Cutting & Stitching Edge

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

Caren Garfen is an embroidery artist from London.

Caren Garfen - Guilt Biscuits - 2014

Guilt Biscuits – Cookies have been hand stitched with silk threads. Biscuits are one of our ‘treats’ but at the same time we feel guilty about eating them, especially after going past two or three! One would think twice about nibbling into a biscuit with thread stitched into it especially after reading the message it holds.

“For fifteen years up until 2007 I worked as a craftsperson hand stitching top-of-the-range, miniature, and traditional samplers for dolls’ houses. My work was sold, by my agent and myself, all over the USA, in Japan, Europe and Great Britain, to adult collectors. In 2007 I graduated from the University of Hertfordshire with a First Class (Hons) degree in the Applied Arts, and I now work as an artist.

 

Caren Garfen - Clock, 'Weight a Minute' - 2014

Weight a Minute – This artwork has been created using real weighing scales but has been adapted using silkscreen printed imagery and hand stitched motifs onto cotton. The dial is now in the form of a clock used to represent the time that diets tend to fail, ten past four in the afternoon, when all good resolutions tend to fail….

“I am currently creating an art installation dealing with women and dieting for The Knitting & Stitching Show which takes place this Autumn. I will be incorporating works that have been made over the last three to four years and creating new pieces, bringing everything together in the shape of a kitchen. I have hand drawn and silkscreen printed all of the cupboards, washing machine, sink, oven, tiles, etc. which, as well as forming a backdrop for the installation, will become an integral part of this life-size artwork.

It's only a question of balance, Caren Garfen, K&S

“It will not be possible to open the cupboards or eat anything in this kitchen as, according to research, food is dangerous.  One week we can eat dairy, the next we cannot.  Carbohydrates are fine, or carbohydrates are harmful.  Sugar is deleterious to your teeth and your health, and sweeteners are full of chemicals. We should now eat 10 portions of fruit and vegetables rather than five! We treat ourselves with ‘good’ foods and feel guilty about ‘bad’ foods… Enter this kitchen at your peril!”

A pick-me-up, Caren Garfen, K&S

Caren’s work is astonishing. I’ve seen it with my own eyes and it’s minute and perfect. Caren’s years of stitching for tiny textile things for dolls houses have given her command over the microstitch and she uses it to terrific effect.

Oven Love, Caren Garfen, K&S

At first glance you’ll assume the work is machine stitched, such is the size and delicacy of the stitch, but it’s all done by hand. Contained within the work is a quiet wit that brings the pieces to life and draws you in. It’s magic.

Tea Time, Caren Garfen, K&S

Find out more at Caren’s very cool site.

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The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge is brought to you in association with PUSH: Stitchery, the contemporary embroidered art book curated by Jamie Chalmers. Featuring 30 textile-based artists from around the world, it’s a must have for needlework fans.

 

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

ZoraHolly is a mother and daughter embroidery team from China.

ZoraHolly - Chrysanthemum Sculpture Necklace

“It is hard to explain the secret behind our work. When my mother and I first worked together to create these art works we could never have imagined the results. Our only wish is to share them with those among you who love art. Also, we feel our work has a sense of fulfilling a special destiny. A daughter who was once taught so many things by her mother now finds herself becoming the teacher.

ZoraHolly - Brocade Satin Flower Necklace

“The life” represents familial affection, with mother and daughter knitted together in perfect intimacy. Their life experience has shaped each other’s stories. “Losing” brought a new meaning to our relationship. Now cherishing each other and what we have is at the foundation of our relationship. This life of ours spans several decades but is ultimately limited. Sometimes it seems so long and at other times it appears so very short. However, within this finite life, we strive to create a small world which can retain an eternal serenity.”

Zora Yin - Ants Soft Sculpture

There’s no denying the exquisite nature of this work, recreating the beauty of nature in minute proportion. The jewellery is filled with detail of stitch and elegant construction.

ZoraHolly - Romantic Sakura Necklace

Zora’s individual works explore similar content, with lifelike insect sculptures being created out of thread and wire. It’s impressive work, and while the flowery necklaces might not be everyone’s cup of tea, there’s no denying the quality and charm of the work.

Zora Yin - Spider Soft Sculpture

Find out more about ZoraHolly at their site and make your purchase at their etsy store.

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The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge is brought to you in association with PUSH: Stitchery, the contemporary embroidered art book curated by Jamie Chalmers. Featuring 30 textile-based artists from around the world, it’s a must have for needlework fans.

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

Almas Pieters is a mixed-media artist from the Netherlands.

Almas Pieters - Genevieve

“As an illustrator Almas Pieters uses different kinds of everyday materials and crafts from grandma’s time to tell stories. She, in particular, has a fascination for thread/needle and textiles. Not bound by any technical knowledge she walks along beaten paths looking for new and surprising angles.

Almas Pieters - Stolen Beauties

“Inspired by the drive of outsider artists she starts off making collages with cut-out pictures and images from magazines and the internet, rearranging and recreating content. While stitching the loose elements together, covering the collage with a thick layer of brightly coloured thread, her imagination kicks in. Deviating from her original plan the collage gradually transforms into a new image, surprising Almas herself with the result. All pieces are embroidered by hand.

Almas Pieters - Godzillaman (detail)

There’s a real energy to Almas’ work – her pieces are filled with colour and packed with simple, vibrant stitching.

Almas Pieters - Warrior

I love that she starts off with paper collage,  but completely transforms the original material, in medium and in content. Almas makes new pieces of pop culture art with a rawness that’s completely engaging.

Almas Pieters - Mommas Boy

Visit Almas’ website to find out more about her work – I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes out with next!

Almas Pieters - I'll Walk Away If You Walk Away

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The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge is brought to you in association with PUSH: Stitchery, the contemporary embroidered art book curated by Jamie Chalmers. Featuring 30 textile-based artists from around the world, it’s a must have for needlework fans.

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

Luisa Zilio is an embroidery artist from Bristol.

Luisa Zilio - Frida Kahlo - Hand Embroidery

“I am a textile artist who has been studying mental health and its sufferers for many years. Drawn from an emotional and physical investment in my subject, I present a series of embroidered portraits of significant cultural figures with a potent common thread; of mental health and its link to a particularly powerful strain of creativity.

Luisa Zilio - Dylan Thomas - Hand Embroidery

“My aim is to draw attention to my work from viewers who may take an interest in the subjects themselves, and then present the often stigmatised subject matter of mental health; raising awareness, as well as celebrating it for its less negative connotations, illustrating the undeniable link to a particularly dazzling form of creativity. 

Luisa Zilio - Nina Simone - Hand Embroidery

“My use of embroidery is also a direct reference to my own Bipolar disorder. It’s a technique I use to control emotion, to focus my mind, a meditative process. The repetitive nature of the work in which I immerse myself and the painstaking and physically demanding hours put into each piece are factors that lead to a genuine emotional investment in my work.”

Luisa Zilio - Vivien Leigh - Hand Embroidery

I’m glad Luisa shared her portfolio with me, I really like it. It’s an interesting collection of characters brought together by a subject that is still somewhat taboo. Luisa’s process has a therapeutic element, not unlike the work of Alex Walters and I’d interested to find out more about the healing power of stitch from her experience.

Luisa Zilio - Jean-Michel Basquiat - Hand Embroidery

Visit Luisa’s website to connect with her and enjoy more of her work.

Luisa Zilio - Virginia Woolf - Hand Embroidery

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The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge is brought to you in association with PUSH: Stitchery, the contemporary embroidered art book curated by Jamie Chalmers. Featuring 30 textile-based artists from around the world, it’s a must have for needlework fans.

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