Framing choices … or how to put textile art on walls

Many fiber artists sew tunnels on the back of their art pieces to hang them like you would a quilt. Or they choose to sell their art work without hanging system and leave it to the buyer how to put it on his/her wall.

Me? I found that I simply like deciding how to put my pieces up myself! Earlier, I sometimes feared the risk of the buyer disliking my framing/mounting choices. Not anymore! I love to mount my finished pieces on or into something that is easily hangable; in fact, I feel that my pieces are only finished after I have mounted and/or framed them! So why stop before what I see the last step in my creative process only to try pleasing a broader buyer spectrum?!

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“I don’t hear your cries” – one of my “bearded men”, finally framed!

Also, I really want to make my textile pieces shine like classical paintings. Textile arts live a shadowy existence within the fine arts anyway; and proper framing at least gives them the opportunity to quickly be hung between paintings in a gallery.

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“Just grateful” with it’s beautiful wooden frame

My mounting choices

I have two favorite mounting options: mounting the piece on canvas or mounting it on foam core board.

As to canvases, I buy industrial made canvases and customize them by painting and/or embroidering them to become the proper frame for my fabric piece. The fabric piece is then sewn (or in rare cases as I would with denim) glued onto the canvas.

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“After birth”: an old piece, directly sewn onto canvas

As to foam core boards, I buy them in do-it-yourself stores or in architect’s supply shops. After having cut them into the right sizes, I mount the textile piece onto the board. Sometimes, I then call the art work finished as is; other times I also frame it afterwards.

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“Los-t”, mounted on foam core board and put in frame (without glass!)

My framing choices

I buy my frames in do-it-yourself stores or online. Sometimes I overpaint them. Going to the framers and having the pieces put in a customized frame would be far too expensive for me (it is VERY pricey to have it professionally framed in Switzerland!) – in fact, this would multiply the price of my work. So I leave professional framing for the times when I will be a rich and famous artist… 😉

Some pieces go in a vintage frame; I especially love upcycled old wooden frames that once were windows or mirrors!

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“Dad” in an old mirror frame.

What is YOUR way? How do YOU put a textile piece on a wall??

 

Stepping out of my comfort zone

So… two days ago, I suddenly felt the urge to leave known waters and find a new challenge. I always wanted to be able to sketch more spontaneously and I decided to try to practice just that. Of course, it would have to be in “my” medium, embroidery thread and a needle!

I already tried threadsketching two years ago, but in a more random manner and without a concept. This is one of these early threadsketches:

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The concept I now have is to sketch with embroidery floss in three colors of the same color family: one for the midtones, one for the highlights and one for the shadows. The picture is not to be fully filled but rather a great part of the background should also be seen. The background should be high quality fabric (such as silk) and again of the same color family. I aim to create somewhat monochrome pieces without big contrast.

This is my first try:

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#raven (2017)

The piece is relatively small (10 x 10 cm). At first, I also stitched the eye (with a tiny french knot), but the stitch was somehow “lost” within the other stitches and did not give the bird much character… So I tried a roccailles bead and then decided to go with glass beads for all the pieces of this series.

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#vixen (2017)

I want to keep practicing and practicing and practicing… until I grow way more spontaneous in my stitch placing and can sketch more quickly. (Mr. Raven took me approx. 2 hours flat.) Also, I want to gain enough expertise to finally eliminate unpicking… (had to unpick half of Mrs Vixen yesterday as her proportions were not right).

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My ultimate goal so far is to be able to capture movement with stitch… let’s see where this path leads to…