If you follow me on Instagram or any other social media, maybe you have seen how much I love Sarah K. Benning‘s work. She is an embroidery designer from the US, currently living in the sunny Menorca, Spain, and who makes incredible pieces of art just by using a needle and thread. Take a look!
She studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received her BFA in Fiber and Material Studies. Shortly after graduating in 2013, she discovered her love for embroidery (that started just as a hobby!) becoming quickly a full-time job. She is totally self-taught, one of the things that fascinates me the most. Seeing makers like her… you just feel so inspired to do just about anything!
Her creative process starts with some doodling (like the picture above) that then she transfers using pencil directly on to the fabric before filling in the image with thread. This usually takes a long time, as she shares on her own website, and by working with patience to assure that she maintains top quality craftsmanship.
Sarah finds inspiration in her own potted plant collection at home and her love for nature. In the past she has also featured crystals and mineral formations on her embroidery…
Regarding materials, she uses wooden embroidery hoops in a variety of sizes and DMC 6-strand embroidery floss. Also chooses cotton and linen blends for the stitching, buying usually fabric remnants and using pieces from a collection of hand-me-down scraps from the mothers and grandmothers in her life. For the stitches, she modifies the traditional embroidery techniques as she goes, although the classic satin stitch is usually the foundation of every piece.
For anyone wanting to take on embroidery, Sarah gives some good advice: “Go get the basic materials (hoop, fabric, thread, needle, scissors) and just start experimenting! My work has evolved over the past 3 years and is my full-time job. Believe me, I didn’t start out sewing complicated things. Be patient with yourself and have fun!”.
And if you love her designs as much as I do, take on her Etsy Pattern Program. On the 1st of every month she releases a new DIY pattern and PDF package packed with information and insider tips on how you can create your own beautiful piece of contemporary embroidery. She also offers one, three, six and a twelve month subscription with discounts on some of them. I chose the one month just to give it a go and honestly, I am totally hocked!
What do you think? I loved it so so much I want to keep making more now! 🙂 And what I love the most is that it is totally rule-free, or almost! The possibilities are just endless…
Well guys, hope you liked this new post about Sarah and see you here again next week!