Category Archives: Embroidery

Alighiero Boetti (1940 – 1994)


Firstly, we would like to apologize for the lack of posting.  Had a major computer snafu but now we are up and running again.

Alighiero Boetti was an Italian conceptual artist and member of the Arte Povera movement.  In 1940 he dropped out of business school to study art independently.  He used a variety of materials for his work including ball point pens and postal stamps.  Between 1968 and 1994 the artist created somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 maps.  Many of the maps were embroidered by artisans in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  He also collaborated with them to create other designs including the series,  “Word”.  He writes this about art: 

“Remember to do things that have an inner simplicity, like the sound two small brass symbols make when they strike. This is what needs to make sense of things today. A work is valid when its mechanism is simple and when it is perceived as simple and spontaneous by the viewer, for whom the simplicity of something born from nothing can be astonishing. Depending on who hears it, a small sound such as this can mean a lot or very little.”

You can learn more about the artist here on the Alighiero Boetti Archive is a Cultural Association founded in 1995 on the initiative of the artist’s family.

Images:  Courtesy of various sources.

Andrew Orton

Admiring these incredible embroidery designs created by Manchester-based artist Andrew Orton who has been studying and making art for 15 years. His primary subject matter is the human figure, whether drawing from a live model at life drawing classes or commissioned portraiture.  The figure is his never ending source of inspiration. His expressionist life drawings is used to explore his creativity in a multitude of media – drawing, painting, collage and even embroidery.  He has exhibited around the city of Manchester as well as organizing his own art events.

The artist can be found on Facebook and Instagram.  Some of his work is available in his Etsy shop, Andrew Orton Art.

Images:  Courtesy of Andrew Orton.

Maryam Ashkanian

Iranian fiber artist Maryam Ashkanian is the artist behind Sleep Series, a collection of pillows with portraits of sleeping people stitched onto them using a sewing machine.  Little hints of the sleeper’s personality are presented by the way the pillow is designed—from a flowered watch on one’s wrist, to a ruffle that encircles that pillow’s outer edge. The artist has an academic background in painting and brings that painterly touch to the work.  On Kashya Hildebrand website Ashkanian discusses her history with fabric: 

“My mother’s village is in Gilan (Caspian area), which is one of the main places in Iran for sewing. My childhood was embedded in textiles and sewing. Until I started at the fine arts university, I did not realize it was possible to use textiles as a medium, so I used oil painting at first. Later, I realized that oil paint was not my vision of the world. It took me awhile to understand and realize the numerous possibilities and the flexibility that textiles and sewing could bring to my practice. There were some things I couldn’t achieve in oil painting that I can with textiles.” 

You can follow the artist on her website and on Instagram.

Images:  Courtesy of Maryam Ashkanian.