroidering this piece to make it look like 3-D embroidered lace on sheer silk fabric. I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of completing this sample, it has taken time and a lot of persaverence, but the result has turned out better than what I had expected. By completing this sample it has enabled me to be more proactive about my work and it has encouraged me to continue creating and experimenting with emboridery.   

Saturday, 5 November 2011


I am in the process of nearly completing another book...woohoo! The book I am engrossed in at the moment is called ''In Her Own Image'' which is about women working within the art, be it poets, writers, painters, pottery or stitching. The book has given me a real insight to the prejudice and the criticism of women from the Victorian era to what can still be seen within present age. Women juggled work, household keeping, being a wife, a mother and were never given acclaim for what they did making, ''being an artist'' almost unattainable. Women have always been steroetyped as being the unintelligent, uneducated of that of man. There has always been conflicts and preassure in what women should and shouldn't be. 

Women should be proud of her self worth and equally respected by men and of society within all aspects of art. In saying this, I feel that as a single mother and full-time student finding one's self worth is a journey that takes you through all the hurdles of life and what you experience and take out is what you express through one's work. Women of the past have fought, endured and laboured much in defining themselves as not only being a woman but also in being a ''women artist'' and in todays age these preassures still exist or are not understood.

I have learnt through the years and more so recently the reason for why I am returning to the real art of making things by hand. The reason being, is that beautiful techniques in embroidery, lace-making, tailoring and Haute Couture has always excited me, these skills have always held me in complete awe and wonder of it's infinate details and textures. For me in wanting to learn the techniques has always been a desire to accomplish and achieve and in capturing and learning the history of the lives of those who worked to their deaths for it and were never recognised or given acclaim for is something I suppose reflects my personal feelings and ideas. For me the works that have been laboured over and whereby blood has been spilt has much more meaning to me then that of making things or designing things for mass production. Designing and making things for mass production has never appealed to me and a lot of is to do with the fact that I once lived in poverty and tasted what life could have been if I was not blessed with amazing adoptive parents. Even now I am still living a life that is not dependant of my own income and it's not easy. Over the years while studying this degree I have learnt that poverty is everywhere, you only have to go out your front door or down the next street and you will see it and this is what politics, status and the greed of men have bought into the world and as a young artist I do not wish to abide into the network that to be a designer within fashion and textiles/artist I have to conform to being a perfectionist at all levels of skills just to get a job by the time I graduate. I feel these ethics are wrong because it's not educating people to understand their own history, their own meanings and self worth behind the history and the need for making and why art of all types should be given more credit rather than what is percieved through greed.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

''The Needle''

''a wonderful brightener and consoler; our weapon of defence against slothfulness, weariness, and sad thoughts.'' Dinah M. Craik

''Time was when the women of England were accustomed, almost from childhood, to the constant employment of their hands. It might be sometimes in elaborate works of fancy, now ridiculed for want of taste.....I cannot speak with unqualified praise of all objects on which they bestowed their attention, but if it were possible, I would write in characters of gold the indisputable fact that habits of industry and personal exertion thus acquired, gave them a strength and dignity of character, a power of usefulness and a capability of doing good which the higher theories of modern education fail to impart.'' Sarah Ellis

These quotes I have taken from the book, ''The Subversive Stitch Embroidery'' by Rozsika Parker. I have been reading this book for my dissertation and as I am reading it I am gaining a lot of insight into young girls and woman of the Victorian era and how stitching was an important part of their lifestyle. When I mean important lifestyle I don't just mean they stiched out of luxury, but they stitched with feeling either of remorse or for love of this particular art. Stitching, embroidering, lace-making were skills not appreciated as an art form and seems to be overlooked and critisized a lot of woman who were either forced into doing so as a respectful duty or for earning a living. How sad to think that stitching and embroidering can be so overlooked, undermined and ridiculed, for to me it holds such strong history and character of a person's life as well as in capturing the history of the people of the era.

Stitching is something I am extremely passionate about and I feel it should be more respected and held in high standards and should not be compared to other types of art forms eg....artist/painter.