Gear Threads

Gear Threads – Tobyboo

by Urban Threads on 15 December 2014

Gear Threads Is The Mr X Stitch Machine Embroidery Column - Presented By Urban Threads!

Artist Tina Crawford takes “thread sketching” to a whole new place with her work at Tobyboo. Her thread sketching is similar to other freestyle machine embroidery artists, though it differs in a few important ways. First, she does all her work totally free-hand, without any framework or sketch to start.

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“Not many embroiderers work the way that I do, I don’t draw before hand – the fluidity of the thread with machine embroidery leads itself as my pen and I love to capture each wobble and mistake as part of the drawing’s originality and charm.”

The next step, however, is where her process really differs. You see, instead of keeping the medium purely as a textile art, Tina Crawford takes the “sketch” part literally. The design is scanned in from its “sketched” thread phase, and transformed into the final art on the computer.

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From this process there is a wonderfully fluid and yet remarkably clean piece of art, a fascinating mix of thread and digital.

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After completing her pieces, she then transforms them into all kinds of home goods, printing them on china, pillows, teacups and more.

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The original art, though digitized, gets to keep all the charm of its loose threads and imperfections. The handiwork of the embroidery is not at all obliterated by the digital transformation.

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Since 2012 Tina has created pieces and illustrations for St Paul’s Cathedral, Sir John Soane Museum, Kew Gardens, Oxford Universities and John Lewis, to name a few. Her pieces often focus on storytelling, characters and history, with just enough quirkiness to keep it all feeling delightfully British.

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Want to see more, or grab a piece for yourself? Visit her website Tobyboo, or check out her YouTube page for some excellent short videos on her creation process.

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Urban Threads - Unique and Awesome Machine Embroidery DesignsGear Threads is brought to you from the offbeat gals at Urban Threads. Created by illustrator Niamh O’Connor, Urban Threads is revolutionizing machine embroidery one edgy, elegant, innovative, and/or offbeat design at a time. Discover the future of digital stitchery at www.urbanthreads.com.

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Gear Threads Is The Mr X Stitch Machine Embroidery Column - Presented By Urban Threads!

There’s pure magic coming out of Firecracker Studio, the home of Wellington, New Zealand multimedia artist Katherine Bertram. Formally trained as a printmaker in Sydney, Australia, Bertram creates incredible works of art using freehand machine embroidery, skillfully placing thread to create uniquely captivating images — like this striking fabric-collaged portrait of her daughter, complete with blue crown. THOSE EYES.

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Bertram’s stitching creates texture and nuance out of stark black and white, in a manner that echoes engraving or linocut prints.

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Her work’s not only at home on gallery walls — Firecracker Studio sells embroidered items like these bird purses and cushions, for usable textile art that brings a bit of that magic to everyday life.

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Captivated by Bertram’s unique style? See more of her portraits, creatures, cityscapes, and fabric collage pieces!

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Urban Threads - Unique and Awesome Machine Embroidery DesignsGear Threads is brought to you from the offbeat gals at Urban Threads. Created by illustrator Niamh O’Connor, Urban Threads is revolutionizing machine embroidery one edgy, elegant, innovative, and/or offbeat design at a time. Discover the future of digital stitchery at www.urbanthreads.com.

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Gear Threads Is The Mr X Stitch Machine Embroidery Column - Presented By Urban Threads!

Crow and Gate Clothing began as the creative outlet of a self described “out of work insomniac with too much time on her hands and a slight vintage obsession.”

Artist Tassie Vicars is a Fashion Institute of Technology graduate who combines vintage styles with often quirky embroidery. Many of her garments are adorned with freehand machine stitches, which as she clarifies, are “meant to produce a delightfully off-kilter result, not straight perfect lines. This technique ensures that each piece will be unique and gives this garment its quirky charm.” I love how she uses the imperfection of the art to bring more character to each piece.

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Simple, sweet, and slightly irreverent in its vintage styling, I love the subtle (and not so subtle) use of trompe l’oeil on some of the pieces, and the chic but elegant styling of the slightly imperfect stitches. You can see more of her designs (and even grab a few) on her etsy store.

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Urban Threads - Unique and Awesome Machine Embroidery DesignsGear Threads is brought to you from the offbeat gals at Urban Threads. Created by illustrator Niamh O’Connor, Urban Threads is revolutionizing machine embroidery one edgy, elegant, innovative, and/or offbeat design at a time. Discover the future of digital stitchery at www.urbanthreads.com.

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Gear Threads Is The Mr X Stitch Machine Embroidery Column - Presented By Urban Threads!

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
– Leonard Cohen, “Anthem”

Crafty lore is full of tales of cultures around the world where makers intentionally introduce a flaw into otherwise expert work — to avoid competing with the perfection of the divine, or to allow spirits to escape. There seems to be a fair amount of fiction at play, but it’s an idea that resonates — imperfection is its own kind of perfection.

Meanwhile in the machine embroidery world, along with so many other digital arts, we spend lots of time and energy to make designs as smooth and polished as possible. Tokyo fashion designer, musician, and artist Nukeme turns all this on its head — intentionally introducing errors into digital design files for knitting and embroidery machines, then stitching the wonderfully weird results.

Much of Nukeme’s work tweaks familiar corporate logos…

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Here’s a closer look at how Nukeme introduces glitches into the embroidery:

 

And a fascinating look at glitch knitting:

 

See more of Nukeme‘s work at The Creators Project, and read an interview at Irenebrination!

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Urban Threads - Unique and Awesome Machine Embroidery DesignsGear Threads is brought to you from the offbeat gals at Urban Threads. Created by illustrator Niamh O’Connor, Urban Threads is revolutionizing machine embroidery one edgy, elegant, innovative, and/or offbeat design at a time. Discover the future of digital stitchery at www.urbanthreads.com.

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