Patricia Casey: Tool kit

Patricia Casey: 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.

Patricia Casey uses photography, embroidery and crochet to create works that combine high end digital technology and old world craft skills.

Here we dip into Patricia’s tool kit and discover which items help spark her imagination and practically which pieces of technology she can’t do without.

Item 1 - Threads

Item 1 – Threads

Item 1 – Metallic Embroidery Threads

Brand: Kireinik Metallics:

How do you use this item in your practice?

My photographic montages are printed onto a heavy drill cotton and I embroider detail into the image surface. I often have long trailing threads and I use the Kireinik Metallics for this also.

Why do you use this specific item?

I love metallic threads as they provide a good contrast against the photographic elements of my work. My stitching is quite subtle and these threads catch the light and sparkle, drawing the viewer into the image. The colours are beautiful, ranging from jewel tones to more subtle pastel colours.

And where did you buy it from?

A local embroidery shop, The Crewel Gobelin, here in Sydney stocks a good range of these threads.

Item 2 - Books and mementos

Item 2 – Books and mementos

Item 2 – Books and mementos

How do you use this item in your practice?

I undertake a period of research when I am starting a new series, so I will read philosophy texts and often literary fiction to spark the ideas. There a few favourites that I return to over and over, but I am a voracious reader and always looking for something new to read.

I create a little world in my studio with special items that I have been given as gifts or found in the natural world.

Why do you use this specific item?

My studio is a place that feels safe to experiment and explore. I am surrounded by objects that inspire, trigger memories and often provide amusement.

And where did you buy it from? 

The books I have sources from a number of places: online, secondhand, gifts. The other treasures have been gifts or special objects like bones, beautiful stones, handcoloured vintage photographs that I have picked up on my travels.

Item 3 - Visual diary

Item 3 – Visual diary

Item 3 – Visual diary

Brand: Newton and Windsor

How do you use this item in your practice?

I use my visual diary to record ideas, musings and to plan my work. I often draw my compositions and plan my photographic shoots. My sketchbook is a place to work through issues that arise in making my work. I will write quotes that relate to my work; play word games to generate ideas and most importantly draw and daydream onto the page.

Why do you use this specific item? 

My visual diary is a means to explore ideas, keep items of interest. It is also a great way of recording my working process.

And where did you buy it from? 

Local art shop.

Item 4 - Artist pinboard

Item 4 – Artist pinboard

Item 4 – Artist Pinboards

How do you use this item in your practice?

I have two boards approximately 2 metres x  1 metre bolted to my studio walls and I use them to pin up work in progress and items of inspiration.

Every now and then I repaint them white again and start all over again.

Why do you use this specific item? 

It’s really great to get back from your work and look at it over a period of time. Having the pinboards allows me to “live with” my work before I make decisions about composition, colour etc.

And where did you buy it from? 

Local hardware shop.

 Item 5 - Wacom Tablet

Item 5 – Wacom Tablet

Item 5 – Wacom Intuos Tablet

How do you use this item in your practice?

I make my photographic montages in Adobe Photoshop.
I use the Wacom Tablet in connection with this.

Why do you use this specific item? 

The Tablet gives me a lot of control in cutting and selecting precise parts of my imagery. It is like a drawing tool and allows a fluid range of hand movement.

And where did you buy it from?

JB HiFi, Sydney

Item 6 - Adobe Creative

Item 6 – Adobe Creative

Item 6 – Adobe Creative Cloud

How do you use item in your practice?

To make my images I use Adobe Photoshop.
It enables me to layer photographs and to extract small details to create montages of places, people and events that have never been together in reality.

Why do you use this specific item?

An essential tool for my art practice isAdobe Photoshop.
I love it. I also use other programs in the Adobe Creative Cloud
in other aspects of my artmaking  eg Adobe Premiere for video work which I am beginning to explore.

For more information visit:

Do you have an item in your tool kit that you can’t live without? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

Monday 17th, June 2019 / 19:07

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3 comments on “Patricia Casey: Tool kit”

  1. Patricia’s work is amazing, really inspirational, I went onto her website and was captivated by her excellent work.

    The one piece of equipment I think I couldn’t live without would be my Bernina 630 with the embroidery attachment.

    • Thank you Sharon – that is very kind of you. I’m planning to start some experimentation with machine embroider over the next year or so, although there is something about the hand made mark.
      Best wishes,

  2. Deborah Smith says:

    Thank you for sharing. Your work is stunning – I am in awe. I read went to your site but could not see how you combined crochet into your work. Would you be able to guide me to any articles you have written on this?

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