Learning modern embroidery & thread drawing

Working on drawing with thread

When I think of learning modern embroidery, I prefer to think of it as drawing with thread. Instead of paint, I like to use thread as another way of mark making. I’ve always have been interested in textiles and dabbling in some home sewing projects over the past few years. Last year I experimented with writing with thread as part of an assemblage series in which thread became a key component for new series of work on paper. I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed the process of stitching until I tried it.

Embroidery supplies

So when I heard that Amanda Wood was running a Thread Drawing class  at Collage Collage, I thought that this was my opportunity to learn from someone with expertise. She is an incredible textile artist with such a refined sensibility for composition and texture.

We started the afternoon making a small collage based on photos that Amanda had taken on Granville Island during her time at the Leeway residency.  Using painted pieces of paper, we created collages that had the essence of the reference photo we chose. It was a simple activity that was quick to get us in the mood for creating. This also helped us to focus on general shapes and colours. Afterwards we applied paint to linen with spatulas. I noticed that painting without a brush allows for a little more freedom to just play with shape, line and colour.  To speed up the drying we used a hair dryer and then heat set it with an iron. Then we got to do the best part – drawing with thread!  So many great techniques!

I really like the sample of stitches that Amanda created as well as the looking through books with modern approaches to embroidery. After this workshop, I may have to start collecting more thread! If you’re interested in finding out more about Amanda’s workshops, you can sign up for newsletter to find out about future workshops here.  I’m looking forward to finding new ways to incorporate these techniques into my work!

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