Vates became interested in embroidery as a way to decorate things in her home. “Then I got interested in old paintings of Japan and China,” she explains to My Modern Met, “and I decided to switch to pictures.” Her work is now on canvas fabric. To begin, she embroiders a thing that has inspired her. Perhaps it’s a tree, a house, or even a bush. “Gradually, a landscape appears around it. I very seldom do sketches,” she admits. “In most cases, I prefer spontaneity in the work process.”
If you’ve ever stitched before, you might think Vates’ work is all French knots—the tiny balls that dot the surface of the fabric. And while French knots are part of her stitch repertoire, Vates also employs the regular straight stitch and chain stitch. “Generally, people think that more than half of my pictures consist of French knots but they are not,” she explains. “I have learned how to use the straight stitch in such a way that it can be difficult to distinguish it from a French knot. Such technique allows me to bring more realism into my embroidery.”
Scroll down for more of Vates’ embroidered landscapes.
Embroidery artist Katrin Vates stitches lush landscapes depicting tall trees and hidden houses.