PUSH Stitchery: 30 Artists Explore the Boundries of Stitched Art

For those heavily into textiles by way of pleasure or work, PUSH Stitchery will have something for you. PUSH is a gallery series that pushes what is considered to be the boundary for that particular craft. PUSH Stitchery is no exception when it comes to pushing boundaries by way of the many projects in the book-style gallery. PUSH Paper is talked about below.

"Visual Poetry" of the Galleries & PUSH Stitchery Contents

Juror Jamie "Mr. X Stitch" Chalmers of the United Kingdom profiles 30 different artists worldwide that use textiles and stitchery, and each section has gorgeous photos to accompany the profile. The artists' pictures are accompanied with a quote, and Chalmers includes a Q&A with such questions as, Where do you find inspiration? What words of wisdom would you share with people who want to try your medium? and How has your technique evolved?

A memorable answer from a Q&A with Tilleke Schwarz includes her responding to the question of how she would describe her work: "The work can be understood as a kind of visual poetry." Brilliant only because it is true. The bios at the back of the book include the artists' websites for further research on their work.

The Different Artists and the Scenes They Create

All the artists in PUSH Stitchery literally push the field of textiles and stitchery into extraordinary territories, and each photo of the pieces deserves time by the reader to take in and appreciate the work involved. All of them show the world of stitchery can be far more open and artistic than a simple store-bought color-by-number sampler. My favorites: Cayce Zavaglia and her beautiful and very lifelike portraits all done in wool crewel embroidery, Anna Torma and her colorful collages, Charlene Mullen with her blackwork embroidery, and Tilleke Schwarz and her (I don't even know what to call her pieces) visually pleasing samplers that beg time to read all the captions and elements in them.

Other Books in the PUSH Series

PUSH Paper is also a visually striking book testing the boundaries of paper and art. The book is curated by Jaime Zollars of Paper Forest, a blog about paper art. Just like PUSH Stitchery, PUSH Paper includes the incredible paper art works of artists all over the world. Many of them, readers will think "how was that done?" Pieces range from monochromatics to vibrant colors, small three dimensional paper toys to full wall paper sculpture.

Each PUSH book is small enough to fit easily in a handbag or backpack for reading while traveling. Since these are the first in the series, I very much look forward to seeing what else can be "pushed".

Book Information:
  • PUSH Stitchery: 30 Artists Explore the Boundaries of Stitched Art by Jamie Chalmers, Lark Crafts, 2011, ISBN13: 9781600597879
  • PUSH Paper:  30 Artists Explore the Boundaries of Paper Art, Curated by Jaime Zollars, Lark Crafts, 2011, ISBN13: 9781600597886
Disclosure: These books were provided to the author by the publisher. Any opinions are the author's own.

Renee Shelton