Animated Embroidery

Animated Embroidery

I’m a little late blogging this animated embroidery as it was uploaded for Valentines day last week. This video was put together by Etsy and features textile art by Megan Whitmarsh, music by Becky Stark & Peter Glantz and animation by Matthew Salata.

I like the idea of animating embroidery. This approach id different to that of Aubrey Longley-Cook who greated animated gifs from a series of prgressive embroideries.

It’s something I’m keen to have a go at myself, particularly with my unicorn embroideries. Unfortunately there are not enough hours in the day at the moment though.

A Walk in the Secret Garden

A Walk in the Secret Garden by Nell's Embroidery

A Walk in the Secret Garden by Nell's Embroidery

A Walk in the Secret Garden

A Walk in the Secret Garden are a pair of machine and hand embroidered shoes created by textile artist Nell Burns of Nell’s Embroidery.

These shoes, inspired by the book ‘The Secret Garden’ really are exquisite. They have been created through a process of freestyle machine embroidery and hand embellishment. You can see some of the detailing on Nell’s Flickr photo stream here. The surface of the shoes have been painted with thread incorporating grasses, flowers, and little squirrel amongst other things in the detailing.

I was particularly delighted to stumble across this work inspired by the children’s book as I have recently been working on an embroidery inspired by the Russian folk tale ‘Baba Yaga’ which I hope to be able to unveil next week. It’s nice to see that other stitch artists are finding inspiration in old literature too.

You can view more of Nell’s work on her website –

Star Sailor Sampler

Star Sailor Sampler by Spike Dennis & Layla Holzer

Star Sailor Sampler

This star sailor sampler is a a little test piece that I worked on with fairy tale illustrator Layla Holzer with a view to undertaking some collaborative work. The piece is inspired by a fairy tale that Layla wrote.

Layla has painted the scene out in gouache on linen. I’ve then embellished the painting with embroidered elements such as the moon and stars as well as the text.

Although it needs a little refinement I think we’re both happy with the outcome of this test piece.

Red Unicorn Embroidery

Synchronous Red Hermaphrodites 817 | Spike Dennis 2013

Red Unicorn Embroidery Red Unicorn Embroidery

I’ve just finished this red unicorn embroidery. It’s been a good couple of months in the making due to some other projects I’ve had going on that have had more pressing deadlines. It’s good to have finally finished it.

It’s the first in a series of embroideries and is titled Synchronous Red Hermaphrodites 817. It’s been created using a split stitch with cotton thread on linen.

I’ll pop a full set of images up in my online gallery once it’s pressed and framed so keep your eyes peeled for those.

My First Imapiece Jigsaw Piece

#imapiece Jigsaw Piece | Spike Dennis

My First Imapiece Jigsaw Piece

So I’m a little late getting started making my pieces for the Craftivist Collective’s #Imapiece jigsaw project but here’s my first piece. I hand embroidered my message onto a combination of pink and grey fabrics.

Of course I’ve still another piece to complete. Hopefully I’ll have finished that by the end of the weekend too. I’ll write up a full and proper blog post once that’s completed. In the meantime you can find out more about the Crafivist Collective and their jigsaw project here:

Molloy & Sons – Donegal Weaving

Molloy & Sons | Donegal Weaving from Jamie Delaney on Vimeo.

A lovely video I discovered on the Those Who Make blog

Once Upon Again Exhibition

Once Upon Again Exhibition Poster by the Pack of Wolves at Milkwood Gallery

Once Upon Again Exhibition

Dates: 27 February – 9 March 2013
Location: Milkwood Gallery, Cardiff
Late night opening: Saturday 2 March 2013: join us for an evening of enchanting fairy tales, puppet shows and performances.

“Every fairy tale had a bloody lining. Every one had teeth and claws.” – Alice Hoffman

Once upon Again will be an exhibition of fairy tale inspired work. The title suggests the idea of re-imagined narratives – taking existing fairy and folk tales and retelling them. This follows the tradition of stories being passed from generation to generation over centuries, through cultures and societies, books, art and film. These stories were once rife with violence, disobedience and punishment, dark magic, sex, cannibalism, beasts and fantastical wishes that came true.

The likes of the Brothers Grimm rewrote such narratives to make them palatable for children. They added cautionary and moral awakenings to ensure good judgement, wisdom and common sense was instilled in their audiences. However, the traditional motifs remaining in today’s fairy tales are diluted – happily-ever-after now litters the endings of stories and any trace of real darkness has been stripped away.

“Fairy tales serve a meaningful social function, not just for compensation but for revelation: the worlds projected by the best of our fairy tales reveal the gaps between truth and falsehood in our immediate society.” – Jack Zipes

The Pack of Wolves will retell fairy tales, as they should be – as they once were, bringing back old values and themes… Once Upon Again. The artists will take inspiration from existing fairy and folk stories and either reinvent them or present new stories using visual narratives. Fairy tales should not only enchant and entertain the audience but also illuminate and inform.

“The enchantments universalize the narrative setting, encipher concerns, beliefs and desires in brilliant, seductive images that are themselves a form of camouflage, making it possible to utter harsh truths, to say what you dare.” – Marina Warner

Puppet Shows

On the evening of Saturday the 2 March 2013 you are invited to join us at Milkwood Gallery to view a series of short puppet shows performed by members of the Pack of Wolves. This will include a traditional Punch and Judy show and a Jabberwocky shadow play.

What’s more the evening will present an opportunity to meet many of the artists involved with Pack of Wolves. We do hope you’ll be able to the Once Upon Again exhibition celebration.