pure silk twist


susi_bancroftsusibancroft_techsusibancroftThe set up – tricky to capture! The middle image shows the amazing Poorman Project laptop Stevie made especially for the show, from which the images ran on slideshow and the audio played – a little, fragile, organic being – ‘made from bits of nothing’ he says – showing the inner workings like the inner thinking in my mind…

insignificant? …. potent?

susi_bancroft_buttonhole1A humble buttonhole – hidden by a bright button or a discreet one

Do we glance at, appreciate or pause to admire a fine hand-made buttonhole and acknowledge the craft and skill in it’s making?

What is our relationship with tailoring? What do we value and cherish in our clothing?

What of mass-produced fashion –  the skilled seamstress, the home-worker, the factory worker? Safe conditions, trade unions, care and compassionate attention?

These buttonholes are randomly stitched, uneven, deliberately stitched with a line across the centre

Closed mouth, closed eyes, stitched shut in vibrant thread

susi_bancroft_buttonhole2The art of tailoring I learned much about during this work

Exploitation and ‘throw-away’ fashion I thought about constantly – there is work for me to follow through here – a responsibility as an artist to find ways of promoting discussion and awareness.

The tragedy in Dhaka, Bangladesh happened at the end of this body of work and I grieved – I will not forget or lose the opportunity to work more on this….

made by faeries?

The waistcoat for the Mayor – made by faeries? Whose hands worked so hard to make such exquisite beauty?

susi_bancroft faerie dressA skirt of silk dyed with turmeric, seed beads, paper bodice dyed in tea – machine and hand stitch – and winged shoulder details made of garlic bulb leaves….

detail from Suited exhibition sketchbook piece

One and Twenty at Suited!

At Suited I was brave, a new direction – my sketchbook of work on the ‘one and twenty buttonholes’ was shown with audio pieces and a slideshow. I will show the ‘set up’ and some images over this week…

I didn’t want to show finished resolved stitch only – my jam-packed sketchbook of sampling, of thought, of ideas was the work itself..

susibancroft_suitedaThe slideshow was made up of images of sketchbook work – dilated images of stitch – powered from a wonderful deconstructed laptop by the poorman project – of which more later!




IMG_2491aMy research took me to the V and A  This was where Beatrix Potter went to draw the waistcoat for the Mayor…   It also took me to the Ashmolean

In both I looked at and drew waistcoats embroidered with silk floss satin stitch flowers of breathtaking beauty and skill.

The buttonhole stitch and the satin stitch stay in my mind. They combine in a fragmented and deconstructed sample…


wheeling in thoughts..

IMG_2618a susibancroftA dilated view – the camera lens reveals so much detail and I like the way the light catches the thread – it is the thread I want to focus on – the beauty of it’s substance as twisted silk as well as it being my intervention into the cloth – my stitches / my thoughts

What I most notice about this is the shadow – being able to see the stitches at the back of the organdie fabric – the running stitches, the buttonhole stitch, the tiny tufts of thread.. Catching the layers – not hiding but revealing all

IMG_2625aI have travelled between the tailor’s wool and a translucent fabric or tissue with the buttonhole stitch. It confirms where I feel more naturally at ease. I have deepened a view of thread and stitch being integral to thinking – I think / I stitch – there is no separation – one flows with the other.

IMG_2630aThis week I will share work on the tailor’s wool suiting – the sketchbook is filled, overflowing – and I am selecting images to share at the exhibition, and which written reflection to record on audio.. hmm – much to be done!

For detail have a look at Select 2013