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
17 thoughts on “The Embroideries of Mical Aloni”
The dimensionality achieved in the piece Flamenco: Norah …the lady tilted back, the diaper floor coming forward…wow! Thanks.
My pleasure Rene glad you enjoyed them. Trish
Mical Aloni’s work is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing. I am a member of EGA in the Pacific Southwest Region–two chapters in the southern California region. The region received a gift from the estate of Jan Jellins and I thought you might enjoy looking at some of the pictures that I took at the May meeting in Long Beach. The curator of the collection, Judy Dymond gave a one hour presentation on all the pieces she brought to the meeting.
I believe the collection will be on display at the EGA national seminar in 2014 in Arizona, so I hope that you will stop by if you are teaching there.
All of Jan’s works were created using sewing thread and they are incredible in person, as I imagine Mical’s works are as well. Thanks again for a great post!
Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2013 07:31:43 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello Laura, Thanks so much for the info on Jan Jellins work – unfortunately I wont be in the US next year but I would love to have a look at her work if there are any links online? I find it so interesting that she uses sewing thread as I was having a discussion with a “purist” embroiderer recently about the use of sewing thread for embroidery. These works prove to me that embroidery as art is limitless. Trish
Like Amanda, I thought I was doing something the ‘stitch police’ would be down on me for – a kind of straight /satin stitch mix where the stitches are of different lengths and the end result would be like a landscape if you could view it from the side (I hope you know what I mean). Thanks to this post I am encouraged to continue. Thank you for that and for sharing about Mical Aloni whose work is fabulous. I hadn’t heard of her either and it is a shame that we haven’t. If she had been a painter she would have been well-known by now I’m sure.
Hi Christina I don’t think we should ever be limited by formal methods or feel we have to follow instructions exactly as laid out by teachers and books, these are guidelines only. There are many famous artists who had their own unique way of painting and although they may not have been readily accepted at first they now have pride of place in our history and museums – so go for it! Trish
This work is stunning. thanks a lot for this information.
glad you enjoyed it:)
What a lovely article! I had been taught to embroidery many years ago by my mother. I too am like you I do more of a satin type stitch with random lengths. I love modern subjects. I have a sketch I have wanted to do something with and I think I will try this method.
Hi Pat yes do give it a try and have fun, sure it will look gorgeous. Trish
I have never heard of Mical before, but her work is astounding! Thank you for introducing us to her. I had actually started to fear something may have happened on your recent safari, we hadn’t heard from you for a long time!
I wonder if all (most) self-taught thread painters utilize that same kind of stitch that you & Mical describe? I am self taught & do the same kind of adapted long & short/satin stitch…I actually thought there was something ‘wrong’with my technique until I heard your description of your work!
Thank you for your work,& for introducing is to another talented artist.
Thanks Amanda I agree her work is amazing, glad you enjoyed it and don’t worry about your technique there are no rules as long as the result is what you want. Trish
just cannot take my eyes off.thas for sharing.
It is beautiful isnt it? glad you enjoyed it. Trish
Trish, Just beautiful, thank you for sharing. Pat
such a pleasure Pat glad you enjoyed it.
These are amazing. Thank you for sharing!