Susan Canfield

Susan canfield

Books have always been a major interest of mine and both their form and content have informed most of my textile work.  

Attending events to hear authors speak made me investigate British designers and artists working in the nineteen-thirties and led me to complete pieces based on the literature of T.S.Eliot and Virginia Woolf.  

For me sketchbooks are an important part of the design process; they enable me to interpret a theme in various ways.  I like these books to contain flaps, pockets and cut-out spaces to help spark my imagination. I often make a paper and/or card mock up of the final piece as a guide which helps me see if the colours and forms give the outcome I want to achieve.

The techniques I use vary depending on the final piece. It is often machine stitching on calico which I have coloured or textured adding hand stitching as a final embellishment. On several occasions I have used handmade paper instead of cloth, using the machine to add images.

It is important to me to feel excited by what I am producing and I love the challenges which arise when I make a three-dimensional piece.

Susan - spin, fly, beat, stitch

For Power of Stitch

When the title for the next exhibition, Power of Stitch was decided, my immediate thoughts turned towards the narrative this phrase evoked.

My work for Power of Stitch shows a brief summary of the textile revolution, from power to empowerment, ending with the badge of the W.S.P.U. (Women’s Social and Political Union), the militant suffragette group, formed in 1903, highlighting the empowerment for all of needle and thread - Power of Stitch - into the twenty-first century.