I was drawn to the mark making in stitch of Richard McVetis’ Units of Time series in this month’s Embroidery magazine.
Some examples of his work can be seen here:
The delicacy of his embroidered marks is similar to some of the work of Roanna Wells which I looked at previously.
Units of Time is a series of hand embroidered cubes each measuring 6 x 6 x 6cm. They are stitched with black thread on cream wool, a simple palette contributing to the success of the series.
I am drawn to the visual texture created by the tiny dense stitches, the simplicity and accuracy of the cube shapes (which surprises me as I am usually attracted to curves). At 6cm cubed, each piece would fit easily in the palm of the hand. I want to pick them up and imagine I can feel their their lightness, the scratchiness of the wool and the surface texture of the stitch as I run my thumb across it. The repetition of the 6cm cube and contrast between the densely stitched areas and the empty cream of the wool gives the embroidery more impact and the series uniformity. The relationship between the cubes changes depending on how they are arranged and whilst there is energy in the stitching on close inspection, as a series, they have a calming effect on me.
I am tempted to stitch with black thread on wool. Is it wool blanket I wonder, or something finer? I see from his journal, that he is inspired by everyday patterns, and that “taking notice of these, removing them from their context, elevates the mundane to a higher status” (McVetis, 2015).
Had a go, full of admiration for Richard McVetis, its a very time consuming process! Still love the look and the potential for creating interest and movement with such a limited palette by changing the size and density of stitch and the thickness of thread, but didn’t enjoy the texture and scratchiness of the wool whilst stitching and was impatient with the time it took.
Hoggard, Liz (2015) ‘The god of small things’ In: Embroidery 66 (November /December 2015) pp.16-23
McVetis, R (2015) At: http://www.richardmcvetis.co.uk/journal (Accessed on 02/11/15)