Anna Torma

Anna Torma artWhen I first saw a photo of Anna Torma’s embroidered quilts, I thought they were machine embroidered. I was soooo wrong! Torma hand-embroiders multiple layers of cloth with lively, sketch-like lines.
Anna Torma artSome of her pieces are painted on one side and on the back you can see the stitched lines.

Originally from Hungary, Torma is stitching wildly and prolifically. Her imagery has elements of myth, child-like drawing and a mastery of the technique.
Anna Torma art
To see more of her art and a Studio 360 video check out her website here.

By Hand

by hand book with link to amazonThis is an inspiring book of contemporary artists using hand techniques for their work. Predominantly fiber oriented, the artists have incorporated their love of process and the materials they use into beautifully thought-out bodies of work. We see just a few of their pieces, but it is enough to inspire us to find out more.

Reading the statements of the artists gives important information about their background, influences, and why they have chosen their specific technique. Quite a few of the artists learned their skill as children, often from a close relative. The art may evoke their past, yet is not overly sentimental.

The artists I was drawn to most were using thread as line. Kent Henricksen embroidering on printed fabric. Aya Kakeda embroidering what at first appears to be sweet and innocent but on closer inspection becomes mean and scary. Victoria May’s use of organza and thread, sand and steel, to create figural works reminiscent of pattern drafting. Karen Reimer’s use of common newspaper or other paper garbage that becomes embroidered fabric copies of the original.

A reference book for anyone who works with their hands, loves to read what moves an artist to use particular materials, or wants to explore examples of art using craft techniques. Add By Hand to your collection.


Darren Song – Paper and Thread

darren song in workshop In the Grids + Guides section of the June issue of Print magazine is a short feature on Darren Song’s stitched works. Born in Singapore and working for Mash in Australia as a senior designer, he still finds time to combine printed paper with thread to create new works. Go to his website to see much more of Song’s work.

Darren Song - Girl BoyI was particularly stuck by the two pieces shown here using old photographs with color masses of stitching. The intriguing covering up of faces in one photo and revealing a silhouette in a landscape seems to imply meaning. One takes away the personal, preciousness of what appears to be a stereotypical photo of siblings. The other takes what appears to be a typical outdoor landscape and inserts a blank personage in reverse.

I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of this artists’ work in the future.

Ann Williamson

I met Ann Williamson while at Oregon College of Art and Craft. This is such a great video. I run into her in Portland occasionally and was so pleased to see a glimpse of some of her most recent projects. Her website is a must-see for the artistic use of sewing/beading/applique techniques she has mastered.

Filipendulous: new word for me

adjective: Hanging by a thread.

I receive email news A.Word.A.Day from the people at Every once in a while a fiber related word comes along.

Filipendulous comes from the Indo-European root (s)pen- which means to draw or spin, the Latin filum (thread) and pendere (to hang). There are a lot of online dictionary definitions that include a botanical reference: “said of tuberous swellings in the middle or at the extremities of slender, threadlike rootlets.” But I rather like thinking of the hand spindles used by fiber artists.

Do you run across new fiber-related words? Let me know what you’ve found that’s new to you.