Embroidery – a new practice for the hand and the soul

I would say I came to know about embroidery art when I was about 12 years old. One of my father’s friends had an embroidery art house in the middle of Hanoi in the 2000’s; I am not sure if it is still there. Then from that point I do not know how I came to go there every afternoon to learn embroidery from one of the employees there, for about 2 weeks. I wasn’t particularly interested in embroidery and honestly the person did not teach me much, if anything at all. I remember that after 2 weeks, I was still on the straight line practice and I got so tired of it, so I quit. Yet, the texture of the embroidered canvases at the place remain in my head and since then, every time I come across an embroidered surface, I would always favor it over any other flat print.

These days of course I have been practicing art and so I try to explore more than one medium in creating my pieces, so this time I pick up embroidery again. I did not really learn it, but I think that the connection that I had with embroidery made it come very naturally to me when it comes to execution. In otherwords, I kind of just do it. I look at the embroidery artworks and I instantly search for a way to recreate the technique in my head, and up until now I have been lucky enough to be able to realize what I have in mind on the canvas. I have a lot to practice, but this is a good start, I think. 🙂

What I like about doing embroidery is that you kind of are restricted by the medium; it is not as flexible as let’s say watercolor on paper; so it is difficult to create the translucent effect for example. Everything looks pretty much 2D, but then because of the texture of the thread, it is definitely a 3D piece. I love it. I also enjoy this type of art because I think I’ve always liked meticulous work. I don’t mind sitting for hours to finish a portion of the piece; it takes a lot of patience but it is definitely a reward to look back at what you have realized after many hours of concentration. It is an absolute relax to me. My eyes and hands may be tired after, but my soul is happy as a clam. 🙂


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