The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge – Melanie Kay

Contemporary embroidery art via Mr X Stitch

Melanie Kay is a textile artist from Manchester who creates domestic textiles from beer cans and recycled materials.

Melanie Kay - Lampshades

“I am intrigued by things that I hear and read as well as the things I see.  I take inspiration from the media, the theatre or even a film which allows me to take an introspective approach to my work and merge aspects of fine art and design.  The desire for my work to be meaningful influences the things that interest and astound me which in turn influences the way in which I work.

Melanie Kay - Smaller Lampshade

“Being experimental with the materials I use has enabled me to be innovative and inventive in the way I portray my imagery. I like to illustrate figuratively to encourage thought and portray sinister events in an aesthetically pleasing way. My aim is to catch the eye of the observer and draw them in before revealing the true happenings concealed within my work.

Melanie Kay - Floral Beer Cans

“Using beer cans as a surface for my work has meant that I have had to be innovative in the way in which I transfer imagery onto the cans. I begin my illustrations mostly in pencil and then use various textile techniques to transfer the imagery onto the cans including, printing, heat pressed textile vinyl, hand and machine embroidery. Not wanting to be limited by textile processes I have experimented with processes such as sanding and punching. “

Melanie Kay - Lampshade

I met Melanie at the Knitting & Sttiching Show in London and was iintrigued by her work and the accompanying narrative. Melanie’s use of beer cans as the materials for her work relates to domestic violence and the secrets that take place behind closed doors. Drink can be a demon, and one that can hide in plain sight; Melanie’s charming pieces are more sinister than they first appear.

Melanie Kay - Lampshade

Find out more by visiting Melanie’s website.


The Cutting & Stitching Edge is brought to you in association with my book!

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Mr X

Jamie Chalmers, aka Mr X Stitch, aka the Kingpin of Contemporary Embroidery is the founder of the Mr X Stitch site, the world's longest running embroidery blog, the curator of PUSH Stitchery and the author of the Mr X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch. He is also the founder of XStitch, the game-changing cross stitch design magazine which launched in Summer 2017.

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