Jumping Through Hoops: Embroidery Art Gains Popularity
Did you hear? Embroidery art is all the rage.
Evelyn Nelson, photos by Andrea Paulseth |
One small stitch can become an intricate masterpiece on fabric. For embroidery artists in the Chippewa Valley community, one small purchase can become a world of support toward their artistic passions.
Like many individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic, Lauren Hovde – owner and creator of Calliope Embroidery – fell back in love with the art form of embroidery while in isolation last April and May.
“The first reason that I got interested in it was growing up, I had learned how to sew,” Hovde said. “For a lot of the women in my family, (embroidery) has been passed on from generation to generation. This is something that women in my family have been doing for generations.”
I get super inspired by people around me. I love to just make, like, really weird stuff.
Hovde brings a modern twist to the classic art of embroidery. With a mindset toward repurposing and low waste, she utilizes second-hand sewing materials and unique frames to replace the original perception of an “embroidery hoop.”
“I just love to push the boundary (of embroidery designs) and to see what I can do with it,” Hovde said. “I get super inspired by people around me. I love to just make like, really weird stuff. One day I was like, it’d be so cool to do a croissant – or I like to do things like beetles and bugs.”
Hovde said she has found incredible support to share her passion through the collaboration of local businesses, including Tangled Up in Hue.
At Tangled Up in Hue, multiple embroidery artists have their commission works on display in the storefront. Calliope Embroidery hoops sit next to work from other local embroiderers, such as Madcraftin by Madison Dier and Merfolk by Katie Lawver.
The downtown Eau Claire shop also offers a wide selection of “do-it-yourself” embroidery kits – a sign of the art form’s growing popularity. “Equinox Embrace,” “Celestial Garden,” and “Fall of the Patriarchy” are just a sample of the embroidery stitch kits available for sale.
Hovde said embroidery is an approachable art form and she encourages all of her friends to try it.
“So many people just do really simple line work, and it’s beautiful,” Hovde said. “It is really accessible to people, and is a different angle (of art) than maybe people would have never thought of to do for themselves.”
“A really unique aspect of Eau Claire is how interested the community is about the passions of other people, especially when it comes to the arts.”
While embroidery supplies are available at Tangled Up in Hue and Blue Boxer arts, a local second-hand shop or Michaels can supply materials for around $10, she said.
“A really unique aspect of Eau Claire is how interested the community is about the passions of other people, especially when it comes to the arts,” Hovde said. “It just brightens my day so much to know that people are seeing my work and that they like it and it makes them happy.”