Why Textile Art?
We are Joe and Sam Pitcher and we’re fascinated by textile art. The reason? Our mum, textile artist Sue Stone. Let’s tell you a bit about her journey and how this inspired us to start TextileArtist.org.
At the age of 6, mum learned to stitch on a Singer treadle sewing machine. Her tutor was Muriel, our Grandmother, who was a seamstress (we still have the piece of embroidery she made to celebrate our births). Mum was a keen student and it wasn’t long before she started designing and making clothes, first for her dolls and then for herself.
It was the unfaltering support of Muriel that led to mum leaving her home town of Grimsby at the age of 18 and going off to study Fashion Design at St Martins School of Art in London and then Textiles and Embroidery at Goldsmiths College. She was lucky enough to have been taught by some of the greats, including Constance Howard, Christine Risley, and Eirian Short, the teachings of whom still inspire her artistic decisions today.
After graduating, mum returned to Grimsby, where she ran a womenswear business with our dad for 28 years. This was a hectic time and due to the demands of the business, as well as starting a family, she became distracted from her real passion; researching, creating and exhibiting textile art. In fact it wasn’t until she reached the age of 50 that she returned to her first love, rediscovered her passion for this most unique art form and began to stitch again.
It was an exciting time, with mum rejoining the 62 Group of Textile Artists and exhibiting all over the country. Here we are, over 10 years later, and the body of work she has produced is awe-inspiring.
So why did we start TextileArtist.org?
To have been able to witness our mum’s commitment, passion and the development of her style, which is figurative, funny and filled with life, has been a real inspiration to us. We are very proud sons indeed.
A passion for textile art
But along the way, we’ve also developed a real enthusiasm for the medium of textiles on a wider scale. We love going to exhibitions and seeing the huge variety of innovative and unusual textile art on offer. We’re fascinated by the inspiration behind a piece of work and how the artist has used textile and mixed media techniques in its creation.
A platform for artists and art enthusiasts
Having searched online, we found plenty of great sites for individual artists and groups or associations, but no real platform showcasing textile art on a broader scope. We wanted to know how individual textile and fiber artists work, learn about how they implement techniques, hear their stories and find out what influences and inspires them.
We also wanted to give artists like our mum an opportunity to promote their unique brand of textile art, share their experiences with one another and contribute to a community of like-minded creatives. And if we wanted this, maybe others did too?
What can you expect from TextileArtist.org?
We aim to become the number one online resource and community for artists working with textile techniques as well as textile art enthusiasts. TextileArtist.org is a place to be inspired, learn from the best, promote your work and reach other creatively-minded people.
If you’re new to the site and don’t know where to start, click here for our suggested articles for new readers.
The story so far
We launched the site in January 2013 with a series of interviews with members of the influential 62 group. Since then, we’ve been lucky enough to have welcomed contributions from contemporary artists and textile designers from across the world.
Now, alongside the popular interviews, you’ll also find exhibition and book reviews, advice from some of the most successful textile and fiber artists working today, recommendations for useful textile resources and articles covering a wide range of topics from how to use sketchbooks to textile art history. And that’s just the start. Below you’ll find some ideas of how we’d like to take the site forward in the future.
Our aim is to create a community of artists and art enthusiasts that inspires, informs, and promotes.
1 Be Inspired
- Contributions from textile art experts and interviews with prominent artists
- Insights into the methods of prolific artists
- Video tutorials and talks
2 Stay informed
- A directory of artists, galleries and suppliers
- Announcements, news and multimedia coverage of upcoming events, publications, talks and workshops
- Offers and discounts on events, galleries, exhibitions and books
3 Promote your work
- An online gallery for artists to promote their work including a monthly featured artist
- Articles and features on upcoming exhibitions, talks, book releases and classes
- An online shop dedicated to textile art
How can you get involved?
We built this site for you, so it’s really important to us that you’re getting what you want from TextileArtist.org.
If you’ve got any ideas or suggestions for what you’d like to see on the site or how we can improve, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us here!
Perhaps you’d like to help us give our audience the best experience possible in other ways? Here’s a few ways you can;
- Keep us up to date with events, exhibitions and book releases so we can tell our audience about them.
- Is there a particular artist, contemporary or historical, that you’d like to know more about? Let us know and we’ll do our best to feature them on the site.
- Perhaps you’ve been or are you planning on going to an exhibition featuring the work of artists working in textiles and fiber? Maybe you’d like to write a review for us?
Keep up to date with TextileArtist.org
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More about Joe and Sam Pitcher
Joseph Pitcher moved from his native Grimsby to London 16 years ago. He is a theatre director, actor, and voice-over artist and has been lucky enough to work at the RSC, the National Theatre and in the West End. He’s a keen writer, runner and is co-creator of the board game Game for Fame. See Game for Fame on Amazon. Joseph is currently resident director on the West End production of the RSC’s Matilda.
Joe’s favourite content on TextileArtist.org
Samuel Pitcher is originally from Grimsby in North East Lincolnshire, but has lived in London for 15 years and has recently moved to New York with his wife Eliana. He is a freelance graphic designer and animator and has co-run his own company 2SB for several years. Sam enjoys travelling, going to music festivals and visiting art galleries and exhibitions, especially if they feature the work of contemporary textile artists.