Come with us as we take a deep dive into a world of embroidered beauty above and below the sea. We have compiled a selection of pieces that showcase many aspects of ocean life in a wide variety of techniques. The pieces below have been stitched by EGA members, displayed at some of our exhibits or are part of our Permanent Collection. Take a look at the pieces and statements by the artists, be inspired and share this post with other lovers of embroidery.
Life on the Coral Reef (detail) by Linda McCulloch. Artist statement: This pillow represents my love of nature and the ocean. Many of the animals depicted are real fish and corals. The complexity of the compsoition and the many types of thread, beads and stitching involved made this truly a “labor of love.” This piece was exhibited at our 19th National Exhibit Through The Needle’s Eye, see more pieces from our national exhibits here.
The Lost Sea by Patrice O’Neill. Artist statement: “My work has taken a new direction in hand embroidered fiber art. I have never enjoyed working as much as I do now, even though it is very labor intensive. I believe there is something about the process that complements and enhances my natural way of creating art.” This piece was exhibited at our 19th National Exhibit Through The Needle’s Eye, see more pieces from our national exhibits here.
Requiem for a Coral Reef by Lee Ann Kleeman. Artist statement: The destruction of reef ecosystems is apparently occuring because of changes in the oceans leading to the proliferation of crown-of-thorns starfish that feed on hard corals. They can quickly strip the living corals leaving only a bare white skeleton. This piece was exhibited at our 20th National Exhibit Through The Needle’s Eye, see more pieces from our national exhibits here.
Old Billy Boat by Eleanor Ames. Artist Statement: Old Billy Boat is designed as a remembrance of the fun and excitement of a child going on a whale watch and seeing a whale for the first time. The wording is the first lines of a poem I wrote about summers my family and I spent by the sea. This piece was exhibited at our 20th National Exhibit Through The Needle’s Eye, see more pieces from our national exhibits here.
Endangered Lives: The Hawaiian Monk Seal by Rachel Watkins. Artist statement: Adapted from a photograph, this adorable seal is on the endangered species list. Hopefully, my embroidery will encourage viewers to join those who wish to ensure the survival of these and other species who must now depend on humans for their protection. This is my interpretation of a photograph by Susan Middleton and Davis Littschwager. This piece was exhibited at our 19th National Exhibit Through The Needle’s Eye, see more pieces from our national exhibits here.
Syriania, Under the Sea by Wanda J. Linsley. Artist statement: An exercise for my Teacher Certification was the inspiration for this soft sculpture that became Syriania. I’ve always loved mermaids and knew how they should look. With white skin and seaweed in her hair, she makes herself comfortable on a colorful coral bed. She seems to know a secret. See other pieces from our current and past National Exhibits here.
Ecology by Georgiana Brown Harbeson. 1975. Georgiana was a founding member from Philadelphia. Design represents the interdependence of the elements, water and air, and the fishes inhabiting them. Mixture of stitches includes stem, chain, buttonhole, needleweaving and appliqué. She won a prize at an exhibition for experimental embroidery held in Paris. She was stimulated by contrasting challenges in art of the avant-garde and the traditional, by intellectual attitudes as opposed to emotional or sentimental. “Ecology” represents her balance of these contentions. See the piece in detail our Collection gallery.
Wading Woman by Marilu Morency. Artist statement: The media used for this piece, along with manipulating my original digital photograph, allowed me to emphasize the solitude of the lone sunbather. On canvas, I chose to use surface weaving and collage utilizing various textures and colors to capture the vibrancy and movement of the ocean, sky, and undulating sand. The abandoned newspaper, atop a textured, stitched towel awaits her under a beach umbrella I framed using memory thread. Interspersed beads create glistening highlights. See it in detail in our Fiber Forum gallery.
Wave Phase A by Karen Maier. Artist statement: Watching the constant ebb and flow of the waves, listening to the water and the gulls, breathing the ocean air is time with God. After studying the phases of ocean waves for over 35 years, this is my interpretation of the sequence; The Ripple, the Curl, the Crash, and finally the Foam. Each wave is unique like all creations. See all four pieces in detail in our Fiber Forum Gallery.
The World Down Under by Ana Sumner. Artist statement: Crazy Quilting introduced me to stitching. The Embroiderers’ Guild of America challenged my creative spirit. I began working with fibers because it allowed me to create art in a multiple dimensional level using painted fabrics and lace, free-form hand-embroidered techniques with emphasis on silk ribbons, specialty threads, and beads. See a closer look in our National Exhibit Gallery.
Homage to Vivaldi by Jackie Gibson. This is one of four pieces, see all the pieces here. Artist statement: Homage to Vivaldi’ is a meditation on time. Each movement of his “Four Seasons” is exquisitely beautiful as is, we are reminded, the cycle of life itself. Thirty years ago when I first heard Itzhak Perlman in concert he played Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with enormous passion and energy. Recently I have only known him to play the Vivaldi–with enormous grace, but not the same energy. This embroidery reminds me of the need for such grace.
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