Hello readers old and new and welcome to the latest edition of ‘Exploring Etsy’. Today, I have the privilege of taking you back across the Atlantic, (or cross country for you lovely US readers!), to introduce you to the gorgeous work of artist Kelly Darke.
She graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, returning a few years later to complete a Masters of Education for art therapy and a K-12 teaching certificate. It was during her time at graduate school that she first began focusing on fibre art and studying the emotions and benefits that fibres can produce. Working as both an art therapist and fine artist Kelly often combines her passion for both in her current work, using recycled fabric and yarn in her art that often has a personal connection, imbued with meaning. Kelly also runs online workshops and often collaborates on art projects with her brother Colin Darke.
What is your earliest stitching memory?
My earliest stitching memory is hand sewing while my mom sewed clothes for our family. She would buy fabric that had an animal printed on it with the dashed line around it to show where to cut. My sister and I would sew these together and stuff them, making our own little toys. As we got older, my sister and I would cut up our clothes and alter them to something new.
What fires your imagination?
I am so inspired by texture and colour – I have always collected images from magazines that show knitwear and highly textured surfaces or abstract paintings that layer colours and textures. Nature is also a great source of inspiration with texture everywhere – I have hundreds of photographs, mostly macro images, of things I’ve found in nature that will somehow influence my artwork. I have also searched for microscopic images of plants and flowers and used that imagery as a source of inspiration for my work – the pattern for my Burst series of embroidery is directly influenced by a microscopic picture of the cross-section of an orchid flower.
This is only a small collection, there’s plenty more exquisite work by Kelly in her shop just waiting to inspire you all, so why not head over there now!
Jessica Taylor aka Loadofolbobbins is a Textile Artist and Illustrator based by the sea in Portsmouth. At her happiest with a needle and thread, with a passion for genealogy she often explores old photographs in her textile art. With her fingers in many creative pies she loves to experiment with new techniques, creating illustrated and stitched goodies for her new Etsy shop.