About the Cross Stitch Vermeer

Note: The following post relates to the project requirements for my Foundations in Creativity class.
Originally posted to the creativity blog on November 27, 2015.

As I sit here hand stitching my dress, I am thankful for electric light. Candles are useless at this late hour in a row house with limited light even on the brightest day.

Even with machines, hand stitching is not obsolete. I’ve learned, via several near-failures, that the only way to avoid a funky zipper is to hand stitch it. While I consider this, I imagine what if all designers hand stitched parts of their garments? It would be like leaving a little bit of themselves in every garment; a personal connection to the designer for the wearer. I suppose there might be an irrational fear that they’ll eventually give themselves all away. Alas, handwork is incredibly time consuming and fashion designers have better things to do.

Hand stitching isn’t just for clothing. I’ve mentioned how much I really like Vermeer. I’ve made a garment. I try to evoke the 17th Century Dutch domestic aesthetic in our home. Reproduction art pops up here and there. I also embarked on a Girl With a Pearl Earring cross-stitch odyssey around 15 years ago. It’s a very, slow-going project. Counted-cross stitch is already a time-consuming type of needlework but this particular work has an extensive palette and is worked on a relatively small scale. When I finally finish it, there will be professional framing and a party. Naturally, I’ve seen the movie (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0335119/) and read the book (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girl_with_a_Pearl_Earring_(novel)). The book was a very enjoyable insight into the life behind the painting.

As I read my book about the concept of home, I note common themes carried from real life in 17th Century Holland into the fiction and art. The movie is fantastic because it captures the way the paintings look, subversively. I’ve read it has to do with the light in that country but there is something about the way the scenes are illuminated that is so serene. Perhaps that I what I seek from the 17th Century; a calm and tranquil domestic life.

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