I began by creating custom designs. I enjoy creating textiles to coordinate with dinnerware and other room motifs inspired from an existing rug, wallpaper, upholstery fabric, and furniture inlays. Design fees are very responsible and are based on the complexity of the motif. I have created a number of textiles to match antique dinnerware and china for clients across the nation. Prices for creating a basic custom motif begin at $30.00.
My art work focuses on the combination of painting and embroidery, and sometimes incorporates appliqué, beadwork, stumpwork (raised embroidery), or needle lace. Generally needle art is available as a one-of-a-kind original, but some works are available in limited editions. The art work begins with an original sketch or inspiration from a photograph. The layout of the design is transferred to linen, and then painted by means of applying several layers of paint (much like a watercolor is completed). The end result creates a significant range of depth and perception. Foreground areas or subjects receive additional enhancements with the application of embroidery or a combination of other treatments (i.e., appliqué with perhaps additional areas painted). The final result is a low relief, three dimensional piece of what I like to call needle art. In general the final work is flat enough to have glass over it, with areas created in several layers of different treatments are still visible. The final piece is signed, dated and framed in a handcrafted oak frame with a Roycroft Renaissance Mark.
Creating Commission Needle Art
If you have an image that you would like to be created in needle art, send it to Natalie Richards at P.O. Box 651, Redlands, CA, 92373, or you can e-mail a high resolution photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your photograph will be reviewed for composition and areas that would translate well into embroidery. After a thorough discussion of the project, and your input on details and treatments, a preliminary sketch will be sent to you for review and approval.
Generally photographs of landscapes with distinct foreground objects (trees, flowers, fences, a house, rocks, animals, etc.) translate well into needle art. House photos and botanical subjects are also good candidates. A studio portrait of a person with no other foreground or background objects would translate better as a painting than it would in needle art. I can also create "subject" (non-landscape) needle art based on your interests, favorite colors, or artists. For example if you like Charles Rennie Mackintosh, an original design can be created and include influences of his particular style or subjects. If you have a question on a particular photo or are unsure about its potential, feel free to e-mail or send it and we will discuss options.
Pricing for Botanical or Floral Needle Art
Prices start at approximately $300 for a framed 6" by 6" botanical subject (gingko leaves, pine tree branch with pine cone, etc.). A slightly larger floral subject like "Poppies" with artwork at 9" by 11" and a finished framed size of 14" by 16" would be about $1,100. An image that includes extensive painting and embroidery such as "Cobweb On Panicum" (includes over 700 French knots) would be about $2,600, while "Water Lilies" (currently in production) at about the same size with the same amount of paint detail but with less extensive embroidery treatments than "Cobweb On Panicum" would be about $1,600.
Pricing for Landscape Needle Art
Landscape needle art such as "Twilight" with art work at 10" by 13" and a finished framed size of 16" by 19" would be about $1,600. Prices for creating landscapes can vary greatly and is based on the complexity of the image. A landscape could be less if either a smaller size is desired or perhaps less extensive embroidery treatments are required. For example, a photograph of a vast poppy field with rolling hills and trees in the background would have a majority of the work completed in paint with only the poppies, distant trees/shrubs, and perhaps foreground glasses embroidered. A landscape of this type could be created for about $1,000 framed.
Pricing for House Portraits Created In Needle Art
Prices for house portraits are similar to landscape portraits and average about $1,600 to $2,500 depending on size, detail and thread/appliqué treatments.
Regretfully, I generally do not make kits for needle art. The process to create needle art includes knowledge of perspective and how the placement of threads, appliqué and stumpwork enhances detail within the subject. Because of this there are no specific instructions that I can provide to someone to complete the artwork. Much like a painting, needle art comes together be reviewing the piece and adding additional details as necessary. However, I am not one to suppress the creative process. If you have a photo that you would like me to paint, and for you to complete the embroidery, I am willing to discuss potential options with you. A custom needle art kit can be created for you and would include painted linen, threads and a "Let's Begin" telephone conference to discuss potential embroidery treatments and thread enhancing options for you to complete your needle art, and a "How's it Going" conference to discuss potential concerns or questions. Prior embroidery experience is a must. Prices for custom kits vary and are dependent on my time to layout and paint your picture; and the quantity and type of threads needed for you to embroider your picture. Prices begin at $350 for a kit such as "Poppies", and average $500 for a landscape kit. Kit prices include a $30 silk thread allowance, needles, my "General Stitch Guidelines", and two embroidery teleconferences.
A Word on Photographs
Photographs are protected by copyright laws. If you find a photograph in a magazine, book or on the web that you would like recreated as needle art, you must contact the photographer and ask permission to use the photo as an artist reference. I will require a written response (an e-mail reply or written note) from the photographer prior to commencing any project. There are other sources for photographs including your own, a friend's, or photographs from a royalty-free website.
Custom Designed Table Scarf to match "Thistle" dinnerware
Custom stenciled and embroidered "Thistle" table scarves
Custom stenciled "Fruit" placemats
Dard Hunter Rose Table Scarf
"Twilight" 16" x 19"
"Poppies" 16" x 14"
Detail of "Poppies"
"Cobweb On Panicum" Varied 19" x 16"