Embroidering Nature Workshop

When picking my leaves, I choose very sturdy, waxy leaves from a jasmine tree in my garden so that I could embroider without them breaking or ripping. I started simple with my first leaf, using a running stitch to get used to the material. I then experimented with different stitches on the other leaves, following lines and shapes I saw in the leaves. I love the outcomes, and I think the embellishment works well with the leaves I chose, and the colour of the threads compliment the leaves well. For the stretch and challenge task, I stitched three leaves together with a geometric design similar to Waters work. I am not as pleased with this result as the single leaves I embroidered because I didn’t think before sewing, and the design looks uneven and out of place on the leaves. To fix this next time, I will think about what I want to embroider before making my first stitch.

Hilary Fayle Waters

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embroidered leaf art
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Hilary Fayle Waters is a textiles artist from the UK who is most well-known for her intricate embroidery of leaves and other natural materials. She is currently an Assistant Professor and Head of the Fiber Area in the Department of Craft/Materials Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, and her work has been widely exhibited. Her work combines her two passions, art and science, as she looks at the different relationships in nature and the interlinking of ecosystems between plants and trees. Waters uses found leaves from her garden and neighbourhood in her work and then cuts or stitches into them with thread. Artists who have influenced her work are William Morris, Anna Atkins and Motoi Yamamoto. I love the detail of the embroidered leaves and how she has joined many leaves together to create a larger canvas for her embroidery. I also like how she has used symmetry and precise lines to reflect the link between maths and nature and the patterns that nature can create.

Susanna Bauer

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Susanna Bauer is a German textiles artist who lives and works in the UK. Bauer works with found natural objects such as leaves, stones, and wood generally overlooked by others. She uses crochet in her work occasionally as an embellishment but mostly as an unconventional way to sculpt and construct. I love how she uses the crochet embellishment as an extension of the leaf and uses the same earthy colours as the leaves themselves. I also like how some of her crochet looks like the skeletons of leaves you sometimes find on the ground after the rest of the leaf matter has rotted away.

Macro photograph of a decaying leaf by Mark Windom ...
Macro photograph of a decaying leaf by Mark Windom

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