About this piece:
Found reproductions of early American needlework patterns float across the sepia pages of these two miniature books, with their vintage marbled covers and traditionally coptic bound spines. Like blood from needle pricks, the markmaking embroidery and tiny red stitches, performed by the artist in a meditative, almost prayer-like state, pay homage to the artist’s grandmother and all those the world over who perform “women’s work” – backbreaking handiwork with thread, fabric, yarn, needles, scissors-creating functional and artistic objects of great beauty to inspire, cloth & feed our creative souls.
Techniques used in the creation of this assemblage of two artists’ books on a rusted metal base include embroidery, hand sewing, dying, painting, hand tearing, pasting and coptic book-binding.
Paper and imagery are needlework patterns from an old, found boxed set of unbound pages: Book of Patterns and Instructions for American Needlework, by the Editors of Woman’s Day, from Simon and Schuster. A complete manual, with step-by-step instructions for recreating 176 early American designs in embroidery, crewel work, cross-stitch, needlepoint, patchwork, appliqué, quilting, hooking, knitting, crochet, weaving and candlewicking, plus a special section on rugmaking. Publication date unknown.
found papers, vintage book covers, waxed linen thread, tea, acrylic paint, ink, glue. Found, rusted metal base.
Renée Owen, a Northern California book artist, exhibits widely & was featured in 500 Handmade Books II. Her sculptural artists’ books elevate the detritus of everyday life to newfound meaning, with their intricate embroidery, poetry & bookbinding. Using discarded vintage books, old photos, found objects, paper & thread, these richly tactile assemblages embody a wabi sabi aesthetic, revealing beauty in their rustic simplicity and imperfection. Sometimes startling, always revealing, they expose and explore the fragility of the natural world, our daily lives and our connections with one another.