Is this the first music video made exclusively with embroidery and sewing implements? I’m gambling yes. Directed, filmed, and produced by Christophe Thockler the clip uses 10,000 photographs of needles, thread, cloth and embroidery, mixed with clever lighting techniques to produce a fun video for Favorite Place, the latest track by US pop rock band Black Books.
Stitch by stitch and color by color St. Louis based figurative artist Cayce Zavaglia (previously) utilizes her background as a painter to embroider excruciatingly detailed portraits that look almost like photographs. The process, which she refers to as a “renegade approach to embroidery”, begins with a photo-shoot consisting of 100-150 portraits from which she selects the best image and then moves to the canvas where she works with one ply embroidery thread on Belgian linen to create each piece which is often not larger than 8″ x 10″. Her four most recent works, some of which are included above, will be shown at Art Miami through Lyons Wier Gallery in December. I highly encourage you to watch the video above by Garrett Zavaglia to see quite a bit more detail about how she works.
The Mending Project was a 2011 installation and performance art piece by Austin-based artist Beili Liu. The work involved an ongoing process wherein visitors were invited to cut pieces of fabric from a giant cloth upon entering the space, the fragments of which Liu then stitched back together creating a giant patchwork that gradually encircled the artist. The concept seems harmless enough if it weren’t for the ominous array of downward-facing scissors suspended above her workspace.
The installation consists of hundreds of Chinese scissors suspended from the ceiling, pointing downwards. The hovering, massive cloud of scissors alludes to distant fear, looming violence and worrisome uncertainty. The performer sits beneath the countless sharp blades of the scissors, and performs an on-going simple task of mending. [...] As each visitor enters the space, one is asked to cut off a piece of the white cloth hung near the entrance, and offer the cut section to the performer. She then continuously sews the cut pieces onto the previous ones. The mended fabric grows in size throughout the duration of the performance, and takes over the vast area of the floor beneath the scissors.
Master of embroidery Evelin Kasikov recently began a new project involving cross stitched portraits. Using an identical grid, each image is created using a mix of geometric stitching styles and thread of varying color and thickness that results in these beautifully pixelated faces. See the before photos and other process shots over on her Portrait Project page where she’s posting a new work each week. (via the jealous curator)
Cayce Zavaglia creates these impossibly layered embroidered portraits using methods more akin to delicate brush strokes with perfectly mixed paint than your mother’s cross-stitch. Via her website:
Initially, working with an established range of wool colors proved frustrating. Unlike painting, I was unable to mix the colors by hand. Progressively, I created a system of sewing the threads in a sequence that would ultimately give the allusion of a certain color or tone. The direction in which the threads were sewn had to mimic the way lines are layered in a drawing to give the allusion of depth, volume, and form. Over time the stitches have become tighter and more complex but ultimately more evocative of flesh, hair, and cloth.