• Sarah Jane

Cushion Piece.....

Updated: Nov 9, 2018

After doing my small maquette, I started to research and plan out the type of slogans that I wanted to embroider onto my bigger cushion. I looked up different information on different subjects, and ultimately went towards outlining the different types of rape as it did initially shock me to see all of the different types of rape. I decided to stick to this subject matter as well because I was still thinking about the issue of sexual abuse and harassment in America and society today and felt that it would be a suitable subject matter for my idea of binary opposites - gentle vs. harsh, soft vs. rough etc.


Once I had decided on my slogan, I had to decide on which fabric I was going to embroider on and stitch together to form a hand made cushion. I decided to go for the pink fabrics as they had the lightest pattern which would make it easier to see the text on. I wrote out my chosen text onto one of the pink fabric sheets and then started to embroider onto it. It took 3 days to finish hand stitching the text and to finish the final piece. But I enjoyed the process of stitching in my own time, listening to whatever I felt like listening to in the moment, and to be able to think about what I'm stitching.

One of the main reasons as to why I decided not to use a sewing machine is that I want no machine or automated inference with my work. Everything I make I want to be hand made, as I find the process of stitching by hand to be very thought provoking, active and labour intensive. It makes it more of a craft or skill to stitch by hand, and goes back to the argument of whether embroidery and similar crafts can be seen as fine art mediums or not.


Throughout this 3 day process, it was interesting to see it in different stages, and to see the object be created bit by bit. I did find embroidering the text really labour intensive as it took hours to do 2 rows of text, but the finished outcome did look really effective, and I really prefer the hand written style of the embroidery on the cushion surface. There's something persona and intimate about it. I did end up running out of thread near the end of the text, and resorted to using two more slightly different shades of the blue thread. Up close it does look slightly odd, but from far away it doesn't look too bad.

I do think for the next cushion I make, I will film myself making it as a different way of documenting it. I think a time lapse would work really well, and it would capture the hand making process really effectively. I think it would really be interesting to possibly exhibit these as both the final piece and a projection of the time lapse which captures the process and shows how this kind of making is still alive and hasn't been forgotten.


Overall I'm happy with how this piece came out, and I look forward to documenting it outside the studio, and possibly in my workplace, but that is something that I need to organise with my manager when I'm next on shift. I think this would look really interesting as a series, and I do want to do another one in regards to my female identity aspects, possibly with the use of images and other embroidery techniques. I do want to explore different slogans and text, and possibly come up with my own.

I recently did a poetry workshop with my society and it has helped me to gain new ideas of how to express my thoughts through writing, which I feel I could apply to these pieces.

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