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Short Stories: The Lady in the Bath

Jul 6, 2012

by KasiaUrbanRybska handmade and vintage goods

Here at Etsy, we believe that the story behind an object is often just as fascinating as the object itself. Short Stories is our series dedicated to telling the tales behind extraordinary pieces found or created by Etsy sellers. 

Today, Kasia shares the tale behind her red-headed bather.

Needlepoint designs are usually very refined, elegant, and quite serious. Why is it so? I think that when you devote a lot of your time to a thing (and needlepoint is a very time-consuming technique), it is quite natural to be very serious about what you do, and to take up rather serious, pathetic motifs and themes, such as running horses, William Morris’s flower garden, or Mona Lisa’s smile, carefully worked out with a needle and a thread.

But I am definitely more fascinated by the possibility of disenchanting this extremely labour-intensive technique. That is why I cover my canvases (with a great passion and joy, I have to admit) with everyday objects, such as pliers or screwdrivers, or a Lady in the Bath with her rich red curls and naked knees showing flirtatiously over the surface of the water.

Why not?

Just try to imagine a noble lady in the eighteenth or nineteenth century, in the time when needlepoint in Europe was at the peak of its popularity, leaning over her canvas and carefully embroidering an image of a naked woman in the bath!

Well, this is exactly the most amusing and inspiring thing to me. Combining needlepoint – this exquisite, refined embroidery technique dating back to Medieval times — with a little bit of irony and indulgence. I had smile on my face throughout the whole process, from creating the design with a specialist graphic program, to the slow and patient stitching of the canvas.

I believe that smile and laugh are perfect remedy to cure everyday sorrows, and secretly, I hope that my Lady in the Bath will also bring smile to your face.

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