Triple Goddess, 2019. Freemotion machine embroidery and alcohol ink on raw canvas. 18 x 24 inches
Once I have an image come to me, that is where the process begins. First I begin with a rough sketch on raw canvas. Then I sew an outline of the image with a technique called free motion embroidery. This is like drawing with a sewing machine. With a few adjustments to my machine, I can sew any which way I like, not just a straight line. Next comes the wonderful and rich colors that I hand color using copic brand alcohol ink markers. I love their vibrant, permanent, and fade resistant inks. I love buying them, I love collecting them, I'm kind of obsessed.
At this point, I love to share my progress with others because I get additional insights on the meaning of the work. I’m often told that the image reminds someone of a theory, an archetype, or historical reference. I research and begin to understand more. An instagram follower saw “Triple Goddess” but the work did not get its name until she mentioned the Wiccan archetype. Is it in reference to the Triple Goddess she asked? Of course it is, I just didn’t know it yet.
The next step in the process is sewing lush textures and details like fur and feathers with more thread, still using the free motion embroidery technique. This is the most time consuming part, but the most enjoyable. I relish in patterns, connections, and small details. I repeat the last two steps back and forth until the image shines. Each piece is unique, handmade, and carefully crafted with love and precision.
It is important to me that each piece is sewn. I was drawn to a sewing machine at age 8, and sought out sewing lessons with a neighbor. Over the year I have come back to it again and again, even after receiving my BFA in printmaking. The printing press could never hold the same power for me as thread and needle do. A few years ago, I finally found what feels like home in free motion embroidery.
Traditionally seen as women’s work, sewing and embroidery remind me of the threads that bind all women together. I see fiber and textile art, such as embroidery, weaving, or sewing, as a way for women to project strength where we once seen as weak.
Spirit, 2019. Freemotion machine embroidery and alcohol ink on raw canvas. 8 x 8 inches
Creating artwork has always been a non-negotiable part of my life. It is an essential part of my soul fulfillment, and frankly I get depressed if I’m not creating. But it can’t stop there. The making of the work is not enough to complete the cycle. It needs to be seen and owned by the people who need to hear it’s message. I feel compelled to give life to the images that I see and nothing is more amazing than the feeling that the connection has been made with the right person. Maybe it is you. In fact, it might even be for more than one person, which is why I offer prints of my work. Maybe I have not even made your message yet.
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Hi! I’m Emily and I’m a mixed media textile artist.
Basically, I create one of a kind artworks using a sewing machine and alcohol ink markers.
I’m guessing that you came to read about me and my art because one of my images resonated with you. Does it remind you of an important connection to an animal? Or person or place? Or a memory? Does it just make you feel something in your gut but you don’t know why? That is intuition. If you connect with an image, that is your intuition telling you to pay attention to the message. What is it trying to tell you?
My art is made purely by intuition or what some may call clairvoyance, although I feel weird about that word and its connotations. The images in my artwork are images that have flashed in my mind’s eye, but they seem to come from somewhere else. It feels almost like an image download, the entire detailed image surprising me all of a sudden.
The images tend to come when I am engaging in some sort of spiritual practice like reading, walking in nature, meditating, reading tarot, or dreaming. The more I have worked over the years to connect to nature and spirituality, the more frequent and stronger the messages are. I'm still learning and practicing so I'm excited to see what's to come. I do know now, however, that these messages are meant not just for me, but for the deep sense of knowing that is inside all of us. They come from perhaps the spirit world, or maybe our collective unconscious mind.
Wormhole, 2019. Freemotion machine embroidery and alcohol ink on raw canvas. 18 x 24 inches
Like looking at a spread of tarot cards or other tools used for spiritual guidance, I don’t always understand what significance each image has right away, but as I work on a piece it becomes clearer. Even though there is a general theme, the meaning might have a different practical application to your life or to someone else's than it does to mine. For example, the piece “Wormhole” has a strong personal significance to me and symbolizes my inner critic, that unkind voice inside my head, the reason I started my personal and spiritual development journey To the owner of the piece, it holds a deeper, personal connection to both her grandfather's name, Two Crows, and the childhood experiences she had with familiar crows.