Grounded Masterclass - Week 6

Grounded Masterclass - 2 videos plus notes

**connecting to your local environment by creating art from the earth itself**

Week 6, Part 1 - Adding stitch (a)

Click here or on the image below to view the video.


Preparation for stitching

1, In order to reinforce your collage ready for stitching, you will need a piece of fusible interfacing cut to the same size as your collage. Make a sandwich of baking paper, then your collage face down, then the interfacing glue side down and then another piece of baking paper on top. Iron with a hot iron until interfacing is fused to the back of the collage. This will prevent tears in the paper when you start stitching.
2. Choose some threads in colours to match or contrast with your collage. I work in series so I will use the same threads for all 4 of my demonstration pieces, ie. stranded cottons in black, mustard, variegated red/orange and khaki, as well as a green perle cotton (no. 5). I also vary how many strands of embroidery cotton I use, mostly 2 or 3 strands.
3. Select needles with eyes large enough for your threads to pass through. You might need to use 2 or even 3 different sized needles, depending on the threads you've chosen.
4. As a guide for stitching, I find an HB pencil works well for drawing lines as it has a hard lead and is less likely to smudge. You can draw either freehand or with a ruler, or you can stitch without drawing any lines at all!

Week 6, Part 2 - Adding stitch (b)
Click here or on the image below to view the video.



1. Don't be too predictable with your stitchng! Rather than just outlining everything, try to think of different ways to embellish and stitch down the collage pieces and other design details. The fusing process is designed to hold down everything WHILE you stitch so it is a good idea to sew them down. However it is not just utilitarian.

2. Some ideas which can help:

     a. Stitch outside/inside the lines. The stitching can surround items, go across them or just be dotted here and there. Outlining can also be done of course, but it's not the only way to do it. 

     b. Take a line for a walk, ie start in one spot and start stitching, and see where it takes you. Don't overthink it - just stitch and see what happens.

     c. Don't be afraid to continue lines from one shape to another, even going across them. This can give continuity to your design so you don't have little 'islands' of collage or stitching that seem to have nothing to do with each other. Of course, sometimes you want details to stand out but use that technique sparingly for important features.

     d. Keep it simple. Accentuate rather than obscure the painted or collaged elements. Less is more.

3. I tend to use only a few types of embroidery stitches in my work. Featured in this current body of work are back, running, satin, seed and straight stitches. Feel free to use your favourite stitches of course, to make your work uniquely yours.

4. Stitching on paper can be tricky, as holes will be permanent. Pierce holes where you want to stitch beforehand with a needle (or an awl if you have one). You can then also see where to stitch on both the front and the back, and you won't have any holes where you don't want them. If you do end up with unwanted holes, you might be able to add some collage to over them up.

5. Try to work in an abstract rather than a realist way in your design. This will free you up to look at colours, shapes and balance in your design rather than rely on something more recognisable which can be limiting. Respond to the work rather than try to force it to be something it might not want to be!


About your tutor - I am a designer, artist and teacher, living and working in rural northeast Tasmania, Australia. My heritage is Dutch; I was born in Canada but have lived here for many years. This is now my home! I have been stitching and making art for most of my life, and my work has been published internationally, featured in many exhibitions and won numerous awards. However, my main drivers are a love of creating, and developing opportunities to encourage others.

[B. Ed (Art major, distinction); Dip. Art Craft Design (Textiles)]


The right environmentI like to play music while I'm working. Music is a big part of my life and it helps me relax, be in the moment, and distracts me from my tinnitus (which is severe). Choose music you love, nothing too upbeat, sit comfortably at a table which is not too low or too high, and you will soon enter 'the zone'!

(c) Rita Summers

Online - gonerustic.com

Instagram- @gonerustic

Facebook - gonerusticstudiogallery