• Fashion Week
  • Style
  • Culture
  • Travel
  • Entertaining
  • Music
  • Archive

Tory and her father Buddy aren’t the only ones who are big needlepoint enthusiasts — artist Elsa Hansen is famous for her cross-stitched take on pop-culture and historical heavyweights. We talked to her here.

Why embroidery…
Embroidery, more specifically cross stitch, is something that began as a hobby. After falling in love with all of the colors, fabrics and possibilities I quickly became hooked on it and realized that it is a form with which I could express myself.

My artistic influences…
Van Neistat and Tom Sachs. Craig Robinson, Nintendo and Atari. Agnes Martin. The quilts of Gee’s Bend. Gunta Stölzl.

My stitch of choice…
I prefer cross stitch because of its sharper line fullness. Recently I’ve really gotten into traditional embroidered border designs. The blanket stitch and the feather stitch are my favorite border stitches because they have a great rhythm, they cover a lot of ground quickly and they are beautiful.

Embroidery 411 to know…
The basic stitches found on the earliest embroideries remain the fundamental techniques of hand embroidery today. The earliest known embroidery examples are from about 3,000 B.C. I love practicing a tradition that humans from every civilization have done for so long.

And the icons to know…
Alighiero Boetti, Takashi Iwasaki and Bayeux Tapestry. The world of embroidery art is very exciting right now. I think there is a recent surge of people pushing it farther than the traditional and I’m excited to see where it goes.

My advice to the newbie needlepointer…
Explore new fabrics and threads. There is a vast world of variety that goes far beyond what you can buy at Michael’s and other craft stores.

When it comes to home décor, I recommend…
Embroidering canvas tote bags and aprons. Pillow cases and hand cloths are lovely, too. I like finding vintage French linen and using silk tread.

To get in the needlepointing mood…
I like listening to books on tape, podcasts and talk radio. Sometimes I watch/listen to shows like Gossip Girl — shows and movies that are easy to follow when you aren’t really watching them. Stitching with friends is also very fun.

Coming face to face with my needlepoint inspirations…
I love trying to capture a person in 8-bit format. For my show last summer I created a piece with Ai WeiWei and Daniel Boone. Ai WeiWei liked it so much he bought it. This was a great honor that I could never have imagined.

More to explore in Culture

Comments