My goal as a needle artist is to bring needlework into the 21st Century as a true art form. I take traditional stitches and techniques and explore their nontraditional possibilities. This might mean manipulating the stitch or using the technique for something other than what it was intended. To take this transition one step further, I also use traditional needlework ground fabrics but in nontraditional manners that create a new base for the needle and thread. Such a new base might incorporate paint, inks, found objects, and joining of multiple fabrics into which threads and stitches are placed.
However, this task I have set myself involves more than just the creation of needle art. It has required defining the word art as it relates to needle and thread. Many definitions of art already exist in the world of embroidery, but to meet my goal to change the way the world sees art made with needle and thread, I have had to create for myself a definition of needle art that corresponds more closely to the traditional art world’s definition of art.
Needlework has long been considered “women’s work” and has, by that very definition, been relegated to an obscure corner of the craft world, somewhere between painting-by-number and knitting afghans. When needlework was designed and executed primarily by men for the adornment of kings and priests it was treated as a unique art and held in high esteem, but that was long ago in another age. It is now a considered hobby of little intrinsic value except to the millions who enjoy its relaxing rhythms and the beauty it brings to their lives. I intend to change the way the world thinks about needlework just as quilt artists and fiber artists have changed the way the world sees quilts and weavings.