Danielle Clough Embroidery Artist
Embroidery is considered to be rather an antiquated hobby. What piqued your interest in needlework?
I never really pursued an interest in needlework as such. My mother taught me to sew when I was young and while I was studying I was making plush toys for spending money. I’ve always had fabric and thread around me, and through a sequence of accidents and opportunities, needlework became my favourite medium.
How do you think your choice of subject matter has brought embroidery into the 21st century?
Perhaps it seems that it is a new way of looking at embroidery, but I think of it more as an alternative way of looking at painting.
That being said, what inspires you?
Colours inspire me.
Yes, I work in all sizes. I’m busy working on two pieces, a tiny Protea pendant and a large portrait. Traditionally embroidery is small – details on napkins etc. My choice in size just depends on the project and what I have time for.
On average, how long does it take you to complete one of your embroideries?
Size dependent it can be anything from 2 hours to 2 months.
What has been your most challenging piece to complete so far?
Mostly I feel like everything I’ve done so far has been practice and experimenting. I don’t start out with an idea and an end result in mind. There is a lot of freedom in working like that. Commissions are a bit more challenging because I want my clients to be happy, but I’ve been lucky with people who trust me.
Definitely. I shoot my own reference images and feel much more content when I am part of the full process of the work. Photography has taught me about light and colours, which informs a lot of what I do.
Many of your pieces are sold as jewellery. Where did the idea for that come from?
I wish it was just my idea! I was looking for miniature embroidery hoops and found some online. There is a small, but very supportive embroidery community out there. Have a look at Dandelyne, Kailea and ewoodstory. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Any new projects or collaborations in the pipeline?
I have an exhibition currently running at a girls’ group show called ‘Welcome to my Garden’ at the Space Between Gallery. It runs until the 3rd September. I am being sent frames from the States for a collaboration with ewoodstory and have some other things in the works, but I don’t want to jinx it!
Your favourite thing about being a creative in Cape Town?
My favourite thing is how encouraging my friends and family have been in every one of my endeavours – no matter how ridiculous. One of the best gifts you can give someone is relentless support. I feel very loved and supported in this city.
Dream travel destination? Japan.
Dogs or cats? Dogs.
Fast food or slow cooked? Slow cooked, delivered quickly.