I’ve always loved hand stitching, and am among the growing number of textile artists whose surface designs are featuring greater amounts of hand stitch than they previously used in their 2D and 3D functional and/or decorative stitched layered works. I extensively use that most basic of all stitches, the straight stitch, or as I think of it – the Glorious Straight Stitch, on account of its mark making versatility.
My regular readers know that I periodically browse on Pinterest, spending an hour or two viewing images and sometimes saving them onto to and sometimes deleting from my boards, (categories or collections, for the Pinterest uninitiated) Important things I search for on Pinterest include Lines and shapes, and it’s not exaggerating to say that I really do see lines as potential individual stitches or collections of them. And any kind of grid, regular or not, interests me, so I also save images of art designed on grids or grid-like layouts in this board, Grids! l spent several months last year experimenting with stitch as mark making through sample making, and many of the samples were on grids.
Probably a couple of years back my attention was grabbed by an image that I saved but didn’t investigate at the time. However, it kept attracting my attention, and one day last year I picked up my needle and began doodling. See lower left – it became the basis of several of the samples I did in that samples-only period. I began with a stitched square which I then went over again with the lines slightly off kilter and then followed with different arrangements of a few lines. This was the essence of that image which, when I investigated it recently, I found was of computer generated art designed by a Hungarian artist, Vera Molnar, pioneer of generative computer and kinetic art. So then I began reading more about this woman artist who apparently frequently declared “My life is squares, triangles, lines. I am mad about lines.” – quoted from the interesting Mayor Gallery artist bio on Artsy.
Now here’s a fascinating article by information designer Duncan Geere on his blog, https://observablehq.com/@duncangeere/structure-de-quadrilateresas. He’s young, clearly very able with computer algorithms and all the big words that go with that stuff. In 2018 he discovered Vera Molnar and was smitten; I really recommend you take a minute or two to scroll through his article, following the evolution of complexity in his diagrams until right at the end you get to a similar kinetic drawing like the Molnar one that grabbed my attention on Pinterest, though that one on Pinterest didn’t ‘move’ 🙂
Anyway, my little stitched block gradually developed complexity, all without any help from a computer program, and has become a signature motif, really:
I used it with neon nylon thread to produce this small piece; and at 6″ x 8″ like all other submissions – it’s too small even to call a potholder, let alone a ‘quilt’. and it will be auctioned off during the SAQA Spotlight Auction during the annual conference, this year from April 29th to May 7t. Bidding is online and open to everyone, anywhere, whether registered for the conference, or not, so for further details go to https://www.saqa.com/events/2022-spotlight-auction