Carnation Tile by Fiona Hibbett
15th November 2019
The modern world is all around us. When most of us think of it, one of the first things that come to mind are mobile phones, computers and other digital devices. But the modern world also encompasses things like cars, factories, power stations and high-rise buildings.
This latter aspect of the modern world has been with us for much longer, born during the industrial revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries.
During this period, the world was dazzled by mechanisation, efficiency and an exponential increase in output, thanks to the amazing processes these new factories employed. However, for all the benefits this new world ushered in, there were also some unfortunate side effects.
By the late 1800s, significant problems were becoming evident not just in terms of pollution, but also a growing in class divide and the rapid loss of individual, artisan skill. It was out of this that the Arts and Crafts movement, spearheaded by William Morris, took hold.
This artistic and productive movement wished to return manufacturing to an art form.
Borrowing from nature, practitioners created every object imaginable using individual skill rather than mechanical processes.
The style known as Art Nouveau was born, characterised by flowing, botanical shapes and lines, floral and organic motifs and rich pattern and colour.
Fiona Hibbett’s project ‘Carnation Tile’ from Inspirations issue #104 is unmistakably characteristic of this movement. Although the carnation is stylised, gilded with gold thread and elegantly symmetrical, it is still absolutely recognisable as a carnation.
The swirls of stems and leaves provide a sense of calm and order, while still nodding to the wildness of nature. And the perfectly executed stumpwork elements lift the design from the fabric, lending it a hint of realism.
If you are new to stumpwork, this piece offers a most satisfying challenge. Although the larger slips are worked in three pieces, all of them are still of a size and delicacy that care is needed in the assembly.
It is the symmetry which creates such delight in this piece, so it is very important to ensure each leaf mirrors its twin. Similarly, the hint of gold in the base of each flower, worked in a gossamer fine trellis, also requires uniformity and symmetry. Following the photograph carefully will ensure that your tile looks just right.
Although the industrial revolution is long over, some of its unwanted drawbacks remain today. We are labouring beneath pollution, severe wealth inequality, loss of jobs and the disappearance of individual artistic skill.
This beautiful project is a perfect reminder of the beliefs held by the Arts and Crafts movement and echoed by a great number of people today.
There is still great value in careful craftsmanship and nature always offers wonderful inspiration.
Time, care and patience are still some of the greatest gifts we have. As embroiderers, we don’t usually need to be reminded to put down our digital devices and sit with needle in hand to meditate, but the modern world takes over all of us at times, so dedicating yourself to the precision and care needed to achieve this project couldn’t be more perfect.
Make Your Own Carnation Tile
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions
Carnation Tile by Fiona Hibbett is an ornate carnation in elegant stumpwork embroidery.
Inspirations Issue 104
Carnation Tile – i104 Digital
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit
The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Carnation Tile includes everything you need to re-create this stunning design: Fabrics (unprinted), felt, kid leather, fusible webbing, wire, embroidery threads, beads and needles.
Please Note: To cater for flexibility of purchase, instructions are not included with our kits. For step-by-step directions on how to create this project, please refer to our magazine or printed/digital patterns.