Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Module 3 Chapter 12

Textile artists who use construction techniques.

The first designer I'd like to profile is Nora Fok who works with nylon monofilament, knitting the most outrageously unusual shapes, even making a head ornament based on the Chinese Pagoda at Kew gardens. Her work can be seen here. She was also featured in Embroidery magazine September/October 2011

Next is Rachel Gornall who works with very precise shapes, suspending them in a way that catches the light and takes advantage of the shadows that creates. I saw her work at the Knitting and stitch show this year and was rather disappointed that it had not been lit well so looked rather flat. She was also featured in Embroidery May/June 2010.

While trawling the internet I discovered the work of graduate Sabah Mansoor Husain, the write up is well worth a read as her attention to detail is brilliant. My favourite pieces are here and here.

Yet another search through Embroidery magazine revealed Karen Nicol's wonderful quirky embroidery, the article was in the January/ February 2011 edition. Have a look at her handbags on the accessory page, they will really put a smile on your face.

Lastly I'm going to feature Maxine Bristow's work because of the amazing subtlety she has in what at first sight seems very repetitive. It was also this quote in Embroidery magazine that intrigued me, "Creativity is often seen as being intuitive and expressive, it is adventurous and exciting .......... The way I work is very laborious . It is very boring." Then why do it I thought till i watched this video. It goes a long way to explain her passion, especially at the end when she is experimenting with the light switch casts and at last she drops in her textile switch and I thought.... Oh yes I see!

I will also continue to trawl this year's Chelsea degree show for inspiration as the students have created some wonderful work.

And now for the textile sample I'm going to use Sabah's wonderful work for inspiration.

To try and get a better idea of the construction of the oval details of Sabah's work, I made a couple of sketches.


I used a felted wool sample and tried to work the detail on the jacket, I worked a buttonhole stitch over a single thread, there is probably a better way to do this, but I couldn't find anything in my embroidery stitch books.


I tried to have a go at the skirt details but couldn't work to the construction so any suggestions would be welcome.

Sorry about having no images to illustrate artist's work, but I'm paranoid about the copyrite issue.


  1. What a beautiful choice! As for the skirt I think that its construction is a variation of the basic tulip skirt pattern, hope this can be of help!

  2. Hi
    Sabah's insets - either they are needleweaving OR
    look very like crochet panels which have been inserted behind and stitched in place.
    Hope this helps.

  3. I am also inspired by some of the artist's you mention. As for the copyright...as long as you credit the images in your text you should be OK. For example, first image copyright Maxine Bristow....

  4. Wow, wonderful links and inspiration! So this is the Embroidery guild publication you are talking about? I think I need to subscribe.