sewing

HAND EMBROIDERY

by Hooop There It Is

We interviewed Austin artist Lucy Orich about empowering women, Lizzo and nudes from strangers. Enjoy!

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How would you describe your current work? Have you ever explored other styles/mediums of art?

I would describe my work as cheeky hand embroidery that celebrates and empowers women of all shapes and sizes. As an artist, you're always branching out to learn new crafts and techniques. I've dabbled in wood burning, knitting, calligraphy, etc. but embroidery is what stuck. Even under the umbrella of needlepoint, I've done cross stitch as well as expanding my embroidery skills to try sewing clothing, hats, pins, and patches. It's always about exploring new ways to be an artist and incorporate your art within new mediums.

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I see you take custom orders, who would be your dream client? What would they want?

Oh great question! I think sewing an item of clothing for a music artist I admired would be my dream custom order. I would love to make a denim jacket for Julian Casablancas, Alex Turner, Angel Olson, Jack White, or Beck! I would also love to sew a piece of clothing for someone that represents full figured women and body positivity like Lizzo.

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Who/What inspires your work currently?

I'm always inspired by women who embody confidence, body positivity and self love at any size. Whether that's public figures like Lizzo or Ashley Graham, or someone from a facebook group or instagram that has sent me a photo of themselves feeling confident and beautiful. I've received many nudes from trusting strangers and that trust inspires me to make them feel beautiful and represented.

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Do you feel like the embroidery community is a close-knit group or do you feel like it’s every woman for herself?

I absolutely love the embroidery community, it's incredibly supportive! Embroidery is so different from person to person that you can be fully supportive without feeling like someone else's success is your failure. Some people (it's not just women!) sew dog portraits, others do landscapes, plants, cross stitch, funny sayings; no two people have the same sewing style. There's only one other embroidery artist that has overlapped on a lot of the designs I've also sewn and we actually developed a beautiful (virtual) friendship bonding over our similar aesthetic. And even then, they'll send me photos of designs they think I should do and I'll post about their work via instagram. We also have "Follow Fridays" where embroidery artists will post about fellow artists and show support. When I was starting out I was able to message other artists for advice and now it's come full circle where budding embroidery artists message me with questions and showing me their work. I love getting to pay that support forward and be in a community where everyone wants everyone else to succeed.

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What do you have going on in 2019?

2019 has been a great year for my embroidery! I recently moved from LA to Austin and I've been working on growing my business in this new city. I recently was a vendor at the CraftHer Market put on by Boss Babes, I had an Anthropologie pop up and I'm in the works for a second one, and I was a vendor during SXSW. I'm also leaning a lot towards making more clothing and jackets (I've got to wait for the Texas heat to die down) and building my inventory to prepare for the holiday season!

SQUISHYS + INTERVIEW

by Daisy Collingridge

I talked to London artist Daisy Collingridge about the limits of the human form, cat videos and her ‘Squishys’ characters. Enjoy!

How would you describe your current work? Have you ever explored other styles/mediums of art?

I like to call them the ‘Squishys’ although I doubt that is a recognised art movement. They are characters that I make on impulse. For me they are a joy to make, a joy to inhabit and my hope is to bring others a small dose of joy too. If you had to place the ‘Squishys’ in a category it could be ‘performance sculpture’.

My education is in fashion design so I have had experience handling textiles and fabric manipulation. We were encouraged to think more as artists than designers at college so this step in to ‘art’ is not so surprising. My main medium has been fabric for a long time.

However, I’m also an illustrator. I use pen and watercolour for that, but it’s a very different vibe!

Did you want to be an artist growing up? If not, what did you want to be?

A vet as a kid, toyed with being a body builder then an athlete. But no one is surprised I've ended up this way!

Who/What inspires your work currently?

My work is derived from experimenting with different fabrics. I have a big collection, which I like to get out and play with. Manipulating and handling fabrics tends to spark new ideas that I will run with to see where they take me.

However, what with it being the time of year for resolutions about being a better person. I’m going to be a better artist. I’m reimagining day one of art school. I’m revisiting the old sculptures at the British museum and the Tate. I’ve been looking at the dynamic sculptures of muscular men fighting snakes, fighting each other etc. (e.g. A man wrestling a python by Frederic Lord Leighton). I hope to capture the dynamism and movement in my next body of work. Studying anatomy is also a valuable lesson as well. Dance performance and life drawing are ongoing inspirations.

We, as a species have always been fascinated by the body in which we inhabit. The idea of what the ‘body beautiful’ is changes over and time and through different cultures. I’m curious about the limits a human form can take. Whether that is from training and control or the opposite or something out of control.

What are your favorite things to watch or search for on YouTube/Reddit/TV/Movies...?

Does cat videos sound like too much of a cliche? In truth I really do love an animal documentary. David Attenborough is a hero.

What do you have going on in 2019?

I am going to be exhibiting at the Knitting and Stitching Show in London, Harrogate and Dublin in the autumn. Hoping to make some fresh work for that, along side running my fledgling illustration company! It’s going to be busy! Eek!

EMBROIDERY

by Sally Hewett

I recently ran across Sally's work in the Huffington Post and loved her stretch marked, hairy, pimpled embroideries. She recently put out a series of medical/surgical embroideries that are really fascinating and a very cool departure from what we normally see in sewing. Enjoy and click on her name above to check out her medical/surgical series.

QUILTS

by Michael Aaron McAllister

I love Aaron's quilts! He describes them as hand-worked historical and iconic portrait quilts and embroideries. It's obvious he puts in a lot of love and work into his art and they are bee-you-tea-full!

This is the first thing I do in the morning and the last thing I do before bedtime. -Aaron