Hello everyone, hope your week is going well.
Following on from the post Top Ten Reasons For Doing Embroidery – here are the next five reasons:
- It is liberating. There is no wrong way to do it. Embroidery is individual, like art one person’s piece may look like fine watercolours and another more like rough oil painting but it is nonetheless beautiful. As long as it is pleasing to you it will be successful and this fact gives you the freedom to enjoy your embroidery – you don’t even have to share it with the world, you can do it just for the sake of creating.
Never, ever compare your work to anyone else s because it just wont look the same. Be gentle with yourself, we are our own worst critics, but no one ever looks at your work close up. I always ask my students to step away from their work for a minute and view it from afar. Staring at your embroidery for any length of time you are bound to see every little mistake or areas that you are not happy with, but when viewed from afar all those little errors will vanish and what you will see is a beautiful piece of work. This especially applies to long & short shading – which will suddenly take on a lovely glow which you may have not noticed before.
- It broadens our horizons. Embroidery connects us with like-minded people through the internet, guilds, or workshops on a global scale. This interaction expands our lives to learn more of the world about us, meet interesting people, form new friendships and make contacts. It also gives us something of interest to talk about at the dinner table!
You are no longer a “shrinking marigold” taking a backseat in conversations, now you have something of value and interest to discuss with others. You may think that others don’t really want to know about embroidery but isn’t it is far more interesting than talking politics or hearing a blow by blow account of a golf game? I find that when I tell someone that I am an embroidery designer the answer is: ” Oh my granny used to do crochet” (???) I generally smile sweetly and let it go. But other times when I am determined that they should know it is not just another set of doilies for the dresser, I show them some photos of my work and then there is a totally different reaction – they want to know how its done, do you work over a painted picture, how do you know what to put in the outline and the most frequently asked question is “How long does one piece take you?”
Attending conventions and attending overseas workshops is a wonderful way to meet and mingle with like minded people from different cultures and countries, while doing the thing you love most, but if you cant get there form a local group of your own.
- It keeps us current with technology. We can share our embroidery digitally, make purchases or keep updated with new supplies and materials through blogs, chat groups, email or online stores. Not only does this expand our resources but motivates us to keep up to date with current technology.
Isn’t the internet just awesome! We can buy things online with the click of a mouse (and a visa card:)). My cousin told me that she fills her basket with everything she wants and then when she’s finished deletes it all saying “Well that was fun”! We can see whats available without having to get in the car and do battle with traffic and crowds, we can chat to others and keep in touch with like minded people. It has made the world seem so much smaller. No matter where we live or how remote we are we can stay in touch, even though I work alone in my studio I never feel lonely. Its a good reason to get savvy with your computer/tablet – amazing what we can do if we have a good reason to do it.
- You will never be bored. As long as you have a piece of embroidery to work on you will never be bored. It gives you something to do when watching TV, listening to music, sitting in a queue, passing the time or whilst traveling. It gets you out of bed in the morning, it gives you a reason to live a fuller life.
The world statistics on depression are staggering – but we are not one of those statistics! We have a reason to get up in the morning, we always have something to look forward to and something good and beautiful to ponder. We have a reason to smile.
- It keeps the craft alive. Cultivating your creativity, and sharing it with others ensures that hand embroidery is kept alive and continues into future generations. Whether it be for personal reasons such as fulfilling a niche, challenging yourself, motivation or for making a career of it by teaching, publications, sales, or restoration, doing embroidery will not only bless yourself but others.
Embroidery guild memberships are declining throughout the world. There is a need to encourage a younger membership but with everything being “instant” these days the up and coming generation are not much interested in learning how to make their embroidery look as neat on the back as it does on the front! I believe that it is important to uphold the formal, traditional methods of embroidery that have been passed down through generations, but it is equally important to meed the needs of the present day embroiderer by introducing more contemporary designs that are not so labour intensive or that have too many “rules” attached.
It is encouraging to see on places like Etsy, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook that there are numerous young people using hand embroidery in a different way to create items from phone cases, to hoop art. These artists are introducing a fresh, modern approach to hand embroidery and bringing it into the 21st century which tells me that hand embroidery is still very much alive!
Till next time wherever you are in the world keep smiling and happy stitching.