Rachel Gooden’s Magical Art Will Make You See Insects in a Whole New Light

Insects usually create a visceral reaction in people—some try to get as far away from them as possible, while others find them endlessly fascinating. Rachel Gooden always tried to see beauty in them, and she’s now sharing her love for insects with other people through her magical embroidery work.

Gooden’s fascination with insects started when her parents gave her a framed taxidermy insect for her birthday, and she kept receiving more insects as a gift in years to come. She was so wowed by them that she decided to use the power of stumpwork embroidery to create her own versions.

Gooden is endlessly inspired by different shapes, sizes, and colors of insects, and she’s hoping her art will encourage people to see them in a more favorable light and take a closer look.

“More often than not we overlook these crucial and under-appreciated inhabitants of the natural world and my aim is to ignite a spark of curiosity back into these little critters,” she told Textile Curator.

Unlike most embroidery artists, Gooden isn’t simply working with needle and thread, she uses a long list of different materials to make her creations three-dimensional. From fabrics and wires to beads and Swarovski crystals, she uses everything at her disposal to celebrate insects through her embroidery.