Unusual Cross Stitch and the Plastic Tattoo.

So I went back to college quite late in life, well there is late and then very late, lets just say before 50.  I never did well at school and I am not academically minded at all so I really hated artist research.  Over the years I have began to enjoy it and I have been inspired by an artist called  Severija Incirauskaite-Kriauneviciene who cross stitches into solid object, car bonnets, frying pan, helmets you name it she seems to do it.  She seems to use mostly metal items to create her work.  This process fascinated me.  Now as a working artist and working with obsolete items that damaged or stuff just thrown away I wanted to see if I could apply this idea to something that isn’t metal, something fragile, something that seemed impossible to do.

Now also as an artist I am very aware of coming across as copying someone else’s idea or work.  Me personally,  if someone asks me how I did something I will tell them and even encourage them to have a go.   I mean why not.  I have contacted various artist, become friends with some of them and asked how they produce their work, how did they get over hurdles, work out problems and 99% of the time I will always check to see if they mind me asking.  So far no problem till the other day when I posted a comment on a known book artists Instagram ( they shall remain nameless) asking how they managed to  stop there pages going floppy;  it was a very innocent question, but with the wonders of text and no emotions being shown because that’s how cold text is, dam you text, they decided to answer me after two weeks by telling me to go be original find your own media and stop copying their work!!!!!!!

2014-06-26 13.46.05

This was my second every book sculpture.  I love to be able to leave the pages behind the image so it still looks like the book and not a diorama.

What the……….well if he had bothered to look at my work he would have seen that my book sculptures are nothing like his work.  One of my tutors once said ” Everything has been done before it all comes down to what version you can create”  and he is right, could you think what would happen if the person who invented books told this artist” You can’t use book’s stop copying my work and do something original.” Or if the first person who painted a picture in oil paint went ” Oi mine, you can’t use that, invent your own paint”  there would be a very exclusive club for all art works.

Rant and tangent over :/.  I can though understand where he is coming from and he may well get copied a lot and worked very hard on perfecting their method, so I do sympathise.  But that then set me thinking about inspiration and how you use it when you have seen something that does inspire you and  you don’t want to  inadvertently copy someone else.  Which takes me back to   Severija Incirauskaite-Kriauneviciene and her cross stitching into solid objects.  What could I cross stitch into that would be different………..

First attempt………

rose disc 1

Picked an impossible pattern, well it is when you haven’t done cross stitch since infant school.

 

Cross Stitched into a 12 inch 78 Vinyl disc, I was blown away with the reaction I got from this, and I plan to do more when I have a bit more time.  This project took me over 30 hrs to complete and I hit my usual ” my God why did I start this for, why did I think this was such a dam good  idea”…………… Well it was and then went and did it again but this time it took over 60 hrs.

plastic tattoo

You know when they say an artist suffers for their art………..yeah I did that alright with this one but it was worth it.  This is my most time expensive piece ever.

Art from previous years

Penny for stitch size reference.

I didn’t count at the time but it was approx 400 to 500 holes drilled, I think my eyes went a little squiffy half way through so I am not sure; as you can see there are quite a few colour variations as well.  Because the mannequin is quite big I also had to staple it to a block of wood to keep it upright to help with stitching and had to use a pair of pliers to pull the needle through the holes as once you get the thread going through the hole more than 3 times it’s begins to get tough.

It made me wonder what else I could do with thread but was not going to be quite so tough to do.  Do a portrait maybe.

sam portrait

Portrait of my daughter when she had green hair. Made with wool.

This was a fun one to do, still took quite some time but not as much as the previous too.  But it brings me to this question, is it copying or is it inspiration.  Is painting something in front of you copying or being inspired by what you see enough to paint it as well as you can?  As an artist I don’t tend to stick to one media or style as a lot of artist do, I love to mix it up, but I am sure if I googled all the processes and media I have used I am sure I will find someone who has done it all before me.  So I will still look up artist for research, I will still scour Pinterest for inspiration and I will tell someone else how they can do the same kinds of art if they want to give it a try.

Time to find something else to stitch into 😉

visit me and see my work on http://www.shalmines.com

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