Mr X Stitch Presents: The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge – Harriet Hammel

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Welcome to the Cutting (& Stitching) Edge! I’m Mr X Stitch and I’ll be your guide to the best in contemporary embroidery. Each week I’ll showcase someone who is rocking the world of embroidery and textiles.

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Harriet Hammel is a soft sculptor from London.

I was really impressed by her body of work, so I contacted Harriet to find out more.

While in my final year of a Graphic Design course at Ealing School of Art, I was inspired by a visit to the Claes Oldenberg exhibition in London.  I had never heard of “soft sculpture” before.  As I had been making soft animals from the age of 10, I knew that this was a medium that I could control and excel in.

From that moment, all my projects involved soft sculptures, and I obtained a Distinction in my graduating certificate.

The essence of my art is to recreate objects that are normally hard and/or aggressive, so creating a visual and tactile contradiction. I use fabrics that ressemble the real thing; satin for metal, organza for glass, corduroy for rubber tyres, etc.

But I have [recently] taken up the needle and thread again, with even more attention to detail than before.  Recent work includes soft cigarettes burning in ashtrays, a soft laptop computer,  spraypaint cans (the preferred brand of grafitti artists) and Weapons of Soft Construction, the ultimate demonstration of my art: realistic looking machine gun, hand grenades, pistols and knives, rendered completely harmless and impotent.”

I love Harriet’s work on many levels. From a technical perspective I am astonished by her ability to manipulate the textiles to create these forms. Creating a soft sculpture motorbike is surreal and fantastic and a technical masterwork.

Harriet’s work is infused with a terrific sense of humour and passion, and I love that she chooses objects that are everyday and seemingly mundane. The transformation to soft sculpture brings them to life.

I’m very glad to have found Harriet. Her work puts a smile on my face, and is inspirational. Go and visit her website and give her some love. Ladies and gentleman, Harriet Hammel.

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Mr X Stitch is a manbroiderer, cross stitch designer and runs www.mrxstitch.com,
the number one contemporary embroidery and needlecraft blog on the planet.

He can often be found hanging out on the Craftster needlecraft boards, at the Phat Quarter on Flickr, or designing patterns for the MrXStitch etsy store.

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One Comment

  1. Katja says:

    this is really cool! her work is fab!

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