Hello everybody! Last time we looked at the history of mirror work, this week I’d like to share some amazing contemporary examples. I found quite a few of these pieces in the Flickr Shisha Embroidery Pool. I highly recommend checking it out!
First up we have the lovely and talented Arlee Barr, mastermind behind the ARTeries series here on MrXStitch.
Notice the shisha eyes? So striking, the way they peer out from all that lush material. According to her flickr page, Arlee said “… the idea is when you actually see the quilt in person, your are looking back at yourself.” See the entire piece HERE.
Holy Cow! This block really knocks my socks off. The lovely mix of stitches, applique, shisha, and contrasting materials really pulls the eye. Click the link under the photo to see more amazing quilts. This piece seems to fall into the crazy quilt tradition, but the following pieces are an absolute riot.
It’s really hard to type with my jaw on the floor. These pieces are like a joyous scavenger hunt of needle work techniques. I see beadwork, sequins, machine and hand embroidery, metallics, not to mention the mirrors. After looking through the rest of her photostream , I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if some of the fabric was also hand tinted and dyed. Someone make me a pillow fort out of these pieces, quick.
But I also love pieces where the mirrors are the focal point of the piece. This sampler by Erratic Needle really shows off the various stitches that can be used in mirror work.
I’m crazy for shisha, and I’ve never seen such an amazing collection of stitches. Luckily, Erratic Needle is super sweet, and directed me to a tutorial for one of the more unusual stitches on her sampler.
What? Tutorials? I knew you’d be interested. Here’s a pretty basic one from The Joyful Abode. It’s the one I learned from. Here’s one of the fancy stitches that Erratic Needle sent me to, I haven’t tried it out yet but the directions look pretty clear. It’s from The Pakistani Embroidery blog.
So, last time we learned that mirror work is secret magic, and this time we get to see the magical pieces these contemporary artists have created! See what I did there? Har!
Penny Nickels is a printmaker that started playing with needles with tremendous effect. She and her husband, Johnny Murder, have been described as The Bonnie and Clyde of Contemporary Embroidery and you can discover the power of her creativity at her blog.
All photos used in this article are property of the artist as listed. Please click the link below each photo to see more of their work.