Do you know that fur of a dead rabbit comes off as easily as plucking hairs from a hairdresser’s floor. Another thing to keep in mind is that when creating artwork after you have collected several different furs you better have enough for you might not find another dead animal with the same fur-coat. Something else interesting, the gland of a skunk is not always activated when the poor creature is caught by a car and so I can give it a haircut without having its stench flowing up my nostrils. Kneeling down a bloody body of a nutria is perhaps not every cyclists wish, I merrily cut some of his hairs.
Art is subjective. Have a look when you still are with me, not disturbed by distasteful words which might conjure up imagines in your mind’s eye. I assure you, it’s quite beautiful what one can do with dead animals belonging’s.
While cycling I have begun the habit to embroider before starting the activities of the day and after I’ve stopped pushing the pedals of my bicycle. Once at a spot for the night, I set up camp, make a fire, boil a chai and start embroidering. As an active artist I have always painted (oil on big canvasses) and stitched (my wardrobe) but those two activities are impossible when living a life on a bicycle. Embroidery does not need much, at most a 2 liter-bag full of material, yet it gives the same satisfaction. On average I embroider two hours a day. Some work takes up to 6 months. Some much more, the one on the photo below I carried with me a year and only now and then I pulled the needle through. But each time I look at it, a story comes with it. A story of hardship; the paths I cycled, of beauty; what those eyes have met, and of patience; to pedal those stretches similar to every press of a needle through fabric.
Each piece is for sale and since I find it difficult to set prices, I leave it up to you. You may offer your price, and I’ll send it out to you.
Road Kill Carrier
Measurements: diameter of worked up patch 20 centimeter/7.8 inch. Diameter of total 34 centimeter/13.4 inch.
Hairs used: roadkill rabbit, nutria, fox, and bird of prey. And probably naturally deceased nandu (ostrich). The hairs were found, on a long period of time and distance, in Patagonia and Pampa of Argentina.
Textile: blue synthetic faded piece found on the road leading to Rio Mayo, Argentina, probably a blown away flag from a road side prayer site. Lining, blue cotton fabric, is given to me (cooperativa Filadelfia Paraguay). The drawstring is made from a cluster of cotton threads, bought in Paraguay.
Pattern: stones I found at lake shore Muster in Argentinian Patagonia.
I am inspired by the old-fashioned coin pouches I have seen in countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan. Women would store such pouches in the inside of their salwar trouser, the heaviness of the coins held up by the string of their trouser. This pouch is elaborately stitched with a sensitive material and therefore it can not function as where it was inspired on. Instead I thought of this pouch as an eye-catcher which can be hung in a place where you will work, where you might sit and contemplate, where you will walk past on your daily tasks. And each time your eyes will meet the beauty of this delicately embroidered piece it might carry you away, where ever you wish to. It could contain things precious to you (when I am allowed to think out loud, I come up with the ashes of a beloved one, or his or her jewelry, old coins, shells found on windswept beaches, stones from high altitude, your first baby socks). This pouch is made to be hung in a place where your eyes often travel to, and let your mind be taken to the places beyond where this originates from.
Measurements: 11 x 14.5 centimeter/4.3 x 5.7 inch.
Hairs used: skunk
Pattern is an Argentinian leaf from a tea-plant where Yerba mate is made from.
Textile used: an old cotton garment originating from Asia and found on a Mennonite farm in Paraguay.
This design came instantly, as I wanted to create something quick and easy. This after I had made a personal requested pouch where I could not pour in my own creativity (photo below this post). Now I needed to come up with something of opposite nature.
The thing is, I have very few tools, materials and simply no machines to finish artwork in a quick or neater way. Everything is done by hand and with only the basic materials I sometimes start without thinking really.
Without much reasoning I drew the pattern with a blue pen, not thinking that on white textile this might not be easy to wash off. The hairs of a skunk don’t make it easy to wash this pouch thoroughly and thus the end result is stained.
This design, however, made the birth of the next pouch, as I then knew which technique I wanted to use.
Thoroughly Stitched Through
Measurements: 11 x 19 centimeter/4.3 x 7.5 inch.
Textile used: I got this fabric for free at the cooperativa in Filadelfia, the capital of Mennonite community in the Chaco of Paraguay. The drawstring is made from a cluster of cotton threads, bought in Paraguay.
Pattern: two tiny leaves found in the Dry Chaco of Paraguay
When I made the ‘Stinky Animal’ I did so with some haste and too little thinking through. I had to this anew in order to come up with a much cleaner cut, a neat orderly pattern and a more useful design.
This has become the ultimate; useful, beautiful, detailed and clean! There are no animal hairs used thus it is a pouch meant to be used well. You may want to store your (sun-) glasses or phone in it.
Having cycled from one of the borders in Patagonian Argentina I had pretty much the whole length until Paraguay to go before I would come to a halt. I was mentally at a challenged cross-point after 5 years cycling and needed time to think, a limitless period to have my mind rest. I cycled to a friend whom I met the first time I was in Paraguay.
I made this pouch when I was settled in at a farm in the Chaco, 20 kilometers from Filadelfia, Paraguay. I would sit at a small house some way removed from the main house. Here I had silence, quietness and usually a small fire going on in my hobo stove. I would prepare masala chai, place myself outside, watch the farm life, and a tame deer, when my eyes were not fixed on the stitches pressing through fabric.
Offer me what you think is a fair price and I will send you the pouch (please don’t forget to add the costs for sending the pouch to you).
Postal service will be quick and reliable (I will send from Germany) and when you have your own design in mind wanting to be embroidered by me, this can be done too (see example below).
The first 3 designs are shown here, I made them when starting to cycle the South American continent. This post is about creating art while cycling.
The next 3 designs are to be seen here, they were made in Atacama desert and onward. This post shows where I make my creations.
An overview of what I created without using animal hairs is here and this page shows solely big pictures of what I created along the road.