Research for Part Two: Surface and Stitch

Sandra Dufour

This artist’s work has been featured in magazines, she has illustrated magazine articles, written books, made installations and undertaken commissions.

mep broderies.indd

Sandra Dufour, Pages from the artist’s publication “Broderies Fifties” Dessain et Tolra, 2014


Dufour has taken iconic imagery and designs from the 1950s and turned them into embroidered pictures. The art works show a variety of stitches, densities of stitching, different backgrounds, depictions of objects as well as shapes and patterns, thoughtful colour choices.

Sandra Dufour, Image from the artist’s publication “Mette et les cygnes sauvages”, Thierry Magnier, France 2012


This piece features layered lace, appliquéd shapes, embroidery and a stitched frame.


Sandra Dufour, From the artist’s series, Fumées (fumes):-


Dufour has made two series of art works mentioned on her website: one on things that give off fumes (house chimneys, people, industrial chimneys, trains, kettles) and another on mountains. Both series show variations on the theme – different embroidery used and differing images, stitches, techniques etc. Some use machine stitching, others appear to be hand stitched. Some feature holes made by a sewing machine in one pattern (swirls, for example), oversewn in places by hand in a more geometric style.

Pages from Dufour’s artist book “Ouvrage”, 2009


The altered book contains decorated pages featuring cutting, tearing, textile inclusions and patches, stitch, layering, translucent pockets etc.

What can I learn from this artist?

  • Be experimental
  • Combine all sorts of materials and threads, yarns and papers to create texture and interest
  • Use a variety of stitches in the same piece
  • Work out different ideas in a series of art works
  • Pay attention to colour choices

Stephanie Tudor

“… Stephanie juxtaposes unlikely materials to create highly textured wall panels and interior objects.” Her tactile tiles, wall panels and objects invite touch with their intriguing surface treatments. Different types of surfaces are juxtaposed. Unusual material combinations are used.

stephanie tudor 1


These pieces use a number of techniques including mixing media; printed images on textiles; and shredding or fraying textiles. There looks as if there is paint or printed colour on the ?wooden elements.

Stephanie tudor 2


Another fascinating set of material combinations: string emerging from painted wood, clay beads threaded onto fibre and suspended from a twig, and painted/dipped plant material.

Setphanie Tudor Wearable Textures


I love these wearable, highly textured pieces, which include: specks or broken material suspended in another substrate; natural material embedded in a substrate, impressed lines, printed images, and carefully considered colour combinations.

Other work created by the artist includes dipped threads, thread-wrapped objects, painted wood segments attached with nails to sticks, painted sticks, etc.

What can I learn from this artist?

  • Combine all sorts of materials
  • Use bold colour contrasts
  • Experiment with wrapping, embellishment, natural materials, dipping, threading through, sandwiching between two layers, embedding, fraying, printing, painting

Elena Stonaker

Stonaker is a Los Angeles-based artist/designer. She makes exuberant, colourful and highly decorated soft sculptures and wearable art and performance costumes. Her pieces are hand sewn, and include beading, quilting techniques, appliqué and embellishment. She works with her intuition rather than pre-planning the work and the pieces may evolve and change over time. She incorporates beauty, humour and the unexpected in her art work. Some motifs, such as eyes, are a repeated feature in her work.

Elena Stonaker 1

Elena Stonaker, Detail: Domitille’s Dream. Wall Tapestry. Beads, sequins, hand dyed velvet. 2016. 4’x6.5′


An exciting combination of shapes, recognisable forms, patterns and textures. A palette of creams, pinks, greens and black.

Elena Stonaker 2

Elena Stonaker, Detail. The Offering. Ongoing sculpture 2013-present. Beads, fabric, stuffing.


A very three-dimensional piece, with repeated eye motifs, encrusted embellishment with sequins and beads, embroidery, couching, hand stitch and appliqué.

Elena Stonaker Wearable Art

Elena Stonaker, Wearable Art. Detail of Photo by James Cromwell Holden. 2013. 


