Sue Ferrari: Tool kit

Sue Ferrari: Tool kit

Welcome to the sixth 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, as well as its brand, model, and year.

Here’s another look at the series so far:


In this edition of ‘Tool Kit’ we get a firsthand look at some of the most valuable equipment used by award winning artist Sue Ferrari. We’ll find out where these selected items come from and why they are so special to her.

Item 1 - Scissors

Item 1 – Scissors

Item 1 – Scissors

Item description: Scissors

Brand: Rupalee and Green Bell

Model: Professional Shears for dressmaking

How do you use this item in your practice?

I use both pairs of scissors for cutting all weight fabrics of both natural and man-made fibers.

Why do you use this specific item?

The Rupalee scissors are Fair Trade produced. They are a beautiful weight in my hand and the hand tuned edge makes a precise clean cut all the way through to the point. I love the sound that they make when cutting cloth, it reminds me of my childhood and the sound of my mother cutting fabric, which always promised the creation of something new.

My Green Bell scissors where a gift from my father many years ago, and have become more precious as time goes by. They are made in Japan from stainless steel but they are quiet when cutting and have been sharpened on occasion over the years but still cut beautifully.

And where did you buy it from?

Item 2 - Sewing Machine

Item 2 – Sewing Machine

Item 2 – Sewing machine

Item description: Sewing Machine

Brand: Bernina

Model: Electronic

Year: Originally produced in the 1970’s I purchased it only three years ago, it is in perfect condition, in its original case and came with the instruction manual and many accessories. I am enchanted by the fact that it has a history of making that I don’t know about.

How do you use this item in your practice?

I use it for any construction that needs to take place at the sewing machine and for free motion embroidery

Why do you use this specific item?

When I was introduced to free motion embroidery while doing a course with Karen Richards at the Centre for Creative Arts at South West Tafe I found that the machine I had wasn’t suitable, so after doing considerable research I selected the Bernina Record Electronic for its strength and durability its ease of stitch selection, the different darning/embroidery options and its ability to sew a wide range of fabrics with perfection, it continues to give me hours of sewing pleasure.

And where did you buy it from?

Purchased from a seller on Ebay

Item 3 - Visual Journal

Item 3 – Visual journal

Item 3 – Visual journal

Item description: Visual journal

Brand:  Mont Marte

Model: A4 Hardcover Sketching Journal

Year: Current

How do you use this item in your practice?

I constantly use my journals as I find they are an invaluable way of recording and organising trains of thought and ideas in my creative process. They are where I develop concepts for bodies of work, through a combination of writing, thumbnail sketches and design development and can include small samples of materials and techniques.

Why do you use this specific item?

I have used many different journals over the past few years but I am constantly drawn to this specific one as I particularly like the A4 size, hardcover, the quality of the paper; it is 110gsm acid free which has a subtle even texture that is suitable for both pen and pencil and they are sturdy, portable and stack nicely on my bookshelf!

And where did you buy it from?

Sometimes I have been able to source them locally from different art supply shops and I have also purchased them online at Montmarte.

Item 4 - Thread

Item 4 – Embroidery thread

Item 4 – Embroidery thread

Item description: Embroidery thread

Brand:  Cosmo Threads

Model: Cosmo No.25 Thread and Cosmo Multi Work Cotton Embroidery Floss

Year: Current

How do you use this item in your practice?

I use a wide variety of both new and vintage threads in my practice, but when the work calls for embroidery thread Cosmo is what I use.

Why do you use this specific item?

I particularly like the quality and the truly magnificent range of colours and subtle tonal variations that can be achieved. I have used this thread to stitch in a range of papers and fabrics from delicate silks through to thick woolen blankets all with successful results.

And where did you buy it from?

I purchase my Cosmo threads locally at Gum Valley Patchwork. I live in a relative isolated rural area so it is a privilege to be able to support a local owner operated business.

 Item 5 - Punch needle

Item 5 – Punch needle

Item 5 – Punch needle

Item description: Punch needle

Brand: BOYE

Model: Assortment Set

Year: 2009

How do you use this item in your practice?

I use the punch needles for filling in large areas of a design, creating texture. I am constantly looking for ways of using traditional tools and techniques in a contemporary context.

Why do you use this specific item?

They can be used with fine, medium and thick thread, floss or yarn, which allows for a variety of textures and can be easily adjusted for different loop lengths.

And where did you buy it from?

Local fabric/haberdashery store

For more information visit: or simply click here for Sue’s Facebook page

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Monday 17th, June 2019 / 19:08

About the author

View all articles by Daniel

One comment on “Sue Ferrari: Tool kit”

  1. Angela Jordan says:

    Very interesting


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