Award-winning textile artist, Amanda Cobbett, makes incredibly realistic embroideries that look as though they were collected from the forest floor. Inspired by nature in all its forms, Amanda’s 3-dimensional, paper-mâché and machine-embroidered sculptures highlight the beauty and diversity that exists in the undergrowth. Amongst her works, you can find embroidered sculptures of plant decay, lichen and fungi, all displayed in a contemporary form of a Victorian display case.
“I’m inspired when I’m out walking, I have time to think, observe nature and enjoy the fresh air, even if it’s raining the colors of the sky and shiny wet leaves are just lovely,” said Cobbett in an interview with the Voice of London. During her daily dog walks, she scours the understorey of the forest floor seeking its hidden treasures, photographing, and collecting fallen debris. Those are later recreated using approximately 130,000 individual stitches a day.
“I love intricacy and adding my own little secret threads to the work that might not be obvious at the time but in a certain light, they shine out or sparkle,” she says. “Someone said to me recently that when someone asks me how long each piece takes to make that I should say that it’s taken me 22 years of experience to get to this point,” she adds. “I think sometimes we forget that a person’s ability to make something isn’t based on the actual time it took to make.”
Indeed, Cobbett’s passion for textiles developed at an early age whilst watching her mother and grandmothers, all gifted seamstresses. After studying at Chelsea College of Art (UAL), she worked for many happy years in the printed textile design industry, but, after a move to the country and a gift of an old Bernina sewing machine, her long-held desire to be a maker, as well as a designer, finally came to fruition.
Take a look at some of her work in the gallery below.