Creative embroidery by top textile artists

Creative embroidery by top textile artists

Following on from our profile of 10 contemporary embroidery artists, today we explore those textile practitioners working with traditional stitch techniques in evermore interesting and creative ways.

Lisa Kokin

Creative embroidery art by Lisa Kokin - Mallow

Lisa Kokin – Mallow (How the West was Sewn)

Lisa Kokin may have been destined to be a textile artist considering her parents were upholsterers. She often transforms objects using sewing techniques and book arts to create exquisitely detailed and intricate work.  One project involved taking boxes of cowboy novels (which she found in a local recycling centre) and finding a new life for them; the imagery of the covers and the words of the books didn’t appeal to Lisa, but the sheer volume of source material was enough to ensure she wouldn’t let them go to waste. Eventually she re-contextualised the overtly macho imagery in a delicate, almost feminine way using traditional stitch techniques to create a series of pieces entitled How the West was Sewn. For more information visit

Alice Kettle

Stitch artist Alice Kettle - Glove Bouquet

Alice Kettle – Glove Bouquet

UK-based textile artist uses a range of tiny intricate stitches, which build up and combine to form large and imposing swathes of colour. Her background as a painter is evident in the style of her embroidery work, but the use of textiles and thread give the work an secondary interest. Alice Kettle has authored several books and her collaboration with colleague Jane McKeating Hand Stitch Perspectives was one of the Sue Stone’s top 5 textile art books of 2013. For more information visit

Cecile Dachary

Stitched textile art and mixed media by Cecile Dachary - Miniatures

Cecile Dachary – Miniatures

Cecile Dachary uses worn fabrics that retained traces of their former life. She uses dyeing techniques to breath fresh life into these materials and sews fragments either by hand or machine. This artist seeks to exceed the conventions of her craft and the traditional genre associated with creative embroidery. A defining feature of Cecile’s work is the dangling pieces of thread and lack of clean finish which give the art a deconstructed feel, taking us full circle back to the found source material. For more information visit

Ceciel Perra

Embroidered photography by Cecile Perera

Embroidered photography by Ceciel Perera

French-born Ceciel Perra’s imaginative work has resonance with a recent trend in stitch art; that of using photographs as a basis and re-imagining them with the use of embroidery (very much like recent interviewee Melissa Zexter). What is so appealing about this technique is that a seemingly mundane or everyday image is given a new life as something darker, more menacing or indeed completely the opposite. Experimentation is a huge part of Ceciel’s process and that’s clear to see in the variety of work she produces. For more information visit

Ulla Jokisalo

Contemporary textile artist Ulla Jokisalo - Laterna Magica

Ulla Jokisalo – Laterna Magica

Headless figures are a central subject in the work of Ulla Jokisalo and themes explored include a comparison and juxtaposition of the technique of machine embroidery and the work of medical practitioners (particularly surgeons).  The playful nature of Ulla’s stitch work is at odds with the precision required on the operating table and she consciously uses this to deconstruct the human body in her art. For more information visit

Rosie James

Creative embroidery by Rosie James - Time Trial

Rosie James – Time Trial

We recently featured the work of Rosie James in our article about the top textile art groups in the UK, as she is a member of the ever-evolving Prism group. Rosie references large gatherings of people and seeks to find the intricacies of her subject matter; she takes photographs which are studied for details of the commonality within the group, which she will later highlight in her stitched work. She employs a technique of growing popularity known as ‘drawing with the sewing machine’ (see Yumiko Reynolds, Willy Schut and Harriet Riddell). Rosie sees her artwork as a ‘celebration of the process of sewing’, which is why she uses transparent cloth; the details of the threads, which are left loose, are revealed and layering of the crowd with stitch builds up interest and raises the image from the surface. For more information visit

Hinke Schreuders

Embroidery art by Hinke Schreuders

Hinke Schreuders

Like Ceciel Perra (featured above) Netherlands based artist Hinke Schreuders combines embroidery with vintage photography to create intriguing contemporary textile art. The artist depicts the entrapment of females; the stitch is used as a metaphor for life, career, relationships, children – anything that makes demands on the time of a woman. The dark subject matter is tempered somewhat by a serenity, which points to contented vulnerability. For more information visit

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Monday 11th, December 2023 / 21:30

About the author

Joseph Pitcher is the son of textile artist Sue Stone. He is an actor and voice-over artist and has worked at the RSC, the National Theatre, West End theatres and several other leading regional venues across the UK. Find Joe on Google

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7 comments on “Creative embroidery by top textile artists”

  1. elle says:

    Wow! Seth sent me and I’m luving what I see and I’m signing up! thanks

  2. Auriol Davies says:

    good inspiration. Love their work. Beautiful

  3. Clarinda Jordan says:

    This has to be the most amazing web site I hvae found while looking for textile artists. So glad I found you,

  4. Ana says:

    I like your articles

  5. Donna says:

    This is great stuff. Thank you!

  6. Barbara Bexley says:

    This latest newsletter is brilliant, guys. You’ve really excelled yourselves. Julia van den Bosch offers an unusual combination of techniques that give depth and detail without losing the spontaneity and enjoyment of her work. And the Top Textile Artists selection is really inspiring. Thank you.

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