Saturday, April 21, 2007

Blackwork's Siren Call 

Black embroidery seems often to "call out" to stitchers, I think because of its dramatic contrast and use of rich color often embellished by metallic flourishes.

Geometric embroidery (whether stitched in black or some other color) likewise seems to have a fatal attraction for many of us.

When teaching a blackwork class, I often ask students how many of them are mathematicians, statisticians, programmers, engineers, architects, musicians or draftspeople. Geometric designs seem to feel very comfortable and appeal to their sense of order, progression, symmetry and spatial relationships.

Stitching reversibly also has its followers - double-running stitch makes sense to them and it flows. It's rather like abstract mathematics is to some folks - it has a beauty that cannot be explained, but is extremely satisfying to its practitioners.

Ah, the mysteries of stitching and how we construe aesthetic values.


Thanks for putting this into words, Linn. I'd recognized my love of the high contrast and the logic of blackwork as I stitched but now you've made me think even more specifically about it.

I love the contrast of blackwork as well, but I love the freeform styles, which must appeal to my very non-maths oriented brain!!

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