|"Inflorescence" detail, Kirsten Chursinoff|
I’m often contacted by students, and sometimes I don’t have the time to respond, but this time I found the time to answer a few questions for a textiles student in Manchester:
“Hi, I am a textiles student based in Manchester and I am really interested in your work and what processes are involved with your work. We have been asked to speak to artists that will be potentially further influencing our work which will go towards an essay. If it is possible could I ask you a few questions for my research?
I am really interested in your use of surface texture on all of your pieces of work. Is it both hand embroidery and machine embroidery that you use on your work and what kind of imagery inspires your work? Also what artist originally inspired you when you began making work of your own? Is there a particular shape or pattern that has influenced the way in which your work forms? Lastly, what media do you use on a regular basis and what do you use to create your original surface before embellishing it?
Thank you for your help and time.”
Q and A
Is it both hand embroidery and machine embroidery that you use on your work?
Yes. I try to blur the boundaries so that you really have to look closely to see where one ends and the other begins.
What kind of imagery inspires your work?
Primarily nature. Occasionally I drift into the abstract realm.
What artist originally inspired you when you began making work of your own?
Kaffe Fassett was a huge inspiration, especially for colour use. I stumbled upon his early needlework and knitting books at my local library. This was before I knew about the wonderful world of textile art.
Then it was the work of Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn. They stimulated my passion for combining many techniques in one piece of art, and fed my hunger for texture.
Is there a particular shape or pattern that has influenced the way in which your work forms?
I love early textiles and tribal patterns, but you won’t see much evidence of that in my work. Texture, more than pattern, is an important element for me.
What media do you use on a regular basis?
Cotton quilting fabrics, embroidery floss, sewing thread, decorative yarns, cheese cloth/scrim, wool for machine needle felting and sometimes beads. I avoid some of the trendy materials, with the exception of water-soluble material for lacy effects.
What do you use to create your original surface before embellishing it?
Tiny scraps of quilting fabrics come together with machine free-motion stitching onto a base of cotton canvas (duck), or I sometimes needle-felt by machine to create a textured base for hand-embroidery.