Friday, March 2, 2012

Mary Ruth Smith Workshop

Mary Ruth Smith is a master of fiber, particularly embroidery.  I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend her day-long workshop at the Texas Federation of Fiber Artists' Conference in Kerrville TX.
The day was so inspirational, and brought me back to hand stitchery, something I have not been engaged with in recent years.
Mary Ruth gave permission to share images of her work, as long as we didn't show her face!  I am thrilled to share these beautiful works of art with you:

Peggy McCaskill Forrester admires the dimension of Mary Ruth's embroidered piece,
mounted on a frame

This piece was created with french knots.
Mary Ruth stated that each inch took approximately 2 hours to complete.

detail of another piece

Mary Ruth demonstrated how she stretches muslin over a frame.
This serves as her work surface.
She works intuitively after first making some sort of grid over the surface, something as simple as dividing the work area into quarters.

Susie Monday holds one of Mary Ruth's "sampler" pieces.
Susie has another great post about Mary Ruth's workshop, so don't 
miss visiting her blog!

Paper yarn on a spool.  Source:  Darn Good Yarn.
You can bet I have already ordered some of this!

The beginning of my embroidered piece, using black embroidery floss
over free cut pieces of hand-dyed silk organza and cheesecloth.

details of the progression of my piece.....
the rusted crepe de chine was created (and purchased from) Adrian Highsmith.
My muslin-stretched frame is 12x14 inches.
No idea where this is going, but I'm sure having a grand time! 


  1. This is really intriguing work. I love the texture that the thread creates. I would love to see this up close and in person. Amazing!

  2. Thanks, Jamie. I'm really enjoying the process of working on it. I've never worked on such a spontaneous embroidery project, and I love the organic process of allowing the piece to "unfold". I'm considering the idea of adding quilting for even more dimension, then re-framing it. We shall see...

  3. Mary Ruth is such a marvelous artist & teacher. Thank's for sharing what you're doing; it is lovely. That paper yarn is cool too.

  4. wow Leslie, I can't wait to see that piece you're working on when it's done. And thank you for the paper yarn link - I ordered some too!

  5. My paper yarn just arrived. You won't be disappointed! It is very cool stuff.

  6. Great pictures--thanks for sharing these! I'm envious!

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  8. Leslie, this is so cool. Just love the pics and would have loved to have been in the classroom. Your work is beautiful, just awesome. I linked this and your other post to my blog yesterday. Can't wait to see the finished piece. Enjoy yourself:)

  9. Very cool! I love how all the elements work together. Great pix of them too. Good stuff.

  10. Thanks so much. The piece is progressing along and I will have images in another few days.

  11. Thanks, Leslie, for posting these pictures from the workshop. And you did not show my face!! Send me a picture of your piece when you finish it. Glad you were there to keep me on my toes. Mary Ruth


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