Cutting & Stitching Edge

Sayraphim Lothian is a “public artist and investigator of playful engagement & experiments in guerrilla kindness” from Melbourne, Australia. She has a new artist in residency project that is very interesting!

Sayraphim Lothian - Wreath

“It’s called Craffiti and it’s soft sculpture and other crafted works based on some of Melbourne’s amazing street art scene. The crafts range from knitting to cross stitch, hand quilting to soft sculpture and embroidery. Alongside each work is a photo of the original street art piece and most of the artists represented have works of their own in the exhibition as well.

Sayraphim Lothian - Tag
“I look at sewing as solving puzzles, how am I going to make this the shape I want, what craft will I use, what materials will give me the surface I’m looking for, and so using street art for the inspiration offered me a whole new set of challenges. Will I make this 3d or 2d? What kind of craft will suit the original work the best? And, in one case, how the hell am I going to make this guy stand on his own without wire or bring hung up?

Sayraphim Lothian - Figure

“Using other people’s artwork as a starting point for your own is also a great responsibility. With any work you make, you want to make it as best as you can, but when using someone else’s work as a template, you have an added responsibility to be true to their vision as well as your own. You don’t want to present a work they’re going to hate!

Sayraphim Lothian - Crowned Figure

I love the idea of artists in residence, those schemes that museums, historic houses, libraries and other institutions have where artists are invited in to soak up the collections, the buildings, the histories and the stories and emerge with new artworks based on their experiences. Artists can offer the public a new way to look at an item, a new way to think about a building, a new way to experience a history. Artists can take the familiar and re-present it in a new light, using different materials to encourage us to really look at something we thought we knew, and present to us new thoughts, ideas and experiences we haven’t had before.

Sayraphim Lothian - TentacledFigure

In a way, Craffiti is exactly this, an artist residency down the alleyways of Melbourne, bringing back ideas and forms found under eaves, on walls and fences, attached to poles and hidden under bridges. Remaking these forms in new materials to present them to the audience in a new light.

 

When I was first approaching the street artists, I was a little aware that craft can be seen as a bit daggy in the public eye and that some of these artists have been painting the streets for decades. In particular one artist who I have been in awe of since I discovered his work over 10 years ago, I was a bit nervous to email him and say “Umm, I’d like to quilt your tag please…” but they were all amazingly supportive and really keen to see their work in new ways.

Sayraphim Lothian - Octopus

 

“I’m a public artist, who’s main body of work is in Guerrilla Kindness. It’s where I made small, handcrafted works to place out in the streets for people to find and take home, to make their day a little brighter. So with Craffiti I really wanted to have a Guerrilla Kindness aspect to it, as well as take it out to the streets. I was very aware that I was bringing street art into a nice, clean gallery space so I wanted to ensure that some of Craffiti made it’s way back out onto the streets. So I knitted around 20 spray cans (which rattle, thanks to a film canister and wooden bead inside) and they’ve been sent off to friends around the world who’ll be dropping them in their cities. Already spray cans have gone out in Perth (AUS) and Durham, NC (USA), they’ll also be appearing on streets in London (courtesy of Deadly Knitshade), Berlin, New York, Boston, Stockholm, Brisbane (AUS) and of course Melbourne! Each can has “Craffiti” and “@sayraphim” so that people can check in if they’d like to, but they don’t have too. It’s an obligation free gift, from us to whoever finds them.

Sayraphim Lothian - Troll

Such a great idea and some excellent pieces of work. I want that troll so bad. Follow all of Sayraphim’s adventures on instagram, facebook, twitter and on her website.

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

Over on YouTube, Erin McMom is a cross stitch artist who’s doing some really clever stuff. Go grab a drink, make yourself comfortable and enjoy Erin’s video for the OK Go song “Before The Earth Was Round

I came up with the idea to create a 3D globe while I was out for a run sometime in June. I had just finished my previous project and had no idea what I was going to do next. I was listening to my iPod when the OK Go song “Before The Earth Was Round” came on, and I knew I had to try a 3D globe to turn the concept of the song into a cross stitch. I printed out a template for a paper globe and sketched it onto the aida cloth with a pencil that very same evening. I thought it would take me about 3 months to complete (a gross underestimation).

“Early into the planning stages I decided I wanted to find a way to incorporate the song lyrics into my time-lapse video as a nod to the band, as an element of interest, and as an extra creative challenge for me. I decided that using the floss to write a word each time I started a new strand would be the most interesting way to do it.

Toronto Confetti Skyline

“I planned out the lyrics by listening to the song and writing out all the lyrics into a notebook. I aimed to have one photo for each word in the song but broke some words down phonetically to keep the video moving. I also counted out any pauses between lyrics in the song. I marked these breaks with dashes (one dash representing each photo during the pause) generally 3-4 photos per second during pauses. Truth-be-told, I kind of rushed through the planning process because I was so excited to get to work. As a result, there are times where I miscalculated the amount of photos needed for some sections which caused variations in the speed of progress during the video, although looking back on it now, I think the variation makes the video more interesting.

“There’s even an entire section that I forgot to spell out in thread, so I created a work-around after finishing the entire project and fit it into the video (I’m actually in love with that section and I’m glad it worked out that way!) It’s a wonder this worked out at all, let alone working as well as it did! In total the video is comprised of over 700 still photos and took me over 1200 stitching hours to complete (I lost track).

“This is my second OK Go cross stitch video, they are my favourite band and I’m really hoping they’ll see this video eventually.

OK Go – What To Do

“When I create time-lapse cross stitch videos I mark where the corners of the cloth will sit on my craft table using a pencil. Every time I take a new shot I line the corners up with my marks again to minimize movement. Good lighting is difficult to achieve without shadows so I’ve experimented with a variety of set-ups. My current set-up consists of a desk lamp, and some clamp lights which I attach to the edge of the table. I also use a Rotolight which I mount on the hotshoe of my Canon SL-1. My camera is set-up on a Velbon tripod with one of the legs unextended and propped up on the edge of my desk so the camera can lean over my work as far as possible without casting a shadow. I set my camera to the correct zoom and ISO setting and it remains on the tripod for the entirety of the project.

Mystery GuitarMan Cross Stitch Time Lapse

Erin really knows what she’s doing and her output is growing fast. Well as fast as a stitcher can under the circumstances.

Hello Hong Kong Confetti Skyline

I hope these videos inspire other people to have a go at doing the same. I must admit, I’m thinking about it…

Don’t Forget To Be Awesome

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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 – Kate Crossley

by Mr X

Kate Crossley is a textile artist from Oxford. “I love to use the medium that speaks to me at that moment and is best suited to the idea, I use paper, fabric, stitch, paint, dye, photo transfer, fibre etch, paper mache, resin and found objects. The piece may become a quilt, a wall hanging, a box […]

There’s more! 2 April 2015

The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge – Hannalie Taute

by Mr X

Hannalie Taute is a mixed media artist from the Klein Karoo, South Africa. Her latest show “Cross My Heart” runs from 10 February – 30 March 2015 at Erdmann Contemporary in Cape Town. “Taute’s work is in a constant state of evolution, which in itself mirrors many of the ideas behind her art. One central […]

There’s more! 26 February 2015
Mr X