Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Embroidery on the 1919 Butterick Coat

Today I am working on the 1919 Butterick coat, yes I know this is such an old story we want something new.  It is a little frustrating as the embroidery is taking so long, and so it is difficult to find the time to write posts as well, and I miss you all so much my precious darlings.

 As I sit embroidering Falling Willow Blossom pattern on the black wool flannel of the back of the coat, my mind is free to wander.  It takes me back to an article I was reading at breakfast in the Listener, titled Crafty Calling, by Jane Clifton.  The article was commenting on crafts and a new annual craft venture called Handmade, started by Te Papa, which in June ran 159 workshops in food production, textiles and other artisan skills, which were no longer routinely passed down the generations.

The organiser Melanie Walker commented that the recession has probably had an impact on the resurgence in craft, but also: "people are reassessing their consumer habits and looking for more meaningful experiences than shopping for goods."  This along with green issues, not just throwing things away, but recycling were becoming more important to people.  It seemed the Handmade workshops were not gender exclusive, and that men and boys were taking up embroidery, and even exhibiting in this medium.  
Check out the work done by these young boys in this exhibition, No Rules, held at Auckland's Objectspace:  

 Here is a close up detail of the design.


It is interesting to me, as it seems I am not so odd after all, but part of a larger move, a paradigm shift in certain sectors of society.  Isn't it wonderful?  Maybe the margins between craft and art are beginning to blur, and the defining line of Public Art Galleries, the great commodifiers of art, that art is about ideas, the great mantra of Art Curators, is wearing a little thin, maybe they are starting to lose control of being able to say what is art and what is not and maybe we will no longer be able to say: that a stitch dams any work as craft, decorative, and of lesser value.


  1. Your willow coat looking good - looking forward to seeing more as it progresses .....

  2. Thanks Chris. The only problem is how slow embroidery is, but then I am enjoying that experience. I find myself changing in the way I appreciate the coat's value, as I have put so much of myself into it. I don't think I am going to be able to give it away, not for a while anyway. I just can't wait to start on the tailoring and construction.