Group textile exhibition Off the Beaten Track at Shoalhaven Regional Gallery features the beautiful and precise embroidery work of Linda Taglieri.
Her award-winning creations have been exhibited widely in group shows, including The Art of the Needle and Thread exhibition at Parliament House, Sydney.
Linda will host an Elizabethan Pattern Embroidery workshop at the gallery on Saturday, July 27 from 10am to 1pm. This is a great chance to learn some techniques from a master artisan.Bookings are via humanitix.com.
We spoke to Linda about her practice and upcoming workshop at the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery.
When did you become interested in embroidery?
Knitting was the first fibre craft I learned. I was taught at home and soon was knitting dolls clothes of my own design from yarn remnants.
When my sons were babies, I started cross-stitching because it is relaxing and fairly put-downable. It was a small step to modify designs and a much larger to making ones from scratch.
Magazines and books showed exciting possibilities of other stitches, fabrics and mixed media-and I was away! A few years later in 2000, I joined the Embroiderer's Guild of NSW.
For a time, I was interested in raised embroidery and art quilts, but now do more canvaswork and surface embroidery. Myths and novels inspire me and I am working on a series of fantasy inspired embroideries.
How did you learn?
I learned to hand sew at school, although I was considered to have no aptitude, largely because I wasn't at all interested in the conventional sewing of the time. Those basic stitches were a good start, and I built on that through workshops once I joined the guild.
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What do you like best about the practice?
I love being creative and making things, and textile art adds an extra dimension of texture and three-dimensionality to colour and pattern. Embroidery is meditative, and practical as well as decorative. It can be worn or used to furnish as well as hung on a wall!
The vast range of stitches, threads, fabrics are very seductive. The art has a long and varied history, which is also inspiring, and it is an important aspect of women's history - for leisure, fashion and employment.
You also make costumes - can you tell me a little more about this?
My interest in fantasy and science fiction books led me to attend conventions, where I saw fantasy inspired art and cosplay. I made a couple of costumes for myself and one for my husband inspired by Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time, a fantasy series with many historical and mythological allusions which is currently being made into a TV series by Sony and Amazon.
The costumes described in the series are distinctive, often combining styles from a couple of different centuries or nations and I had fun making quarter-scale versions of these for 16" fashion dolls using fabrics, colours and styles as described in the books. Literary cosplay, if you like, with the added challenge of being small.
What can participants expect from your workshop?
The Elizabethans wore intricate bands of black embroidery called blackwork, on the white linen cuffs and neckbands of their undergarments. It is a counted thread technique and requires evenly woven fabric, which can be supplied along with cotton threads.
We will use Aida cloth with its clearly marked squares because it is easier to count the threads. I will demonstrate the simple embroidery stitch used to make the patterns and show examples of embroidered blackwork borders.
The class will learn how to read and sew blackwork patterns and will start with a simple border in black thread on Aida cloth. Then we will progress to slightly more intricate borders, perhaps in two thread colours for a more modern adaptation.