Stitchgasm! Raisons D’etres by Katherine Soucie


It's another Stitchgasm from Mr X Stitch - the home of contemporary embroidery

When I first saw these altered sewing machines by Vancouver-based artist Katherine Soucie I actually gasped.

Photo by Paolo Penutti.
Photo by Paolo Penutti.

The richly colored layers of fabric wrap and hug the utilitarian machines, transforming the work-horses into gorgeous works of art. The series of eight sculptures is called Raisons D’etres.

Photo by Paolo Penutti.
Photo by Paolo Penutti.

Thanks to Betsy Greer’s invitation, I was lucky enough to have dinner with Soucie recently when she was in Durham, NC, for an art installation and workshops at the Scrap Exchange.

She told me more about her art practice, in which she uses pre-consumer waste materials from hosiery mills, hand-dying the fabrics and later hand screening them. Her work includes breathtaking garments (under her label Sans Soucie) made from this new material.

Photo by Katherine Soucie.
Photo by Katherine Soucie.

In the process of making her garments and other artwork, new waste material is created. Soucie collects this cloth and transforms it into new pieces, like the Raison D’etres pieces.

As she writes, “The tiny strips of offcut, dyed and printed cloth are carefully wrapped and bound ritualistically to honor and value a history associated with the materials and machines.” She likens the process to a mummification which celebrates the machines’ loss of value and use in society.

Photo by Katherie Soucie.
Photo by Katherie Soucie.

Soucie is an alchemist, spinning cast-off materials into new beauties and directing the metamorphosis from waste into art.

Immerse yourself in her textile vision by spending some time on her art and garment sites.


Olisa
Olisa Corcoran is a stitch artist and blogger living in Durham, NC. She speaks fluent Nuyorican and always keeps her dial turned to 11.
Olisa

@OlisaCorcoran

Stitch artist. Writer about contemporary embroidery. Feminist. Nuyorican.
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