Whether you’re a tennis player or not, Danielle Clough‘s artwork is sure to impress. Known for her fiber art and stitching plants onto vintage tennis rackets, this artist has been creating these pieces for years. She takes old-fashioned sports equipment and transforms them into handheld works of art with a breathtaking combination of vibrant color and layered stitched texture with a painterly appeal.
Tired of the same old racket, Clough introduced a new one to her collection. She loved sunflowers and wanted to bring them into her designs. So the artist set out for hours, searching all over town, trying to find just the correct string of beads that would suit her needs. Finally, she found them; they were tiny yellow beads in a pack. They weren’t perfect, but they would do well enough for what she needed it for. “I’ll take these,” Clough said with a smile as the cashier rang up her purchase on his register.”
“I just love what I do,” Clough says, “creating these beautiful pieces of art that will live on forever.” Every day, she arrives at her workspace with the promise of a new project to be completed. She is an embroiderer and spends hours stitching petals and leaves onto fabric-free surfaces. Her most recent batch in the “What a Racket” series is mainly flowers because she loves the colors, depth, and symbolism they hold. Traditionally, flowers are the embroiderers ‘go-to,’ which is why she loves that they live stitched on these fabric-free surfaces.
For all the fantastic, beautiful things you can do, there are also some downsides to embroidery.
“One of the challenges with them is that essentially you start sewing into the air. You don’t have fabric or a piece of backing fabric, so it’s about ensuring that whatever you’re doing is in the suitable space before you stitch. That part isn’t always easy for people who aren’t used to working this way – I didn’t know anything about embroidery when I started! But when I get it right, it pays off,” Clough explains.
There is no undo button with something as time-consuming as embroidery, but this is the reason why, to her, it’s the most present and amazing medium.
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