Tools of the trade…

A few weeks back, when the Discover Original Art group was discussing our upcoming exhibition in November, it was suggested that we each share online, details about the tools and materials we use to make our art.

I loved this idea, because there’s nothing I like better than having a nose about other artists’ studios, seeing what they use to create their work: imagine the fascinating tools used by printers, glass makers, stone carvers, oil painters, mixed-media artists, eco-printers!

I was just happily nodding away, when it dawned on me, that my own tools of the trade were somewhat less exciting – in fact I did spend a few minutes wondering if it was possible to write a whole post about needles…

But then, there is surely beauty of a kind, in the simple, the mundane?

So although I can’t offer you the oooh factor of printing-presses or kilns – here are my particular tools of the trade…

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Big and thick, short and thin, but all with a large hole and a blunt tip…tapestry needles

It took me a long time to realise just how much difference using the right size for the job would make – duh!

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I would like to hug the person who invented the R & R Craft Frames – for me, the number one choice every time… which is not to say I don’t occasionally use others, but well, the flexibility of the R & R suits my stitching style.

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The floor-stand gets a lot of use, but so do my knees, the steering-wheel (followers on Twitter will know what I mean) and the edge of tables – all depends on my mood and where I’m stitching at the time…

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Loose-weave canvas: linen scrim, cotton crash – you name it, if it’s loose-weave, small holes, and reasonably robust, I’ll give it a go…

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Don’t think of them as yarns or threads, think of them as a paints – that you can stroke…

And last, but not least…

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Without which, nothing would be possible ❤


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14 thoughts on “Tools of the trade…

  1. It is wonderful how you always manage to make the ordinary seem a little less ordinary. Paints you can stroke is a real gem. My collection of tools is pretty similar to yours, though probably smaller. I am quite taken by the look of the R&R frames. They look much solider than the ones I use. Best wishes for the exhibition.

    1. Thanks very much Alister – even if our art form is very low tech, it certainly has a long, long history and that is something I’m always content to celebrate.

  2. Hi Anny, I am in awe of your work. You paint in needlepoint which as a chart follower and printed canvas stitcher I would love to be able to do. You are an artist and I’m just a crafter but one day I would love to try freehand stitching. I love the tactile almost robust quality of wool embroidery and that it is often useful as well as beautiful but your embroideries are breathtaking.

    1. That’s very kind of you – thank you, but you know, I began by doing exactly the same thing – I’m sitting on three of the cushions I made years ago right now! So who knows where it might lead you x

  3. Sewing is always magical, possibly because it’s so actual. Whereas a painting? Not as much and not for the purposes sewing and threads are most often given over to

    1. Hello Esther, thank you so much for your comment. I agree there is something magical about stitch, perhaps all of us who choose this process are in some way drawn to it for a reason, it helps us express something about ourselves or find something which resonates with us.

  4. Lovely post! I too am now thrilled by tapestry needles, I often stop and stroke mine. They are gold plated; I’m not showing off they wern’t expensive, but they are lovely. I have the grand total of three. You probably know all about them, but I love the fact they don’t keep painfully pricking my fingers like the sharp ones always do.
    And as for yarns and threads, well…

  5. Oh yes, I understand completely! I have to warn you though, the gold plate will rub off eventually – it’s ok, because that just means you can go out and buy some more. I have a whole load of needles, but I stitch the vast majority of pieces with the same three needles – one of which is decidedly bent, but I like that. I think I read once that the Japanese keep their old and broken needles, honouring them, and that’s something I can appreciate, after all, we spend a lot of time holding them 🙂

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