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Katherine's Two-Sided Embroidery


©Katherine Colwell 2012
9 ½” H x 9 1/2” W x 1/2” thick.

          Hand embroidered monotypes and hand dyed silk.  Silk fabrics, pigments, dyes, beads, charm.Silk, cotton and metallic threads.    Cotton batting, hand quilting and hand sewing.

          "More than any of my 2-Sided or 3-Dimensional embroidered works, Elena’s Aspen is a synthesis of a lifetime of inspirations and experiences, primarily:   formal sewing and tailoring classes in the 1960s as a young adult provided a foundation of universal skills, including the ability to plan and execute complex projects;   and forty-five-plus years living in nature, observing nature, and recording nature in art media."

          In 2004, Katherine began exploring frameless finishing and presentation methods for her work.    By embroidering the backs, the two-sided pieces became sculpture or wall pieces.    This frameless approach is a continuation of the 3-dimensional embroidered-book-formats she began exploring in the mid-1990s.

          In the late 1990s and early 2000s Katherine studied modern quilting and piecing techniques and materials, which enhanced her lifelong sewing and tailoring skills.   The resulting synthesis provides a wealth of possibilities for two-sided embroideries.

          Three two-sided embroideries are illustrated in the slide shows ---- a large, a medium, and a small.

Memories:  Meg, Mar and Val.
Katherine Colwell ©2008

4 ¼” by 4 ¼” by ½” thick.

          "Small — but packed with images.   Based on memories connecting three extraordinary women.  Val — whose leaf-print fabric is used in this work, which began as a demonstration piece for Val to learn the Design Process.  She hummed while she embroidered her learning piece.   Val’s humming reminded me of Mar, my grandmother Martha Morrell Smith, who hummed while she worked in the farmhouse kitchen on Chanticlear Avenue in Santa Cruz, California.  Meg, with her gift of resonance energy, and the synchronicity of the rainbow we saw over her house the same day she saw one over our house;  the rainbow imagery came to mind as I started the demonstration piece for Val." 
          Ingredients and techniques:  silk, cotton, and metallic threads; beads; silk ribbon;  cotton fabrics and batting; cyanotype.  Running, couching, split, back, stem, buttonhole, herringbone, coral, slip, and quilting stitches.

The Process of Poetic Promise:  Populus

©Katherine Colwell 2006

Overall dimensions are:  26 ½” h  x 9” w  x ½” thick. 

          "I created  POPULUS over a ten-year period.  The results are a synthesis of hand embroidery, plein air drawing, Joe's poetry, and bead embellishment, on Shantung silk and hand-dyed-hand-painted China silk.    The aspen-bark poems are in stem- and split-stitches with silk sewing thread, with the words about one-quarter inch in height."