Portrait embroideries made by Claire Fell are stitched to capture fleeting emotions and a glimpse of narrative, leading the viewer to weave their own story hidden within.

"Lady B" was one of the first imaginary people to be stitched by Claire. Her face is made of silk fiber and organza.

lady b


  "dale A" This silver screen heroine has a more complicated background.
30 x 35 cm

dale a 

The image is broken down into areas of colour like painting by numbers, each area represents a different shade or direction of stitch. The drawing is traced onto water soluble film with a permanent pen ready for stitch.

Likeness is hard to capture because machine embroidery can sometimes warp the fabric distorting the features.  Claire always starts stitching or drawing with the eyes because after all they are the window to the soul and the hardest thing to get right.

Claire will use many shades to create her thread painting sometimes 15 on the face.  Her favourite threads are Madeira Classic and Sulky.  If Claire is not happy with the tonal values she will use dye or paint to change the mood of the work and add further definition. 

Sometimes Claire finds it hard to create embroideries of people because of the emotional strength needed to embroider them. Because Claire's portraits have an underlying serenitythere is a danger that this could turn into sadness.

icarus and medusa
"Icarus and Medusa"
18 x 21 cm embroidery size