Are you passionate about making textile art? Eager to develop a personal visual vocabulary with stitch? Excited by the potential of fiber as a means of creative expression?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you’re in the right place.
TextileArtist.org is a free online resource with two simple goals:
1. To inspire you to push the boundaries of textile techniques and materials and ultimately bring your artistic vision to reality.
Maybe you’re an experienced artist? Or a student of textile art or design? A hobbyist looking to take your work to the next level? Or you’re rediscovering your love of fiber later in life?
No matter where you are on your journey, insights into the world of contemporary textile art can play an essential role in honing your own visual vocabulary.
You’ll go ‘behind the scenes’ with established practitioners who share their design and making processes with you. You’ll discover how to embrace a variety of influences without falling back on imitation.
2. To encourage you to develop your creative confidence, build a robust process and a regular practice, and nurture a positive and productive mindset.
Perhaps life is getting in the way and you’re struggling to find time to be creative…
Or you’re suffering from a bout of ‘artistic paralysis’ because your process is confused and you have no idea how to get started…
Or you’re constantly disappointed with what you make because you can’t quite bring your vision to reality…
You’re not alone. Most creative people have battled with exactly the same issues and we’re here to help you tackle them head on.
So why textile art?
We’re Joe and Sam Pitcher. We’re brothers from a small town in the north of England. And neither of us are textile artists.
OK. We forgive you for thinking, why on earth are these guys so excited by fiber art?
One word. Mum.
At the age of 6, Sue Stone learned to stitch on a Singer sewing machine. Her tutor was Muriel, our grandmother. It wasn’t long before mum was making clothes, first for her dolls, then for herself.
At the age of 18 mum went off to study Fashion Design at St Martins School of Art and Embroidery at Goldsmiths College (both in London) and was lucky enough to have been taught by the likes of Constance Howard, famous not only for her remarkable art, but also her multi-coloured hair.
After graduating, mum returned to Grimsby, where she ran a womenswear company with our dad for 28 years. The demands of the business, as well as raising 2 boys, meant that she lost sight of her true calling.
When mum re-discovered her passion for textile art in her 50s, it was like a new lease of life.
We’ve seen her grow in confidence, sharpen her artistic voice and create a body of incredible work, which she exhibits and sells internationally. She’s been featured in books and magazines and is Chair of the renowned 62 Group of Textile Artists. We are very proud sons indeed.
The ‘Cinderella’ of arts
Witnessing mum’s commitment, passion and the development of her style, which is figurative, funny and filled with life, has been a true inspiration.
Along the way we’ve had the privilege of seeing some of the world’s best textile art exhibitions and meeting some of the most innovative artists working today. We’ve learned about what drives creative people like you. And what you struggle with.
Our enthusiasm has continued to grow. But so has our frustration.
Frustration that such quality of workmanship, ingenuity and diversity don’t share the acclaim of ‘fine art’.
We’re compelled to do our part in changing outdated perceptions by empowering artists speaking through stitch and related media.
We want to bring a contemporary voice to a traditional medium… and we want that voice to be heard!
The story so far
Here’s the truth. When we launched TextileArtist.org back in late 2012 we knew why we wanted to help, but had no real idea how.
But we vowed to listen and learn. Who knows what our community needs and wants more than the community members themselves?
At first we published informal chats with a few of mum’s friends from the 62 Group. The insights they offered proved more popular than we could have imagined and since then we’ve released interviews with over 500 practitioners from all over the world.
As our community has grown (we’re currently at 30,000 newsletter subscribers and 40,000 Facebook fans), so too has the range of what we offer. Articles. Videos. Newsletters. Ebooks. Online courses. All created with the aim of empowering you to be the best textile artist you can be.
Being nicely brought-up Englishmen we cringe at the thought of having to talk about ourselves. But over the years people have said some really nice stuff about TextileArtist.org so we’ll let them do the bragging for us…
“I feel that I have had the opportunity to visit one of the best mixed media museums in the world and have browsed and read and mused for hours”.
S J Fisher, Textiles Re:imagined reader
“TextileArtist.org gives contemporary practice a voice; leading artists, invaluable guides and a forum for textiles”.
Cas Holmes, Artist and author of Stitch Stories
“TextileArtist.org is a wonderful, free online alternative to fiber art magazines. What a great, rich, inspirational seed you have sewn. We are the lucky reapers”.
Lucy Dodd, TextileArtist.org community member
“TextileArtist.org champions the cause of a much-maligned art form; a terrific exploration of the world we love and the amazing art within it”.
Mr X Stitch, Blogger
Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to find out about TextileArtist.org. You are why we built the site and helping you with your artistic endeavours is what motivates us to keep growing and learning.
Here’s to you fulfilling your creative potential!
Joe & Sam Pitcher