It’s easy on a blog all about “contemporary embroidery” to only think of the present. However, revolutions in a creative field can come about long before the rest of the world catches up with the idea. That’s why I think the work of Annemieke Mein deserves a look, because her work is just as fresh and contemporary today in technique and style as it was when she first started revolutionizing the art in the ’70s and ’80s.
Annemieke Mein is a Dutch-born textile artist who works in freestyle machine embroidery techniques to create stunning pictures of wildlife. She started working as a textile artist in the ’70s, and by the ’80s was recognized as one of the world€™s foremost textile artists.
Her larger-than-life, exquisitely detailed pieces bring new focus the the beauty of the flora and fauna of the natural word, and throughout her career she has produced an impressive body of insect and animal art.
The book The Art of Annemieke Mein: Wildlife Artist in Textiles illustrates more than thirty major fabric sculptures she has worked on in exquisite detail, and her art has appeared in galleries all over the world. I would just love to see one of these in person, especially when you realize how big these things are.
Her large, three-dimensional creations brought new ideas into the world about how textile machines could be used, but also incorporated hand embroidery techniques, applique, dyeing and quilting. Her work in many ways still sets a standard for the excellence that can be achieved with an artistic eye and a skill with a sewing machine.
Annemieke still holds regular workshops and imparts her techniques and experience to those who wish to learn, and continues to inspire the world of contemporary machine embroidery. Even if you’ve seen her work before, it’s worth a look again to remind us how far we can go with machine embroidery, and how far it’s already come.
Though Annemieke doesn’t have a strong web presence, you can see more beautiful photos of her work in her book, available on Amazon.
Gear 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.