BRIGHTON, England — Charlotte Bailey is a freelance embroidery artist who specializes in intricately threaded works. In a way, the work we have to show you today recalls an exhibition we covered a few weeks back, RE-Reanimate, Repair, Mend and Meld at Ferrin Contemporary. There, artists submitted their spins on the old Japanese practice of kintsugi— repairing broken plates, vases and other ceramic works with gold.
It’s a practice that is both practical and poetic. The ceramic work is preserved and even honored for its imperfections. In Bailey’s case, the broken vases are repaired with gold thread. Due to realities of how her technique works, the vase isn’t really preserved, but it is honored by being turned into a new sculptural object. She states:
It’s a rather beautiful ethos that seems so at odds with our modern Western ‘throwaway culture’ that seldom values the craft inherent in an object, or the significant and valuable social and cultural role of the piece.
Here is my fabric version – no glue at all! – combining a found shattered vase with fabric pieces, painstakingly patchworked together and highlighted with gold metallic thread.
Bailey attended the London College of Fashion and then graduated in hand embroidery from the Royal School of Needlework. In 2011 she worked with a team on the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress. She worked at London’s Ateliers Hand and Lock. She is finishing her Masters Degree in Textiles at the University of Hertfordshire.
Do you love or loathe this work of (not really) contemporary ceramics? Let us know in the comments.