Introducing Stitch

Kelly M O’Brien,  Stitch No. 1  (detail). Paper, cotton thread. 12 x 12 in | 30 x 30 cm. © 2019

Kelly M O’Brien, Stitch No. 1 (detail). Paper, cotton thread. 12 x 12 in | 30 x 30 cm. © 2019

Since starting my MFA last year, several clients have asked about the materials I've been using – mainly paper and thread – and how they might show up in work available for commission. 

Earlier this year I started experimenting and am pleased to introduce Stitch, a new series that celebrates the beauty of stitching into paper. As with my Playing With Fire series, this work will explore form, line, texture, and pattern using simple materials that transform in surprising ways.

My intention is to introduce one new Stitch piece per quarter and gradually grow the collection as I have with PWF. I can now take commissions for this series – perhaps these images of No. 1 might inspire your next client project?

Kelly M O’Brien,  Stitch No. 1  (detail). Paper, cotton thread. 12 x 12 in | 30 x 30 cm. © 2019

Kelly M O’Brien, Stitch No. 1 (detail). Paper, cotton thread. 12 x 12 in | 30 x 30 cm. © 2019

For this piece, I started with a solid piece of fine art paper cut into a circle. I use a sewing machine to stitch various lines - mostly spiral and 'web' for this one. As the paper is worked it starts to tear. The opportunity for interesting texture and form emerges. I keep going until it feels interesting enough to transform the material away from something necessarily recognizable, while reinforcing it enough for it to hold together.

It's only archival art paper and cotton thread, no other backing or reinforcements. It looks lovely pinned directly to the wall or mounted/floated in a frame.

Kelly M O’Brien,  Stitch No. 1 . Paper, cotton thread. 12 x 12 in | 30 x 30 cm. © 2019

Kelly M O’Brien, Stitch No. 1. Paper, cotton thread. 12 x 12 in | 30 x 30 cm. © 2019

The work can scale to a client's needs through additional hand-stitching to connect elements. I'm also thinking of playing with a bit of color thread, but going neutral for now.

Kelly M O’Brien,  Stitch No. 1  (detail). Paper, cotton thread. 12 x 12 in | 30 x 30 cm. © 2019

Kelly M O’Brien, Stitch No. 1 (detail). Paper, cotton thread. 12 x 12 in | 30 x 30 cm. © 2019