Skull Studies

anatomy, art, embroidery, skeleton, work in progress

For the past few weeks I’ve been absorbed in stitching these skull studies, taken from old sketches I did last summer. I don’t actually have any work in progress photos–these weren’t as much leisurely stitching as frantic, nose-to-the-grindstone work. Sometimes when it’s been a while since I sat down to a real project, I just feel the need to finish something, which is sort of backwards from my usual style–generally I get more pleasure from being actively involved in an ongoing project than I do from actually completing it.


Skull Studies #1 – Full Skull, embroidery on linen, 2014

Each study is about 3″ – 4″ tall, stitched with only 3 colors (white, black, and ecru). Most of my stuff involves simple lines and single colors, so I wanted to branch out into a fully filled in design for a change. After I’ve got all the wrinkles out, these will be stretched around wooden frames, sort of like paintings on canvas.


Skull Studies #2 – Maxilla, embroidery on linen, 2014

I really enjoyed sewing this way, blending thread colors to create depth, and even though these designs only used three colors, that layered thread makes a glorious texture both visually and physically–the layers get thick on the fabric in places, which I love, even though I’m sure it’s not ‘proper’ embroidery.


Skull Studies #3 – Mandible, embroidery on linen, 2014


Bonus depth of field shot of the full skull & the fabric texture. This linen is wonderful, all coarse-woven and unbleached and soft, and the satiny thread really stands out in contrast. Sometimes I really get sick of bleached surfaces–I look at standard white copy paper all day long at work, and between that and a computer screen, sometimes I really just want something that’s naturally colored rather than stark white.


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