I first came across Katie’s work as an Instagram newbie, she had left a lovely comment on one of my very infrequent posts which peaked my curiosity about who she was.I remember looking at her Instagram feed and just being blown away by the variety of subjects and the variation of materials and techniques she used.
I was pulled in by the fantasy/Gothic nature of her work as I scrolled through hundreds of beautiful images of her stump work wild flowers and embroidered animal’s skulls- she even used padding and gold work! She was my new-found embroidery crush- a crush that continues to this day.
I hit that follow button immediately and talked about her to ALL my embroidery friends. (Yes, even in real life I talk incessantly about embroidery!) I just fell in love with her style and how much she valued her own unique creative voice. She was a real original and I admire that immensely. Katie Tume was making Stump Work cool – I’d waited years to see that happen!!!
It was in those moments, looking through her amazing feed I decided to start my own Instagram journey – safe to say I have a lot to thank Katie for!
I love the fact she focuses on death – not in a depressive way but as a rejoice of the life lived. Finding the beauty in the bones of an animal is something I find extremely appealing- a reminder that even in death nature continues to be the ultimate creative amongst us. Every detail was painstakingly brought to life, each with a melancholy reminder of the sad fact that more and more of our precious animal species are going extinct due to our actions. Each of her beautifully worked pieces have a very real meaning or story behind them – one we could all do with listening too.It is artists like Katie that have elevated Stump work to the epitome of embroidery cool- something that was unheard of a few years ago.
There is some kind of magic in that, for every one of us that takes an interest in these old techniques and breathes life into them with our own visions, we continue a human tradition that has been around for centuries and without us could easily get lost or branded as ‘uncool’ and thus forgotten.
I am always surprised when amazing embroiderers tell me they are self-taught. It’s so inspiring to see someone spend the time and have the determination it takes to master some of the hardest embroidery techniques, and Katie has more than mastered many of them. Her stump work is exceptional, to the point where you question if its real or not. To teach that to yourself to a high standard is astonishing and shows a passion for our craft that I understand and admire. No wonder the lady has over 11k followers and counting!
She now runs classes and even skype lessons for those of us who can’t get to her home town of Brighton, teaching Stump work, embroidery and Gold work. A must for anyone looking to learn the harder technical embroidery disciplines she explores in her work.