More from the Story Chair

Well, have you ever made something you find you just adore? I just love that vintage needlepoint chair I made for First Daughter and Son.One very pragmatic reason is that after all these years, I have FINALLY stopped procrasinating on at least ONE “vintage retrouvailles ” project and have actually produced the work I had written up in an ancient sketchbook. This Chickie finally hatched that Egg!

As for the narrative content in the work: Depending on how I place the seat cushion in relation to the back cushion, different sets of stories present themselves…What are the permutations? The reversible square seat cushion can be placed eight different ways; the reversible back cushion (not square) can be placed four different ways, thus each pairing of cushions can be read visually with multiple connections…and that is without counting the contribution of side views from the eight gussets which contribute yet another set of multiples…

This Old Guy (my age I think) you see on the right is from a Quebec needlepoint named “Pecheur” or “fisherman”. I rather like the ambivalence of the title printed on the canvas in capital letters because the word can also be mistaken for “sinner”….

Here are some more Stories:

Interesting that the subjects of the stitchery are often portraits of some kind- here, the Carmen-like dancer (Jane Russell? ) and the free spirited dancing figures twirling textiles above them as dancers from Mid East cultures might do.

Fruit, flowers, wine, fish, the dance…allusions to all the sensual pleasures are stitched- smoking too!

And some close ups of the Work Of Their Hands, may they be blessed:



And of course how can we escape reference to the landscapes of the Group pf Seven and that stereotypical – still lovely, though! – Canadian fall landscape:

In contrast to but in sympathy with the heroic cross stitchery above (on crappy polyester) the machine made embroideries from patterned polyester ribbons:

Draped over the arm is a companion for the Story Chair, a wool crochet cuddle “blankie”, shrunk to feltedness, also a rescue from the sallyann.

The design of the Palestinian embroidery reminds me so much of the Fair Isle “jumpers” my mama used to knit for me when I was small. In future, I will post some images of a wool “jumper” knitted in Orkney (where I was born and lived as a child) and which has many similarities of patterning. I am so grateful for the inspiration we derive from the legacy of women's creative, generous and industrious spirits from every culture and across time. The Story Chair brought this all to my mind and heart.

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