Monday, June 29, 2009

Book Review Art and Embroidery of Jane Hall

Have any of you seen this book? It is called "The Art & Embroidery of Jane Hall". This is a great book for inspiration - it's not your usual embroidery book. Jane Hall also uses paint, paper, cut silk, wire, etc. to achieve her effects. When she shows a piece, it may consist of 3 or 4 vertical planes, placed one in front of another to evoke a particular effect.

This book transforms you to a different world. It is a richly textured portrayal of a reverence for nature. It's one of the few embroidery books that is enjoyable to read, as well as peruse for pictures. Jane Hall can find solace in a single snowdrop; she is awed by the wonder of nature and it shows. Her work is layers upon layers of shimmering silks, chiffons, organza and ribbons.

She spends 2-3 months minimum on each of her pieces; the care she takes is evident. No detail is left unstudied, nor its influence on the mood of the completed piece. Even her chapter on materials is mouth-wateringly inspiring. Her fabric/thread design swatches are gorgeous! Although her creatures are more inspired by imagination than reality, sometimes you have to look twice to see which is which. Each of her pieces is shown in full and then in several detail shots, with descriptions of her working methods. In particular, she describes her methods for achieving depth from afar to up close.

There is a mood to her descriptions – awe, wonder, delight in nature and veneration.
It’s hard to believe anyone could improve upon nature, but Jane Hall’s work does.


Aussie Jo said...

Thanks for recommending this book Lin Moon, I have just reserved it from my local library.
Love your embroidery.

The crafty Kaeru said...

Wow, what a great review - thank you for sharing! Makes me want to read the book right away!

Pat Winter said...

I just returned that book to my friend Jill who loaned it to me. It is amazing how she gathers this and that to make such realistic creatures. Love her dragonflies and beetles.

Allison Ann Aller said...

Thanks so much for the review! I went and ordered it from Abebooks (my favorite online bookseller) immediately!