Ed Hardy is known as the “godfather of modern tattoos” for his artistic sophistication, depth and experimentation. His work adorns a broad range of products including t-shirts, sleepwear, energy drink, car accessories and more. And now he is entering the world of cross stitch.
While tattoo art and embroidery have been bed-fellows for quite a while, this is the first book of tattoo cross stitch design to be produced and I approached this book with high expectations. First impressions count and the book delivers – it’s one cool stitchery book, and I know plenty of people who should have this in their collection just in principle.
The book contains 30 traditional tattoo designs that have been translated into cross stitch patterns – skulls, tigers, roses, anchors – you name it, the book has got it. The thing that struck me with the patterns is the use of colour – it really echoes that old-school tattoo vibe and the colour blending is quite detailed.
Alas, I think this level of detail proves problematic with the patterns as it necessitates them being pretty big. While you could stitch them on high count fabrics, it would still involve a lot of stitching, meaning that this book is not necessarily for beginners. None of the patterns are particularly complicated, but some of the designs would be a real test of your commitment.
A redeeming feature is the gallery of original images at the back of the book. This is a great resource as it gives you the raw materials to try out different stitched versions of the same products, or even to get the thing stuck on your arm I guess. 🙂
I struggle with this book – I had high hopes when I heard about it, and while the patterns are a very faithful translation of Ed Hardy designs, it doesn’t feel like they’ve been translated by someone with an intimate knowledge of cross stitch. Had I overseen this project I think I may have chosen different designs or reworked them to simplify them a bit.
If you like tattoos and you like cross stitch, you will like this book. It delivers exactly what it says on the cover and the gallery of designs is an asset. However the size of the patterns is problematic and I suspect this book proves that while tattoos and embroidery work well together, the marriage of tattoos and the pixelated format of cross stitch ain’t quite so rosy.
If you’re in the UK, why not buy it from Amazon via our bookstore?
Competition Time! Win a copy of Love Kills Slowly!
We have one copy of the book for you to win and it’s a breeze to do so!
Tell us a story about one of your tattoos. if you haven’t got a tattoo tell us a story about something else!
The closing date for entries is Friday 5th August, when a winner will be chosen by the random number generator and we will post the result.
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Welcome to Manbroidery, a series of interviews with men who stitch. This time we interview Walter Bruno Brix who plays with textile illustration to explore history and identity.