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Fabric Topographies: The Textured Beauty of Kirsten Chursinoff’s Textile Art

Kirsten Chursinoff, Patina 2008, textile, thread, 21" X 17" framed
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Kirsten Chursinoff, Patina 2008, textile, thread, 21″ X 17″ framed

My friend Di of The Kitchen Door sent me a link to Kirsten Chursinoff‘s textile art, introducing me to this Vancouver, BC artist, who has a lively color sense and incredible surface detail.  In her biography, Kirsten describes her involvement with needlework since the age of 5 when she embroidered her first iron-on transfer butterfly, which reminded me of my brief encounter with embroidery at age 9 or 10, and this very type of butterfly.  I found the process of transfer magical, ironing the white paper pattern, with its blue lines. I pored over the instructions, and reveled in the colors of embroidery floss, but the actual stitching was a struggle.

As a mosaicist, I am drawn to the texture of her work, because what first drew me to embroidery was  built up surfaces of  french knots and satin stitch.  Glass was to become my way of creating surface topography, and as much as I love it, there is still something intriguing about the suppleness of embroidery.  Kirsten combines free motion machine stitching with hand stitching and building up of layers and uses “secret ingredients” such as the bits of loose thread that tangle up along the raw edges of fabric when you wash it.

I also feel kinship with the improvisatory nature of Kirsten Chursinoff’s work:   “I never know exactly what a piece will look like until it is completed, but the anticipation continues to drives me forward.”  The iron-on butterfly of her childhood has lifted off into flights through flowers, and the beauties of the natural world.

More orange goodness on my Orange Tuesdays Pinterest Board.




  1. mary aalgaard says:

    Those are gorgeous. I want to reach out and touch them. I think I could be a fabric artist like that, if I had some instruction.

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