I have lately been very drawn to the stitched line. Stitching as decoration, stitching as art, stitching as messages, stitching as contemplation. It holds a fascination for me – the mixture of practicality, tradition and art.
I recently received an amazingly beautiful book for review Machine Stitch: Perspectives, by Alice Kettle and Jane McKeating. It is published in the UK by A & C Black (2010), distributed by Allen and Unwin in Australia and about to be released in the USA in March this year. There is a companion book ‘Hand stitching perspectives’ in the works which I can’t wait to see.
Machine Stitch is a beautifully detailed book, big hard cover coffee table style, beautiful full page glossy images- with contributions by many experts in the textile field. In the introduction it says “Our intention was to reveal the breadth of practice, the joy of making and the strength of critical thinking to be found within this area.” and that promises a lot, which this book does not fail to deliver.
This book could easily have concentrated on textiles with art practices and historic museum perspectives, which would have been amazing – don’t get me wrong. However it goes further and explores the domestic and the commercial alongside the avant garde and the experimental. A gorgeous book to be treasured and read over and over.