Nina's Textile Trail

My OCA Textile Tales

Books which have supported my coursework to date

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I have read the following books from the book list, some several times and have learned something from each one.  I have added a few brief notes regarding each title.

  • Greenlees, K (2005) Creating Sketchbooks for Embroiderers and Textile Artists, London Batsford.  This reminded me that textile workers sketchbooks are to accumulate resource material for textiles and focus on texture, colour & structure and definitely boosted my confidence when I was struggling with ‘drawing’.  At this stage in my learning, I’m not sure I need it in my collection and to have borrowed it from the library would have been sufficient.
  • Hedley G (2010) Draw to Stitch London Batsford – This is a very useful book, it was particularly helpful to me in the early stages as it “is aimed at those who are perhaps reticent when it comes to drawing as a preparation for stitch”.  It clearly illustrates with detailed photographs and narrative, the process from observation to drawing to stitch, with tips on noting the details of colour and textural qualities, equipment, preparation of backgrounds, colour, printing and wonderful photographs of drawings and stitch.  I will refer to this again in future.
  • McElroy.D &Wilson. (2011) Surface Treatment Workshop North Light Books –  I bought this to read on my kindle (a cheaper option), which may have affected by judgement as the book may have had more impact.  It clearly demonstrates in step-by-step form how to create backgrounds using numerous techniques.  If this were my focus at the moment, it would be more useful to me.  Whilst the processes were very well illustrated, I wasn’t keen on the art produced.
  • Beaney J and Littlejohn J,(2000) Complete Guide to Creative Embroidery Batsford I imagine these ladies must have been ahead of their time when this and their other books were first published.  I found the work depicted fascinating.  The title is divided into two books, Design to Embroider by Jean Littlejohn and Stitched images by Jan Beaney. The first half covers mark making, backgrounds, design, learning to look and exploring ideas.  The second half includes information about fabric paints, applique, stitch themes, machine embroidery and selecting a theme. It includes a wealth of detailed, textural stitching and guidance.  A must read if your interest lies in creative embroidery.
  • Beaney J and Littlejohn J, (2011) Stitches, Rhythms and Patterns Double Trouble Enterprises  – This is a lovely book.  I had resisted buying it as I have several of the authors’ older books, but it is a delight and inspiration to me.  It is set out simply, with a photograph and/or collage/sketch of the source of inspiration, techniques, the stitched examples, with each section accompanied by some short, but very informative notes.  The finished work is breathtakingly beautiful.  For me it illustrates how a piece of work can develop from a simple observation.  As above this is particularly informative for the embroiderer.
  • Hedley G (2004) Surfaces for Stitch Batsford – This is another well illustrated and useful book covering different methods of creating and altering surfaces for stitch, well worth a read for the textural stitcher.
  • Holmes V (1991) The Machine Embroiderers Work book BatsfordThis is an old fashioned book which I bought second hand.  I found it very useful when exploring whip, feather and cable stitch and other machine embroidery.  It helped with the technical detail and gave some structure to my explorations. Once I had the basic skills, I was more confident and inventive with my experiments.
  • Hornung, D (2004) Colour A Workshop for Artists and Designers Laurence King.   I enjoyed this book too, having an interest in colour and colour mixing and look forward to exploring the subject more in Project 3.
  • Caprara J (2008) Exploring Colour d 4Daisy – This is inspirational to me and one of  my current favourites.  It includes suggested exercises to explore ‘experimental approaches to colour and stitch’ .  Different weighted, textured yarns and threads are hand stitched in skillfully selected colours to produce vibrant, carpet like examples.

Issett R (2013) A Passion for Colour Search Press Ltd. – Although not on the reading list,  this is also an inspirational, vibrant collection of  colour and stitch, exploring colour ‘through paper print fabric thread and stitch’ .

I have dipped into the following books, borrowed from the library and need to revisit them in future:

Colchester, C (2009) Textiles Today: A Global Survey of Trends and Traditions London Thames and Hudson

Gale C and Kaur J, (2002)  The Textile Book Berg Publishing

Berger J (2008) Ways of Seeing Penguin Classics

I can see a pattern occurring in the above comments and notice that I am strongly influenced by my current passions.   My strengths in stitch and practical work are reflected in the books that inspire me and my weakness in exploring Textiles  in context are highlighted by the fact that I have only dipped into those books.  This needs addressing in future.


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