Landscapes in Thread: Martha Fieber’s Hand Embroidery
THE ARTIST: Martha Fieber
BEST KNOWN FOR: Intricate hand-embroidered “landscapes in thread” depicting flowers, fields and forests with a vibrant intensity.
INSPIRATION: “We live in the country, and our land is very wooded, remote and quiet. The designs you find in nature are always real, grounded, calming, graphic and random.”
HANDIWORK: I have no formal training as an artist, but I have been working with fiber since I was old enough to handle a needle, embroidering pillowcases and household linens with my mother and grandmother. I am self-taught in freehand embroidery, and I learned my current techniques by experimentation.”
NEEDLES, KNOTS AND NATURE: “I start with an idea of the finished work, or I use a photo I have taken as my subject. I choose hand-dyed linen background material first, then I pick all of my colors and fibers in the daylight hours so that I can work at night. I stretch the linen on a frame and then start to stitch with the farthest thing back in the picture, and then I add as many layers of stitches as are required to get the final result I am working for.”
"Red Leaves Against Smokey Haze"
METICULOUS MINIATURES: “My smallest pieces—3” x 5”—take about 40 hours of stitching to complete. I have done very large pieces—10” x 30”—that can take up to three months.”
ALL TIED TOGETHER: “My art expresses our connection to the natural world—the idea that all things can work together for a harmonious whole. And my work is an interconnection in itself: Thread, linen, silk, fabric, ribbon—all become one piece, just like in nature all things are connect, all systems work together. It encourages the viewer to realize that there are many layers to everything we see in the world.