Julie French: The unpredictable nature of stitch

Using the sewing machine as a tool for continuous line drawing, Julie’s work explores movement and texture with often unpredictable outcomes, which have been likened to ink illustration.

Her work focuses on the wild side of nature, dance and motion. Each piece is unique and one off. The speed and capricious nature of the sewing machine, when used in this unconventional way reflect characteristics of the subjects.

Using reclaimed fabric, paper and handmade felt open new opportunities to discover how the stitched marks respond to different surfaces, pulling or embossing a piece of work in sympathy with the surface. Threads are purposely left loose over or around the image to allow the illusion of more depth and movement.

In this interview, Julie explains how reclaimed fabric, thread and her trusty Bernina all combine to produce her remarkable designs. We learn why travel was an instrumental pathway to her becoming an artist and how Julie finds inspiration from her students and Alfred’s racing pigeons.