While cycling through 45 countries in 5 year I started to embroider.
Embroidering with animal hair. That sounds a bit weird, filthy too and actually… not normal! But this is what I did and what I made from it while I cycled in South America.
I made these pouches mainly when cycling in Patagonia. It was often cold, rainy and unpleasant.
The sheep in the picture above caught my attention, somewhere on a muddy track somewhere in rainy Chile. I stroked him a few times, desperately in need for love (that is, I), but did not cut his hair. I only took hair dangling on barbwire or from dead animals.
Impressions, feelings, reflections and too few meetings. Loneliness, solitude and bliss. Extreme beauty, unimaginable openness, dreamlike campout and the utter need to keep going. That is part of Patagonia, and what I try to give you a slight impression of. The embroidery reflects it, I think.
Well, while I was cycling the South American continent I did not merely want to create art with threads after I got inspired when a wild boar’s skin was hanging to waste away. I noticed that animal hair, also that of a wild pig, is simply a wonder. Later on, there appeared so many dead animals in front of my wheels, that I wanted to do something with their fur.
I made these pouches with the hair of hunted wild boar and deer and a deceased goat. Fur of lama’s and alpaca got stuck in the fences and I could simply pick it. Unfortunately, road kill took care of the hair of nutria, countless foxes, birds of prey, skunks and a rabbit. A sort of ostrich, a nandu, died for reasons unknown to me. On another occasion I tried to incorporate the needles of cacti. It was difficult, but I kept trying until it worked out.
Such a pleasant way to stabilize the mind after an eventful day of cycling. The pouches often started to form a few countries before I finished them, starting in Argentina and applying the finishing touch only in paraguay.
These pouches were made painstakingly slow and are super special. I
sell them as Super Specials because these will never be copied nor rivaled. These pouches are not to be used, instead merely to add beauty in the place which is your home. And that is exactly what I did : ) Prices are high, mind you.
Inspiration: I used lake pebbles, as shown on one of the photos above, to form a pattern.
Fabric: a roadside memorial flag blown away by the harsh Patagonian wind. Lined with blue cotton mixture.
Hairs used: fur of rabbits and fox, hair of goat, nutria and skunk, lama and sheep wool, and the feathers of birds and ostrich.
Inspiration: leafs of bamboo and in the middle another leaf, but forgot what it was.
Fabric: hemp cotton with possibly some linen, lined with my own discarded blouse. Closure cord is made from the blouse too.
Materials used: hairs of wild boar, deer tail, wool of lama and sheep.
Inspiration: hardly visible but I felt inspired to make a tree. A cherry tree to be precise. The green outline is the tree, the cacti needles are the leafs or branches or both and the tiny stitches in orange are the fruits fallen off.
Fabric: a discarded jeans I found in a bin along the road. The lining is from my own old pair of cotton leggings.
Material used: cacti needles, hair of goat, wool of lama and sheep, glue for patching inner tubes.
Inspiration: the world. I placed a small bunch of boar hairs opposite direction of each other to make the black and white color effect.
Fabric: outer pouch is made from a discarded purple cotton pair of trousers I found along the route. I also found a black T-shirt where I lined the pouch with and where the inner drawstring pouch is made from.
Materials used: hair of wild boars, lava stones