On the Studio table: stitching connections

 |  May 5, 2016

This past week I started working in earnest on a book that will hang from a branch that stretches over water towards a footbridge. When I went to the park I already knew that I wanted to do a hanging book from a branch, so I kept my eyes open for a spot that could work. The thing that I had to keep in mind was that the wintry bare environment that I walked through a few months would be longer when my art pieces would be installed. The browns of late winter were going to transform into the lush green frenzy that makes up most woodlands in Maryland. If I didn’t pick the right spot, my work would be difficult to see. When I saw this branch overhanging water, I knew this was the spot. Open, high, and even a place to view from the footbridge.


I have made hanging books out of plaster before with natural elements as well as wax dipped prints. But for this installation I wanted to sew. I love the look of thread, the stitch, the mark of handiwork. Through my Master Naturalist classes and readings I have really been delving into how all life is connected and bound together. The balance of life in any given ecosystem depends on everything within that system. We all have a role and purpose. It’s really quite amazing. And humbling. And terrifying to see the imbalance playing out now.

The threads and stitching on these pages speak to these thoughts. The designs are inspired by the plants, trees, and berries that are native to the Adkins Arboretum. Here are a few process shots. All works were in progress when I took the photo.




Getting there……

“The great ecosystems are like complex tapestries – a million complicated threads, interwoven, make up the whole picture. Nature can cope with small rents in the fabric; it can even, after a time, cope with major disasters like floods, fires, and earthquakes. What nature cannot cope with is the steady undermining of its fabric by the activities of man.”
~ Gerald Durrell


  1. by Sharmon Davidson on May 6, 2016  10:46 am Reply

    Wonderful work, and I love the idea of hanging a book from a tree! If only more people would see how interconnected everything in an ecosystem is, how vital each little part is to the whole, we might not be in this mess we're in. Humans can be very arrogant.

  2. by caterina giglio on May 6, 2016  2:45 pm Reply

    I agree with Sharmon, wouldn't it be nice if everyone could see how interconnected we all are, and I am very inspired by your work...

  3. by Kim Henkel on May 9, 2016  10:56 pm Reply

    Your creation is beautiful! I love the colours and patterns on the white/grey/cream backgrounds. The stitches have such beautiful depth. To discover this beauty hanging from your branch would bring me such joy. and your message..... of course such an important one for all of us. I look forward to seeing more photos as this project progresses.

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