Meet the Maker: Cross Stitch Expert David Evans
David Evans is a cross stitch expert, who is inspired by both the landscapes surrounding him and his own work as a poet. He has recently published his own book of poetry and needlepoint called ‘The Wordstitcher”, which demonstrates exactly how he uses these two art forms to inspire each other.
Clearly you have a great passion for needlepoint! Have you ever been tempted by any other crafts?
I paint a little using test pots of emulsion bought from DIY stores. I use them for lampshades which I used to find aplenty at the recycling centres, namely at Seaford. I also paint six millimetre MDF boards to hang on our radiators during the summer when the heat is off. Radiators are such ugly lumpen things that they screamed out to be decorated although I have stopped short of painting directly onto them. I also embroider a bit but entirely untaught – not as good results as the needlepoint.
How did you first come about needlepoint?
I was introduced to needlepoint by the actress and writer Nanette Newman about forty years ago. Many actors have taken to needlepoint to fill in the long hours between filming takes on the set.
What has been your favourite piece?
A wall panel entitled ‘The Moondancers.’ It’s also the most ‘perfect’ piece, unlikely to be repeated!
What inspires you and your work?
Poetry (my own, of course), words and landscapes usually. I live half my life on the Downs outside Eastbourne and the lines and undulations of the treeless landscape works its way into your soul after a while.
What process do you go through to come up with a new piece?
Thinking. But not for too long. Just get on with stuff, don’t faff about.
Where do you create your work? Walk us through!
Sitting in my chair overlooking the Downs, usually. Otherwise in London looking out over the garden on the dining room table in the conservatory.
What has been the most exciting moment of your crafting career?
An exhibition I had when I was Sixty, to mark the years.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
That I spend time with myself and reflect a lot about what is and isn’t, was and wasn’t, will be and won’t be …
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
When all is lost and if you can get away with it, cheat!
What is your favourite product in your stash of supplies?
Wool, naturally. And ten to the inch interlock canvas.
Have you got anything exciting planned for the future?
Trips to India and Sri Lanka next year. Travel in colourful countries always produces something…
What are your top tips for the budding cross stitch artist?
- Always start your work, if you can, in the middle of the canvas and work outwards
- Seriously, do proper measurements, to the millimetre if you’re making for somewhere or something specific. Don’t guess.
- If using words in your design, create your own font so that you will always know how many spaces (stitches) you are taking up.
- Always leave a good wadge of canvas at the edges as you will need these when mounting or inserting your work into cushions or onto panels and boards and chairs and stools.
- Always unpick where you go wrong although forget what I’ve said if it’s a huge amount of work … In that case, start again!
See David in action in Show 1 of Crafty Beggars, Thread Sketching and Bottle Tops, where he helps out some crafty couples with his expertise.
His book “The Wordstitcher” is now available from most online distributors as an ebook, with 50 pages to download for free to tablet/Kindle/iPad, and also available in Print on Demand via Gardners Books. Published by Tusitala Press, ISBN 978 0 9930587 1 4.