Mr X Stitch Presents: The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge – The Power of Making

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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.

I was invited to a preview of the new Power of Making exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum and I thought it was terrific. There were over 150 different objects in the exhibition, each of which provoked thoughts about making, crafts, art and production.

Major Alexis Casdagli's subversive cross stitch

From a stitchery perspective the star of the show was a diptych of cross stitch samplers by the Major Alexis Casdagli and his son, Captain Anthony Casdagli. There’s a great article about the pieces on the Guardian website, but the main feature is the morse code in the border which reads “God Save The King” and “Fuck Hitler”.  A subversive cross stitch from the World War II was a sight to behold and the second piece, where a son had explored his response to his father’s work, was quite poignant.

There were other pieces that fall within the textile genre – Shauna Richardson’s crocheted bear is quite magnificent and Thorunn Arnadottir’s beaded dresses embedded with QR codes brought the matter nicely up to date.

Shauna Richardson's Crochetdermy bear at the Power of Making exhibit at the V&A Museum

However there was so much more to see within the exhibition. From an eight foot tall gorilla made of coat hangers, to a mahogany racing bike, to an open source cardboard surfboard, to a shark made from tyres, to a self-replicating makerbot, there was something to give each of you that special “Oh Wow!” moment. The show was inspirational and I had a simply awesome time.

A Makerbot at the Power of Making exhibit at the V&A Museum

The Power of Making was an exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum from 6 September 2011 till 2 January 2012.

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

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