Now the ‘Get Knotted’ in our title is not an instruction to get lost, but rather how Dee Kelly felt when she had completed her latest piece of art. Dee, master of all things stitch, has written for us about creating her beautiful piece ‘Sliabh Alainn’:
For the last few years I have submitted textile art pieces to the Kilteel Arts Festival, which takes place at the beginning of February in celebration of St. Brigid’s Day on 1st February. The Community in Kilteel do tremendous work each year organising this event, so it is great to see support coming from near and far.
Now you would imagine that having the date in mind each year would give me plenty of time to get organised, but oh no, of course I leave it until the week before the festival and then end up stitching late into the night.
One of my pieces this year, was small in size, only 6” X 4”, but large on the amount of stitch involved in creating it!!
‘Sliabh Alainn’ (Beautiful Mountain) was inspired by the beautiful colours in the landscape around where I live. I started with a rough sketch onto a piece of cotton and then stretched it into an embroidery hoop. I randomly selected one of the outlined shapes, and using three strands of embroidery thread, I started to embroider French Knots, working the knots very closely together, until that section was completely filled. I changed the colour of the embroidery thread and moved onto the next section, continuing this way until the scene was completed.
The back of the work was kept as neat as possible, so that there is no bumps for mounting and framing. I think the reverse of the piece looks like an abstract art scene and could possibly work as the right side.
After working hundreds of French knots, I know what I would say to anyone suggesting the back of the work is better than the front – “Get Knotted”.
Dee’s creativity can be seen in the flesh in our current exhibition in Las Rada Wine and Tapas Bar, Naas.