East Anglian Stitch Textiles
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All posts by Libby Smith

Self Portrait

This is the piece of work I entered for the Knit and Stitch Portrait Competition, expressing my feelings about being in lock down.

Angela Brookford

Work in Progress by new EAST Member Vinny Stapley

I am fascinated by intertidal zone plants, these delicate natural forms that grow in glorious overlapping profusion, their network of roots literally ‘meshing’ together our fragile coastline, reducing the destructive energy of the sea as it flows in and around them. I have found an analogy between these root networks and the ‘world wide web’ keeping us connected with our loved ones during lockdowns and have stitched printed binary code into weblike panels to symbolise these connections.

While out walking

Recently took this photograph while out walking – I love the lacy effect of the trees and the white tree on the left of the picture. It was after the day we had heavy rain and I could hear the sound of water rushing from the lake down the steps and into the reeds.

Starting a new piece of work

This week I have started to lay out a new piece of work – I enjoy mark making on organza and moving the fabric around till I see possibilities start to emerge. My new window scapes are about the outside merging with the inside – a confusion of where one begins and one ends.

Mark Making on Silk Organza

Mark making on silk organza using procion dyes and Manutex with bits of garden hose, an old umbrella handle, edge of a credit card, etc.  Overlaying and arranging till a winter landscape emerges – a few spare hours playing with fabric.

I Love a Good Poem – Libby Smith

Whilst on holiday in Shropshire earlier this year I found a lovely book of poems by Kate Innes titled “Flocks of Words” which is also the first poem in the book.  It is so beautiful and is about how the changing words that describe a landscape as it moves through the seasons fly away, migrate like birds.  It describes a naked landscape in winter and imagining “that land in spring and watching the words return” and putting them on “like fresh plumage or a newly laundered dress”.  Definite inspiration for new work.  

I love a good poem to get my creativity going and yesterday I was reminded of the work I did last year on Emily Dickinson.  I put together a book about different aspects of her life and hand embroidered part of a poem on a double layer of silk organza, a technique I was taught by Rosalind Wyatt and is based on chain stitch.  Whilst trying to master the technique Rosalind said it was not important that you could see the threads showing through from the back of the work and that also not to worry if you couldn’t read it very clearly, it is the overall impression of a handwriting, being able perhaps to pick out an occasional word and what it all might mean.  I have used different shades of grey thread to give the impression of fading.