Sequintial Art with Claire Barrett from Hawthorne and Heaney

We admit its been a little while since we gave you an update on what we’ve been up in the Hawthorne & Heaney studio, but it’s all been very exciting. Now we can show you some of the beautiful things we have been involved in creating as we have been working with renowned artist, Carne Griffiths. Originally from Liverpool, Carne himself has a bit of history in the embroidery world as he worked as a gold wire embroidery designer before establishing his own artists studio in 2010. Since then Griffiths has been exhibiting across the UK and beyond with Frankfurt, New York and Hong Kong to name but a few.

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Some of you who are familiar with our work may already have seen a few sneaky pics as he has started to introduce embroidery into his work which usually is created with a combination of unusual mediums. Inks, graphite and tea feature quite predominantly throughout his work with the addition of rubber stamps, diamond dust, alcohol and now, embroidery. We are delighted to be part of such a contemporary meeting of art and embroidery as Griffiths is achieving in pieces such as ‘Greed’. The integration of the stitched into the overall movement of the piece is very subtle and only on close inspection do you get to appreciate the intricacies of both the line and the thread. Within the dream like nature his work the light relief created by the stitches sits comfortably against his other introductions of texture such as that if the diamond dust and gold leaf. Here is one of the pieces in all its glory, see it now in person at The Unit, Covent Garden.


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Carne Griffiths also has some other works in collaboration with Marlow guitars which are on display at The West London Art Factory. The natural movement of the lines has a lyrical quality which works so well with the fluid curves of the guitar. This is not the first exciting collaboration that Griffiths has been part of as he has also worked with the photographer Rankin for a shoot in Hunger Magazine and creating edible art by working on eggs for Michelin Star Chef Nicola Batavia.

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All this can only leave us wondering what to expect from Griffiths next.

Natasha S-P, H&H Team Member

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Claire Barrett is an embroidery designer who has been working in the embroidery industry for six years. A former Creative Director at Hand & Lock, Claire runs Hawthorne & Heaney, dealing with celebrity clients such as Kanye West and high profile companies such as Henry Poole & Company Savile Row tailors.

Claire is passionate about making embroidery accessible to everyone by offering sponsorships to young designers and even running the London Embroidery School to teach beginners classes to those who are interested in getting a taste of what embroidery has to offer.

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Mr X Stitch brings Showtime Snippets

Showtime Snippets sweeps together all kinds of titbits from the interwebs into this handy digest for you. If you’re a stitch/textile artist, hopefully these snippets will help you find shows and exhibit!

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The Cutting & Stitching Edge | Contemporary Embroidered Art from Mr X Stitch

Deborah Simon is a mixed media artist from Brooklyn, USA.

Deborah Simon - Ursus maritimus

“My work walks the line between taxidermy, toy and sculpture. Each sculpture is meticulously fabricated to create an unnervingly accurate but slightly off version of the natural animal.

Deborah Simon - Ursus maritimus - back

“Evolution has always held a particular fascination for me, informing how I create and group the animals in my work. As I’ve read and dug through museum collections to research my pieces, western science’s mania for labeling, codifying and collecting has stood out. Most of this categorizing bears little resemblance to how animals and plants exist out in the natural world and I find this disconnect fascinating.

Deborah Simon - Ursus americanus

“The Flayed Bears play with ideas around stuffed toys, taxidermy and classification.  Bears especially interest me as they are the ultimate stuffed animals; both the iconic plush toy and the prized taxidermy specimen for hunters. Most of all the sculptures deal with vulnerability. A stuffed bear is the enduring toy of childhood. The fierce predator declawed and defanged to become a child’s beloved friend and sense of security. The pieces explore the tension between the reality of the animal and the vulnerability imbued in toy.

Deborah Simon - Ursus americanus - embroidery

Their fur is removed on the body, leaving a linen skin, as if they’d been flayed or like undressed porcelain dolls, with the hard sculpted fur covered head and paws connected to the soft linen body. On the linen I’ve embroidered different organ systems that I felt best represented each species.”

Deborah Simon - Ursus arctos horribilus

I find these pieces incredibly powerful. Not only are they physically large, and therefore a feat of technical expertise, but the characterisation of the bears and their subsequent flaying is really quite moving. Reminiscent of bad circuses from the past, you can feel the pain of the animals, their stance suggesting captivity.

Deborah Simon - Ursus arctos horribilus - embroidery

The removal of skin and embroidery of their inner workings elicits a response akin to that of traditional taxidermy – despite how cool small bits of taxidermy might be these days, there’s something haunting about seeing big beasts turned into trophies. Deborah’s work is simply clay and fur and stitch, but her execution is so well done that I feel like crying at the demise of these beasts. It’s wonderful work.

Deborah Simon - Ursus maritimus - face detail

Connect with Deborah via her website.

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The Cutting & Stitching Edge is brought to you in association with PUSH: Stitchery, the must-have embroidered art book by Mr X Stitch !


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Kreinik Calling! Exclusive to Mr X Stitch!

We love the companies that sponsor Mr X Stitch and we thought we’d take a moment to share some love about them!

Kreinik Threads have been making beautiful threads for years and each month, Dena Lenham’s Kreinik Calling column provides inspirational ideas on how to create great effects with their products. If you don’t know about Kreinik, this introductory post will reveal all!

Kreinik Threads

You can tell that Kreinik have a real love for their products and for the world of stitch. Dena’s enthusiasm for the work of others is palpable and her recent post about bugs is a perfect example of what we mean.

This needlepoint butterfly is a highly stylistic depiction, a blend of stitches and thread types.

The world of thread is so much broader than you might initially realise, and it’s been fascinating to find out about the production processes and some of the innovative products that Kreinik make.

Entering the Kreinik factory

Dena is always willing to help you master techniques and good practices as well, as proven in this post about fraying.

Fray a metallic ribbon for interesting effects.

We’ll wrap this post up by making sure you read the interview we did with Dena last year – we heart her a lot!

Dena with Doug Kreinik, representing Kreinik Manufacturing Company at a trade show in Birmingham, England.

We’re so honoured to work with Kreinik – they’re great ambassadors for the industry and we can only encourage you to visit their site and try out the range of products they make. Tell ‘em Mr X Stitch sent you!

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