Andrea Cryer Draws Portraits and Landscapes with a Needle and Thread

Some artists take to pencil and paper, while others employ a brush and a canvas. For textile artist Andrea Cryer its a needle and a thread. Combining hand stitching with machine stitching, she creates original portraits and landscapes which she then handprints, using a limited palette of disperse dyes.

“Drawing with thread is a continuous process of decision making,” explains Cryer on her website. “Deciding what is required, for example, to conjure up a facial feature – exactly where the needle enters and exits the fabric, the type of thread, the length of each stitch, the number of stitches needed to suggest a smile or capture an emotional nuance.”

“I love drawing, so that is the main focus of my work,” she added in an interview with Textile Artist. “It has developed over time into experimenting with scale and using different media.” “I use thread as a tool for drawing,” she explained. “This could be fine silk for stitching by hand and machine or wool, rope, wire or perhaps even plastic washing line.”

Her work ranges from small intimate drawings with lots of tiny detail and texture, to large freely stitched loose images. It’s a process that absorbs hours and she admits that she often finds herself at 2 AM wondering where the time went.

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