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NELSON Carolyn, USA: Covering Ground: Animating the Surface, Stitch by Stitch

Carolyn Nelson is a passionate hand-stitcher who draws inspiration from patches of earth. Her contemporary textile collages are animated with obsessive, repetitive stitches to create the energy and atmosphere of place. She lives in North Carolina, US, holds an undergraduate degree in fine art, a master’s degree in visual design, and has studied textiles extensively at Penland School of Crafts.  She has taught art and design in three North Carolina universities and served as Director of Design at Elon University. Her work has been exhibited throughout the US, is included in numerous private and corporate collections and published in Textiles, The Art of Mankind by Mary Schoeser.

Covering Ground: Animating the Surface, Stitch by Stitch

Experiment. Discover. Invent. Create your own repertoire of hand stitching with a focus on creative modification and expansion of traditional materials and stitching techniques.  Your marks will become as personal as your handwriting.

Beginning with simple stain, print and dye techniques, you will create textile grounds that become the canvases for mark making by hand stitching. Learn traditional stitches, examine their qualities and expand them into your unique stitched marks to create rhythms and movements through alteration, repetition and layering of marks. You will work with traditional threads as well as alter threads by dye and dye discharge techniques to further transform stitch character. The richness of the textile surface will be enhanced by experimentation with non-traditional materials, textile deconstruction, embedded or attached objects that combine with stitch to create dynamic surfaces and imagery.

We will find inspiration in our environment through daily observations, sketching and mark making exercises that can be interpreted as stitch. You will create a repertoire of stitched “sketches” and patterns that will serve as reminders and inspiration for future work. The workshop will culminate with a small personal project that reflects your own artistic vision.

The workshop is open to participants will all levels of experience.