Orly Cogan Creates Intricate Art Using Vintage Fabrics

For 20 years Orly Cogan has accumulated a sizeable collection of vintage printed fabrics. Those have been the basis of her embroidery artwork. “I often start out with the existing fabric as my foundation and then build the story from there, but sometimes I have an idea and then go searching for the right materials, pinning together bits and pieces of fabrics, embroideries and appliqué,” she shared in an interview with Textile Artist.

Born in Israel and educated at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in NYC and The Maryland Institute College of Art, Cogan has been exhibiting her work throughout the US and in Europe for over two decades now.

“I haven’t actually learned any particular stitch work techniques,” admits the self-taught fiber artist. “I like to figure it out as I go and see using thread just like I would any other art material; I work intuitively. I love mixing various sensibilities within the work – like loose stitches that feel more like a sketch drawing or thick dense areas of threads that become more sculptural, to fine thin layering of the simple running stitch that creates perspective and gives the feeling of familiarity and naiveté. I use crochet and appliqué and paint to bring out more movement within the staccato line work in some pieces.”

“I have been expanding from two dimension pieces to installations where I combine various materials such as buttons, cut out fabrics, vintage craft objects and threads wrapped between sewing pins into the wall creating shadows with the lines. A complex webbing which to me is symbolic of connections and disconnections between the character’s various emotional states and the fragility of life. These works are ethereal and light yet the message is powerful but with just a tug the whole scene can become unravelled (a metaphor for life!)”

Take a look at some of her intricate designs.