Community Stitch Challenge week four: Richard McVetis
Welcome to week four of the Community stitch challenge! Whether you’ve been following along with all the stitch challenges so far, or you’re new to the series, you can get started today.
When talk of social distancing and self isolation became part of our new normal a few weeks ago, we thought about what we could do to help at TextileArtist.org. It’s important to stay connected and support each other through shared experiences in these unusual times. So with these free stitch challenges, featuring workshops lead by a new textile artist each week, we hope that we’re doing our small part in helping you stay positive and creative at home.
Stitching all over the world
Starting with our mum, Sue Stone, leading the first TextileArtist.org Community stitch challenge just a few weeks ago, we’ve welcomed three wonderful textile artists since then, Cas Holmes, Emily Tull, and our newest challenge leader, the British artist-maker Richard McVetis.
We’ve been absolutely thrilled with the response to the challenges and our Facebook group is now 12,000 stitchers strong. Our community stretches all around the world and you have been sharing your fantastic textile art based our the challenge leaders’ creative prompts every week.
Last week, Emily Tull, a painter and textile artist who was a contestant on Sky Arts Portrait Artist Of The Year competition, asked you to practice not just your stitching skills but your observation skills, by making a study of an eye. She said it was “fab to see beautiful eyes appearing” throughout the week and shared various pieces of her own artworks as inspiration as well.
Now, let’s find out more about this week’s stitch challenge and your practitioner, Richard McVetis.
Who is Richard McVetis?
Richard is a British artist-maker who studied constructed textiles at The Royal College of Art. He is now best known for his meticulously embroidered drawings and objects and he is a member of the renowned 62 Group of Textile Artists.
He runs various workshops, gives talks on his practice and presents his work at exhibitions worldwide. He was a finalist for the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2016 and was selected for Real to Reel: Craft Film Festival during London Craft Week 2017.
Richard is inspired by process and the act of making, its ritualistic and repetitive nature. His work often involves multiples of embroidered dots and crosses on meticulously worked wools, which he sees as an extension of mark making using pen and paper to create texture and pattern.
What is this week’s challenge?
Your challenge for this week draws on Richard’s love of stitching, paying attention to time and labour. Something that’s important to focus on, especially in these difficult times, is slowing down. Richard has chosen a challenge that encourages you to use your time to explore the tenderness, slowness and rhythms of hand stitching. And to just enjoy the act of making.
The way you will be doing this is through an activity exploring couching. If you’re new to this stitch, it’s a thread or group of threads secured to the fabric with tiny stitches, which are then worked with a second thread. There’s endless possibilities of exploring different colours, textures, shapes and patterns. And Richard will show your four types of couching techniques that you’ll use to explore shapes and get into the rhythm of hand stitching.
See Richard explain the stitch challenge in more detail by watching the video now and download the accompanying workbook to follow illustrations and guides to each type of couching stitch.