Tag Archives: crewel

Cruel Embroidery: The Art of Political Caricature In Thread

This is:20181123_180732

A) The beginning of a satirical portrait of one Donald Trump, by the grace of some perverse deity President.

B) The most elaborate procrastination I have yet divised for avoiding writing.

C) An abomination that should be fed to a dumpster fire.

D) All of the above.

I said I wished I was kidding about doing a Bayeux Tapestry satire of American politics…the above shows why I should have been kidding.

Medium: Dark Rosewood DMC embroidery thread on linen of Ultra- Jaundice Orange (all right, maybe that’s not that color’s real name, but it could be).

I worry that the embroidery thread medium’s too flattering to the subject – as witness my original design:20181123_180838

Note my blood at the extreme right of this picture, demonstrating that I really suffer for my art (as if the preceding pictures hadn’t made that clear).


I categorically deny that I used those bloodstains to cast a potent hex on the man depicted.



Lo, it is virtually done. Impressive, is it not? Noble! Imposing! Skillfully executed!


Now check out the back. (Cue the music from the Psycho shower scene):



THE HORROR! It’s like someone sliced off the back of the heart AND the owl and all the guts are hanging out.

Anyway, I used three different shades of red on the heart, which was probably one too many, or the wrong kind of red. I intended the darkest, brownish-red to convey shadows, and thus make the heart look more three dimensional. Instead that particular color seems to convey…raw meat. Which, in a depiction of a heart, is not exactly wrong, I suppose…but not very appetizing, maybe. Probably a purple-red would have been better for shadowing.

But despite that, and the fact that I could wish the feet to be less orange, and other little details, I really like how the public side turned out. So I’m going to dab a little fabric glue over the back to keep it from unraveling (I suspect this is cheating, but I will NOT risk losing all that work) and have it cleaned and made into a small dice bag (lined, of course. My four-sided dice would get lost forever in that tangle).

The Art of Half-Assed Embroidery


So when I did that design for an owl embroidery for the coat of arms of my paladin of Athena, I never seriously thought I’d start it, my supply of embroidery stuff lying around the house notwithstanding – I have tons of art supplies lying around unused (I have made abortive essays in oil painting, bonsai cultivation, and whittling, too. There’s a disused beer-brewing kit on my fridge, and I don’t evenĀ like beer).

But the other day – someone was WRONG on the internet. And scrabbling for anything to distract me from arguing futilely till dawn led me to the fair start I made above.

I like to think I make up in OCD what I lack in skill.