Sew Far Sew Good
Almost anyone who’s ever laid their eyes on the colourful embroidered sketches of designer-photographer-VJ Danielle Clough has wanted to own one. And now anyone with an Internet connection and fast reflexes can. The gifted 2016 Design Indaba Emerging Creative launched an online store on 25 February to give fans first-come-first-serve access to her one-of-a-kind fibre artworks, including all her work done on vintage tennis rackets and all her intricate sewn jewellery. Plus, she’ll also be selling prints of her work via the virtual platform to make her one-offs more accessible to many. This exciting step for Danielle comes on the tail end of a lengthy educational journey, one that started out almost by accident.
‘I never made a conscious decision to make this my life,’ she explains. ‘Like with other hobbies and passions, I just made choices that led me to include embroidery in my day-to-day and then before I even realised it, it had taken over’.Her success can, of course, be attributed mainly to her very unusual but remarkable ability to turn threads into fine art, but social media played a big role too. From the beginning Danielle shared photos of her work on Facebook and her blog and the positive online response encouraged her to continue, but it was Instagram that got her an international audience, multiple commissions and a place on the global map (her success on this platform was so great that it even caught the attention of CNN). Interestingly enough though, it’s actually the very non-digital, non-technological nature of her work that seems to appeal most to people. She believes that the popularity of her pieces is in part due to the fact that, in a reaction to the fast-paced online age, ‘there is a growing appreciation for crafts that take time and come with a story’. Naturally, Danielle’s journey has also been one of great self-growth and she’s picked up a number of lessons along the way.
‘I’ve learnt to make sure I keep good scissors in every room of the house and that putting needles in the couch is NEVER a good idea,’ she says. ‘More emotionally, I’ve also learnt not to compare myself to other people and their successes and to be grateful for the little things.’And in fact, she says she’s definitely still learning and developing her style. So we can expect many new and exciting things from her in future – she plans to tackle larger works and multimedia pieces and is currently, in her words, ‘experimenting with something MUCH bigger that I can hopefully take to the streets, literally’. In other words, now is a very good time to get your hands on her pieces…so you can own one before her fame skyrockets and so does her value. To call an original Danielle Clough thread sketch your own, visit her new online shop at danielleclough.com/shop anytime after 5pm from 25 February onwards. You can also follow her Instagram account: @fiance_knowles.