Some flat, graphic, printed and/or painted patterns, two rather frightening, mask-like faces, contrasting with plain areas on the sleeve and front, padded additions, unusual garment shapes displayed on the body.

What can I learn from this artist?

  • Bold pattern and colour choices
  • Surprising and unexpected design elements
  • Embellishment with beads, stitch, appliqué, padded forms
  • Unique vision based on own experience, imagination and observations
  • Use of repeated motifs and patterns

Marie O’Connor

This artist and designer uses found materials, stitch and collage techniques alongside digital and animation processes.

She creates unusual shapes and outlines for clothing and experiments with “…interplays between the body and clothing, image and reality and scale and distance.”


Marie O’Conner, Make Shape (mixed media)


This piece looks like a playful assemblage of toy-like items that begged to be handled and explored. She has used silhouettes of familiar and unfamiliar shapes and objects; geometric pieces; flat and three-dimensional items; items with cut outs; lots of colour against a mid-toned background, itself a circle (rather than a straight-sided background); smooth and textured inclusions. Some pieces evoke links to real objects such as a swingball and record player. There is repetition and variety included.


Marie O’Conner, Source:-

This piece shows use of yarns winding and connecting two separate elements of the composition. The arc on the left is a yarn-wrapped flat shape, giving it a variable striped and textured finish. The element on the right has pins marking out the corners of an octagon, around which more yarns are twisted and woven forming new geometric shapes. Knots are visible, creating a clear connection between the yarns and accentuating the colour changes. The yarns used vary in thickness and texture. Shapes come forward and recede depending on which colour(s) of yarn you focus on.


Marie O’Conner, Source:-

Three non-traditional outfits that play with form and pattern, with unexpected additions and cut-outs. The patterns and shapes on the textiles draw the eye, further distorting the perceived outline of the garments, and adding interest and detail to the pieces.

What can I learn from this artist?

  • Use colour and pattern to create depth of interest and several areas of focus for the viewer
  • Bold use of colour and shape can give alter the perceived outline of a piece (rather like camouflage or dazzle ships)
  • Mix shapes, colours, surfaces, textures, dimension; but include repetition

Lauren DiCioccio

This artist has worked with fibre and hand stitch in her earlier work, which examines our relationship with everyday objects. Her more recent work, ‘Familiars’, includes sculptural forms that explore the tools she uses in her art. She starts with a form, built intuitively, then embellishes it with embroidery, wrapping, weave, etc. The resulting sculpture evoke an anthropomorphic reaction in the viewer, with their almost recognisable shapes.

Lauren DiCioccio  Sculpture  2007-2012  paper pad reconfigurations

Lauren DiCioccio, Source:-

This piece shows a flat piece of paper cut and edge-sewn to form a three-dimensional structure, rather like a cross between a sea urchin and a patchwork quilt. The simple ‘found’ pattern on the paper gives further layer of interest to the piece.

Lauren DiCioccio  Sculpture  2013 - present  Familiars (large)

Lauren DiCioccio, Familiars (Large), 2014, Hand-woven cotton, wood, stuffing, felt, thread

30″ x 20″ x 17″


This piece reminds me of the yarn-bombing displays. A wooden form has been closely covered with woven strips of fabric, some left loose and unfinished to provide added texture and interest.

Lauren DiCioccio  Sculpture  2013 - present  Familiars (medium)

Lauren DeCioccio, Familiars (Medium)


This collection of sculptures are indeed like little creatures or figures. Padded or wooden forms are decorated with additional ‘limbs’, threads, and colour. Most are stuffed, smooth pieces, one has been wrapped.

What can I learn from this artist?

  • Consider the papers and textiles you are using carefully (texture, pattern, drape, colour etc)
  • Pattern and texture can provide another layer of interest
  • Simple additions to a form can evoke memories of an actual object/subject
  • The same materials can be used in several ways in the same piece


Plenty of inspiration and food for thought for the next part of the course! There seems to be endless variety in the possible choices of colours, forms, textures, surfaces, material combinations, pattern and so on.

4 thoughts on “Research for Part Two: Surface and Stitch”

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