The Joy of Stitch

Moving on……………

Stitch and Light
Stitch and Light

Moving on……….

Tuesday, 22. January 2013


While I was working around the visual idea of embroidering in the church against the window with the music of Avro Präet, it felt safe, like a know territory in which to work.

In my conversation with Gillian Wylde last week it became clear, that the process of the embroidery and the internal process is the work: it is an exploration of seeking moments of calm and reflection in an almost meditative activity, being in a space, inside or outside reflecting the connection to the world, being in the world while being within myself, with myself, enduring myself.

I feel her suggestion of just going out there, and being in a space, with my embroidery, just being and noticingfeels right and scary, uncertain… I am glad to be left to explore this journey.

The Idea, the image to take this exploration on a Journey feels right; my wish was always to go with my Gyspy Spirit, work I can put in bag and go and work, where ever I am, I always longed for this kind of freedom. I would like to have somewhere a small base in an Artist Community; I also had the wish to travel and let the travel be part of my work. The Embroidered Cloth becomes the real time documentation, the photos and films the documentation, where I can share the experience with others.

I might feel into the idea of working in a busy crowded space, as a contrast as a visual expression of the Monkey Mind (more familiar to me then I wish for!).

On Music

Still I feel strongly that music and sound is an integral part of the expression of the internal process; it is also the part where I wish to reach out to other people and seek collaboration. In my search I am looking now into more experimental and/or improvised music; Jamie Mills is a wonderful source for inspiration and hopefully collaboration.

There is still this thing about that a lot of environmental art/ landscape art is very male; being out there, claiming territory.

 For me it is looking also inside, the house, the nest, the home, and the space we share, like churches, cafes, and trains.

 And at the same time it was very exhilarating when I was sitting on the rocks near Mousehole, in the wind and cold, listening to the crashing waves and the screeching seagulls.


Thought on Sustainability as an integral part of my practice

This year it will be 11 years since I started my journey towards a Degree in Fine Art; I started off with an A level in Textiles, followed by an A level in Fine Art and an Foundation Degree in Design and Art.

In my attic there are several boxes with sketchbook, notebooks, folders with drawings, sketches, A1 boards with course work; under my bed the handmade A 1folder with the prints of my final work from the Foundation Degree.

I stopped working with screen print because I just could not comprehend the discrepancy between my private attempts in reducing plastic waste (I try to avoid plastic or/recycle as much as I can at home) and washing acrylic paint down the drain.

I just don’t want to accumulate any more any trail pieces, explorations in wasting material.

Using wool, produced by an British Company (Appleton) and fabric made of hemp (unbleached hemp fabric from Turkey thorough The House of Hemp), which is in its farming and production more sustainable then cotton I finally have with this very conscious decision at a material, where I can feel at ease with.

The chosen material also fulfills a sense of calm aesthetic, which I had found in books about Japanese craft, Zen design and Shaker Design.

I wish to amalgate the exploration and documentation of the process and activity of very simple hand stitching with using one continuous piece of work, which actually consists of 3 different sized pieces of cloth, onto I embroider with a simple cross stitch using design borrowed from traditional quilting pattern.


In a further step I would like to incorporate the working of several women together on one piece of cloth. This is to incorporate the communal aspect in my work.

The intend and conscious choice of using a quilting pattern is to link my work with the long standing history of woman and needlework, particular the tradition of the American Quilting Bees (groups of women who come together to work on one quilt).

Recently I watched the film “The Making of an American Quilt”; (incorporate some info about the film) : besides the narrative of the film it gave a glimpse it the emotional aspects of working on a quilt for the women in this group.


Textile related activities have two aspects for me

  1. The solitarily, meditative  working alone, finding that quiet space inside while being immersed in the repetitive working of the needles, whether it is knitting needles or embroidery needles.
  2. The joys of being in a group, mostly women sharing the same activity, the company, sharing the joys and prides, or the disasters and often not only about the pieces at hand , but life in general. 



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