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Embroidery has been a very natural interest for me, I think enforced through the realisation that it is such a broad topic. There are so many different skills and techniques that you can experiment with, from the soft line of the cornely to the harsh line that can be gained on the Irish to hand stitch. You can really push the boundaries on the concept of embroidery, what is a stitch? There is so much freedom to investigate and find something you are really excited by.
The sewing machine I use is a VERY old Bernina that I was given for my 15th Birthday and it can only do either straight stitch, zigzag or free machine embroidery. Yet I feel that I can create endlessly with these basic skills and translate my ideas into drawing with stitch.
Araminta is happy to answer questions from Junior Embroiderers and Textile Students.
About My Work
My work is influenced by Scotland, looking at the heritage, landscape and the wildlife. I am inspired by natural form and shy away from the manmade. Where possible I source my materials from Scotland, using only silk and wool. My colours are achieved through natural plant dyes or I use un-dyed natural fibres.
I combine weave with various embroidery techniques to create bespoke designs for interiors or fashion. I love experimenting with scale to produce pieces that make one look twice at the intricate detail and how it is created.
My use of colour used to be my weak point, I learnt this exercise at University and it helps me to look at the colours I use in my work. This method will help you look at the colours and the proportion of each colour that you use in your work.
- Choose an image/ photo that you are using in your current project, it could even be one of your own drawings (I look at the landscape or a photo of the landscape I am using as inspiration).
- Chose a section of the item that catches your eye and cover up the rest of the image.
- Cut a piece of cardboard about 5cm x 15cm and put double-sided tape on one side.
- Gather some yarns/ string/ thread/ wool / strips of fabric in the colours you see in the image. Look closely, you want the colours to match as closely as possible, is there a tiny dash of a colour you hadn’t noticed before? Often is it these highlights that really enhance your palette.
- Start wrapping the threads around the cardboard- you can twist colours together to get a closer match. Make sure you are really looking at the proportions of the colours, relating the quantity of colour to the number of turns you are making in the wrap. You will develop your own style, mine are always very neat.
- Once you have done a few thread wraps you will find it easier. You will be able to relate the thread wrap to the image and you will then find it easier to create a palette for your project. This can create a different colour pairing that you may not immediately think of combining. I add my thread wraps to the mood boards for projects.