Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery
by Leanne Prain (Arsenal Pulp Press, September 2011)
Hoopla rebels against the quaint and familiar embroidery motifs of flowers and swashes, and focuses instead on innovative stitch artists who specialize in unusual, guerrilla-style patterns such as tattooed church gloves and a ransom note pillow; it demonstrates that modern embroidery artists are as sharp as the needles with which they work.
Hoopla includes twenty-eight innovative embroidery patterns and profiles of contemporary embroidery artists including Jenny Hart, author of Sublime Stitching; Rosa Martyn of the UK-based Craftivism Collective; Ray Materson, an ex-con who learned to stitch in prison; Sherri Lynn Wood of the Tattooed Baby Doll Project, which collaborated with female tattoo artists across the United States; Penny Nickles and Johnny Murder, the self-proclaimed Bonnie and Clyde of embroidery; and Alexandra Walters, a military wife who replicates military portraits and weapons in her stitching. Canadian contributors include artists living in Vancouver, Victoria, Bowen Island, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Toronto.
Full-colour throughout and bursting with history, technique, and sass, Hoopla will encourage readers to create their own innovative embroidery projects. If you like anarchistic DIY craft and the idea of deviating from the rules, Hoopla will inspire you to wield a needle with flair!
With a foreword by Betsy Greer.
Canadian distributor: Jaguar
US distributor: Consortium
Available e-book formats.
Praise for Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery
Proving there’s much more to stitching than flower patterns, Hoopla inspires creative activism by presenting the art of embroidery through critical lenses of gender, class, and culture. Radical artists, take note: here’s a new challenge for you.
—Julia Horel-O’Brien, Shameless magazine
With hilarious DIY projects, like needlepoint nipple doilies, Hoopla proves that there’s a place in every woman’s heart (and wardrobe) for some cheeky thread work.
Prain’s admiration for and fascination with the work of embroiderers shines in this visual and thoughtful collection of interviews and instructional guides.
It presents embroidery as a bright, bold, smart and sophisticated art form. Just as promised, Hoopla is a craft book with attitude.
—Canada Arts Connect
Prain (co-author of Yarn Bombing) offers out-of-the-ordinary designs, starched with humor. Informative and inspirational interviews with embroiderers prove they don’t sew like their grannies. But Grandmother would approve of the practical sections – on history, tools from needles to the humble thimble, types of embroidery, and finishing techniques.
This book is filled with a wide range of approaches to the craft – from making and embellishing useful items to creating statements … Hoopla is a project book in that there are projects to try. But mostly, it’s a statement book, a primer on stitchery’s many possibilities, and a big dose of inspiration.