Striped series

“Creating pattern, exploring stripes” – these were my main goals with this series. Furthermore, I wanted to experiment with incorporating unusual materials into my work. I finished the series in July 2017 and the works (alongside others) will be shown at two upcoming art fairs in Basel and Zurich.

 

My first piece is titled “Winter Eve” and it addresses three senses: sight, touch and smell. On a painted cotton background, I attached citrus peel and gloves with hand stitch and further adorned with glass beads. This is how it looks in a golden painted wood frame:

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“Winter Eve” 2017

The second piece is titled “Frost”. My daughter painted some cotton with water colors, and I cut it into stripes of which I then burned the borders. The burning process further changed the colors of the fabric stripes which added a cool effect. I then fixated the stripes on a cotton background and added sashiko-style embroidery.

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“Frost” 2017

Piece no. 3 is titled “Industrial”. I formed aluminium stripes out of yogurt lids and created a linocut stamp for the ring shapes. Framed it looks such:

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“Industrial” 2017

The fourth piece bears the title “Serenity” (after a fellow fiber artist saw it in progress on instagram and commented “it looks so serene!” I dediced on this title 😉 ). I painted a silk background and carefully glued birch tree bark stripes on it before adding stitches. For framing, I decided on a dark frame for contrast:

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“Serenity” 2017

The last piece is “Pollination”. One that also addresses two senses: sight and smell. The stripes consist of bee’s wax and the embroidered part is mostly turkey work, left uncut.

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“Pollination” 2017

Ribbon in Grey – an embroidered book

In 2014, I started what got to be an embroidery illustrated story. And now, three years later, I finally hold the first edition of booklet copies in my hands! 🙂

Back then, I participated in an online course of the Atelier Lange Nadel and we had to each month upload a new piece of work in an online gallery for about half a year. I decided to create individual pieces that would loosely connect to each other. I started with the coral reef that later became chapter 5 in my story:

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techniques: photo transfer, stumpwork, appliqué, padding, hand stitch

As a recognition feature, I added a piece of grey satin ribbon. That’s how my story got it’s title!

As to the story itself: I am also a writer and had had a story about a medieval wet nurse in mind already for a long time… always wanted to write a novel, but could not find the time. So I decided to write a story in free verse instead. It is in English, which is NOT my mother tongue. I don’t know why, but the words just came to me in this language. Maybe because in English, you can say a lot with just a few words whereas in German, you would need much longer phrases…

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techniques: linocut stamping, beadwork, hand stitch

So here we go: “Ribbon in Grey” is a story about a medieval nurse and her daily struggle for survivor. It is also a story about power and fear, about loss and love. Want to read the story and see all embroidered pieces? You can order a copy here.

Momenti series

From [lat. momentum] meaning ‘moment, phase, point of time’, these works sketch moments in life where a particular feeling was predominant.


 

All momenti series’ pieces are worked on a hand painted silk background.

The embroidery is mostly an exploration of stitches, sometimes with the addition of beads or metallic threads.

The first three pieces were shown in the art gallery OhneTitel in my town in 2015.

And a year later, some of the pieces have travelled as far as to Australia to be shown during the Small Works 2016 exhibition at Brunswick Street Gallery.

 

justgratefulA
Just grateful (2015)
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Not looking back (2015)
deeplyrootedA
Deeply rooted (2015)
lostC
Los-t (2015)
melancholicA
Melancholic (2016)
anxiousA
Anxious (2016)

I recently experimented with different framing possibilities. I tried mounting on foam board, framing behind glass, framing without glass, painting custom frames etc. etc. What I came up with in the end is a combination of above variations:

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Do you like it?

Gli merletti di Burano (needlelace of Burano)

Whilst being on vacation in Venice, Italy, I had the chance to visit the Museo del Merletto (the Needlelace Museum) today. The museum is located in a building formerly known as Scuola del Merletto (the Needlelace School) on the isle Burano in the Venetion lagoon. The Scuola was founded in the late 19th century. But let us travel a little further back in history first…


Since the 16th century, royals all over Europe and other upper class people as well as the church (esp. the Vatican) liked to show their wealth and power by wearing robes enriched with exquisite gems and laces. Therefore, lacemaking was a highly demanded craftwork and in Venice (as well as all over Italy), many women could up their housholds’ incomes by selling laces they made by hand.

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Venice, 16th century. Reticello point.

A hundred years later, Louis IV, Roi Soleil (the Sun King), even “employed at his court” (ordered to Versailles) specialized Venetian lace makers to fullfill his need for exclusive garments.

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Venice, 17th century. Burano point.
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Venice, 17th century. Venice point.

After the epoch of the French Revolution, the demand for lace adorned garments recinded when lace as a former status symbol of the rich became a detested symbol of bigotry.

In the 70ies of the 19th century, the Scuola del Merletto was founded in Burano to preserve the traditional techniques of lacemaking. The Scuola was managed by a convent and the nuns thought woman and also girls from as young as having finished primary school the art of the Venetian needlelace.

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Venice, 19th century. Pattern.

In a short film, one elderly woman remembered going to school there and that the nuns very often cut into her pieces as they always found some irregularities. As a young girl she was devastated and thought she would never learn. But she went on and on and, in her final school year, received a prize for her outstanding craftsmanship!

The Scuola del Merletto was closed in 1974, but 7 years later, the Museo opened its doors.

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museomerletto

(Please note that I cited the above history as I remember reading it at the museum today. There were no booklets or information flyers to take home.)


There are still a few lacemakers working for the museum and for local craft stores. But as one seller told me, unfortunately there are no longer young apprentices…

Luckily enough, I found a local shop (also on the island itself) where a lacemaker sat at work! While watching her busy hands I appreciated the delicate motif she wove with her thin cotton thread… and I left with a beautifully crafted “raised work”: a butterfly, made by the same artist I met!

by Alessandra Sittuni

(I also bought a handmade doily… which I eventually will embroider with my own stitches… ideas are already forming…)