Astrid Polman: Tool kit

Astrid Polman: Tool kit

Welcome to another edition of ‘Tool kit’, a series of articles where we take a look at some of the favourite tools used by professional textile artists. Each item includes a description of the tool itself.

Astrid Polman’s work consists of drawings with hand-embroidery and paper-cutting to create a lace-like effect. Another important aspect of her work are sculptures made from felt, both wet and needle felted. The repetitive and meditative aspect plays an important role in both embroidery and felting. For her it’s always a great challenge to create with simple materials.

In this article Astrid describes of her favourite tools, which are indispensable yet simple, and are used in  the creation of her mixed media drawings. Equally important are the tools which she lists here: Professional cutting and pricking mat, pencils, ink, brushes, sketchbook, photos, anatomical/botanical prints/books. On the picture you can see all the tools.

Astrid Polman, Tool kit

Astrid Polman, Tool kit

Item 1

Item description: Paper
Brand: Hahnemühle 300grs color warm white

How do you use this item in your practice?

I work on it with pencil or ink/watercolour, stitch and cut in it.

Why do you use this specific item?

I like this paper because of its structure: it can be used for pencil drawings but also for ink or watercolor paintings. I can play with the gray tones and clearly show them. It is also sturdy enough to embroider and cut in it. Because of its rigidity the paper won’t fold easily and remains smooth while embroidering and cutting. It is especially useful in larger sizes.

And where did you buy it from?

In an art supplies store.

Item 2

Item description: Kid mohair: 70% wool/ 30% silk
Brand: Lana Grossa, 25gr

How do you use this item in your practice?

To embroider with

Why do you use this specific item?

In the past I used DMC cotton, but when I tried the mixture of wool and silk I got excited about its effect in combination with the flatness of the paper. I like the soft and hairy appearance of the wool and the shine of the silk depending on the lighting. Using the wool gives an extra dimension to my works, also in form as in content.

And where did you buy it from?

I order this in a German webshop which is specialized in the brand.

Item 3

Item description: Needles to embroider and prick in the paper

How do you use this item in your practice?

Pricking the holes and embroider with it

Why do you use this specific item?

I use an ordinary button pin to prick holes in the paper. In the past, I sometimes used a special pricking pen but the pierced holes were too big. That’s also the reason why I don’t use a special embroidery needle: its (too big) stitching holes have a negative effect on the overall appearance of the work. So the thickness of the button pin and the needle has to correspond with each other.. The eye of the needle therefore should be just thick enough for the wire to fit through.

And where did you buy it from?

In a haberdashery shop

Item 4

Item description: Acrylic medium
Brand: Royal Talens, Amsterdam acrylics

How do you use this item in your practice?

I fix the wire with it

Why do you use this specific item?

It gives me the possibility to cut very close to the embroidery lines. It fixes the wire invisibly.

And where did you buy it from?

In an art supplies store

Item 5

Item description: Double sided adhesive foam tape, thickness 3mm, width 12 mm, length 2 mtr

How do you use this item in your practice?

To fix the cut drawing on a paper background

Why do you use this specific item?

It has the right thickness to give my work some depth and it’s possible to cut it in all different sizes

And where did you buy it from?

In a webshop for hobby supplies

Astrid Polman

For more information visit:

Got something to say about the contents of your tool kit? Let us know by leaving a comment below.


Monday 16th, December 2019 / 06:05

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