Apologies for not having been in touch lately, I have not forgotten you but am working on a new book and the deadline is imminent, so forgive me if I dont post as often in the next few weeks.
For many years I have been fascinated with the work of Mical Aloni. Mical stitched miniature pieces no bigger than 8 x 8 inches and these works were featured in several art galleries in the USA, magazines and newspaper articles and sold for an average of US$5000 a piece – I understand this was between 2003 – 2006.
Unfortunately her work is no longer featured online, am not sure if she is still doing it, and I have been unable to contact her for an interview. So I am going to share with you some pictures of her work and links where you can get more information. In a feature article by Jessica Hemmings she states:
“A total monogamist” is how Mical Aloni describes her relationship to embroidery. “I work on one piece at a time, thinking that each is the one thing I will ever make. I cannot concentrate on the next idea until what I am working on is completely finished.” Aloni’s embroidery technique is self-taught and simple. She stitches with one thread at a time, often using old bed sheets as her base. “I do try to make them square,” she laughs, “Because it annoys my framer!” As often as not, the density of thread that builds across her heavily worked surfaces cause her diminutive works to twist or dip in one corner: evidence of the rich textures she painstakingly creates.
She created her first original needlepoint at the age of fifteen, a violin cover for her talented musician boyfriend. During Mical’s uncompensated mandatory two year military service she escaped the brutality of military life by embroidering. Thread and cloth were affordable and small enough to hide in her army-issued Golda purse. From the first day of service she secretly worked on a magical piece with dragons and fairies that she completed the day of her honorable discharge.
Mical’s use of colour, light and shadow is sublime. Although she does not technically use “long & short stitch” to create her pieces she uses a series of straight, short stitches which mimic long & short and allow her greater flexibility in her stitched pieces. Her method of needle painting is what I aspire to, like Mical I find myself rebelling against the formal method of long & short and leaning more and more towards what I like to call staggered satin stitch or a series of stitches that blend and merge into each other. Possibly this stems from the fact that like Mical I am self taught and therefore strived for a more simplistic approach to the technique:) I hope to portray more of this method in my new book on Miniature embroidery where I will give examples of how we adapt our stitches to achieve a more realistic approach. This natural method of stitching frees us up from striving to work a series of perfectly aligned, smooth stitches and allows us to concentrate more on the painterly effect – so much easier and more fulfilling!
You can read more about Mical Aloni and see more of her work here.
In the meantime wherever you are be it winter, spring, summer or autumn have a wonderful week and many happy stitching hours. Trish