Embroidery art often seeks to mimic nature, but Australian visual artist Meredith Woolnough has a special technique we’ve never seen before. By using water-soluble fabric, her beautiful embroidery, which is inspired by nature’s most graceful forms, gains a new dimension of lightness and delicacy.
First, she traces a natural form onto her water-soluble fabric. Then, once she has embroidered her art onto the fabric and dissolved it, she mounts the resulting artwork on a piece of paper, a wall, or whatever other format the artwork demands. Some are even suspended in clear resin or framed. And she does it all with a regular domestic sewing machine!
Check out Woolnough’s blog, which has more of her art as well as tips and tricks for people looking to embroider their own nature art. You can also learn more about how she makes her embroidery by reading her interview with Bored Panda below the images!
“Nature is an endless source of inspiration for my work,” Woolnough told Bored Panda. “I am fascinated by the patterns and structures found within the growth systems of plants, coral andshells, the way things branch out and unfurl.”
“I try to get out into nature as much as I can as a type of ‘field work’ to inspire my desings. I go for regular bushwalks around my local area and I scuba dive whenever I can.”
“I am always open to exploring new subject matter – I just find I keep getting sucked back into to nature inspired themes.”
“The water-soluble fabric is a lot like a film or non-woven fabric made out of PVA glue. This wash away fabric was originally used in the medical industry as a laundry bag that would dissolve in the wash so no one had to handle any contaminated surgery gowns.”
“I use this water-soluble film as my base fabric and once my embroidered design is complete I simply wash it all away in hot water to leave my skeleton of stitches behind.”
“Basically it all comes down to the way I stitch the design. I need to make sure that all of my stitches are connected so that when I wash away the base fabric it doesn’t just all unravel and turn into a big mess. Over the years I have developed a way to stitch so that I know it will all hold together.”
“Occasionally I will do a side project that explores something completely different from my nature inspired work. About a year ago I did a fun project that involved embroidering a small piece of text every day for the span of a month.”
“The daily text acted like a diary entry for me where I recorded by thoughts, feelings and secrets. The text was readable when it was stitched but once the base fabric was washed away the pieces turned into unreadable squiggles – so all my musings stayed a secret.”