'…a voyage of discovery for client and artist…'

Bespoke textile commissions form a significant part of Sue's creative activities. Embroidered designs and craft commissions always excite and stimulate new challenges and directions. Clients are invited to the studio to discuss a commission, and to view the collection of embroidered samples, creative dialogue shapes the early stages of a commission; design drawings and fabric samples are prepared, prior to commencing the final work. For interior projects: embroidered wall-hangings or quilts, a visit can also be made to the client's home.

Embroidered samples for couture collections are another facet of her textiles; creating unique embroideries for fashion designers stimulates new artistic dimensions. A relationship with couture fashion began in the late 70s, while working for the designer, Bill Gibb.

Botanical themes have always been central to the embroidery creations, drawing and painting plays a vital part in the design process. Encouraged by clients who have purchased Sue's botanical paintings, in 2007 she held her first exhibition of the flower paintings and sketches. A naturalist's eye for detail and a love of gardening infuse the spirit of the watercolour and pencil studies. The botanical paintings are available by commission, or may be purchased from the Studio Collection or through exhibitions.

‘Midnight Flora’ – Embroidered choker

Private commission 2023

Inspirations: after seeing the choker ‘Gilded’ in Sue’s new book ‘Embroidery Atelier’ an American client asked me to create a bespoke embroidered choker to adorn an evening ensemble. My brief was to take inspiration from the flora of a garden glimpsed under the twinkling moonlight, rather than the flash of poppy reds of a golden summer meadow which inspired the ‘Gilded’ choker.

Colour story: began with shades of lapis lazuli blues, suggested by the client. Shades of lavenders, blues, silvers enriched the mood board and so began the colour story of this fashion accessory. Threads, silks and twinkling beads and crystals interpreted the midnight garden theme, metallic glints highlighted the sparkle of moonlight.

Design sketches: are a vital stage of a commission and Sue creates pencil and watercolour sketches to evoke the spirit of the embroidery prior to commencing the work to present to her clients. The sketches for ‘Midnight Flora’ reference the shapes of hibiscus flower petals, star shaped jasmine, feathery leaves and trailing stems of grasses.

Embroidery techniques: explore a repertoire of decorative stitch processes as used on Sue’s original pieces such as ‘Gilded’ and ‘Summer of Love’ chokers ( see ‘Embroidery Atelier’). Each facet of the commissioned choker is crafted with precision to achieve an heirloom embroidery. Techniques include: machine-stitched cords, machine-lace motifs, embroidered applique and beadwork.

Bespoke embroidered chokers commence at £950

To see past commissions please visit the Archives pages

Click on the pictures below to enlarge.