Why I Like to Make Small Scale Textile Art


Well, actually, usually I find myself making larger artworks, as I find myself with ideas that grow well beyond the scope of a small 'canvas'. But today I want to talk about making small scale textile pieces.

When I first began on this textile journey, I made a bunch of small experimental pieces to play with different techniques, mediums and ideas. This was a very worthwhile process, and one that I should revisit more often. But the results were purely experimental, and not artworks in their own right.


Then Ozquilt Network put on an exhibition called Australia Wide. This was a member showcase exhibition featuring textile artworks that were all 40cm by 40cm (and could therefore travel reasonably easily around the country and even internationally). I entered that exhibition, and ever since, artworks of this size have become an integral part of my artmaking. 

40cm by 40cm is a great size for trying out something new (an idea, technique or medium) without too big an investment of time or materials. At the same time, the resulting piece is large enough to have a presence of it's own as an artwork, and to be able to express ideas. I also love that my artworks of this size are more affordable than my larger pieces (I am acutely aware that those pieces are beyond the budget of many people). My Eucalyptus Excerpt series has proven hugely popular!

All this brings me to Australia Wide 6, which is being presented by Ozquilt Network Inc. this year. My artwork 'making sense 2' will be included! This is the second in a new series of small artworks. Only two so far, but I'm hoping there will be many more! I'd actually told myself that there weren't going to be any more small childhood textile artworks, so not sure what happened there! Actually, one thing that happened was making the commitment to piece these ones completely by hand. This makes the small scale much more manageable (some of those pieces are tiny!). This is slow stitching, in between the busyness of everyday life, and is one reason why I hope there will be many more of these. 

 “making sense 2” (c) Ruth de Vos 2018

 “making sense 2” (c) Ruth de Vos 2018


“making sense 1” (c) Ruth de Vos 2018


Something else I love about these ones is that floral fabric by @gertrudemade and Ella Blue fabrics. I'd been thinking about vintage children's illustrations and vintage books and vintage floral design. I'd even considered designing my own vintage-style florals to incorporate into my artwork - until I remembered this line of fabric. This is bark cloth, and it is such a joy to work with! I think it must definitely be time to cut out the next piece in the series and start stitching!!

Oh, and be sure to check out Australia Wide here if you can't get to it in person!



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