To alleviate the solitary nature of making a super cape, I invented some ‘Superstitcher' nights at my studio inviting women and local people to my studio to stitch small felt clouds with me. Due to its immediate popularity I decided to shout out to my many Superstitcher students from around the world to see if they would like to get involved.
My thoughts developed into clouds floating across the landscape, the weather changing and the sun shining in between. Six ‘Superstitcher' nights at my studio later, clouds were forming, women were gathering and I had the idea to open the project up to my many Superstitcher ladies from around the world.
The stitch-a-cloud project started when I was embroidering ‘the Cape of Empowerment’ for Pukka Tea. Fuelled by my experience in teaching creative empowerment around the world and my desire to connect with other creatives, I made a casual call out for contributions. The next thing I knew, I was posting small felt clouds and instructions to women as far as Australia. Throughout the 900+ hours of making the Cape of Empowerment, embroidered felt clouds appeared through my letterbox, accompanied by heartfelt letters and photographs. One day, I received 26 envelopes with stamps from all over the world.
I invited women to embroider felt clouds with something to represent femininity and creativity. Clouds arrived from Venice, Belgium, Hong Kong and New Zealand.
Each cloud is unique but shares themes like peace, love, nature, friendship, grief, happiness and beauty.
Over 15 months, I received 325 clouds. I stitched 160 onto a cape and 46 onto a showpiece jacket. The ‘stitch-a-cloud’ cape is an incredibly poignant and potent piece of collaborative artwork that highlights the importance of feminine connection and diversity, and the peaceful power of embroidery. The project has a life of its own and has become about slow time, contemplation, time spent amongst friends, new or old. A supportive way to explore a traditional craft that allows for reconnection; to your hands, to others and to yourself. I wanted this element of the womankind project to be more community based, to feel like something bigger than the individual. Even if you can’t see your fellow stitchers, you’re connected by an invisible thread.
Being trusted with the stories of so many people and the generosity of skill in these amazing little embroidered clouds has been the most beautiful experience. I was overwhelmed with women's eager need to communicate their hopes and dreams for a peaceful world of equality and love. Everyday I was struck by the sincerity of these women, the humble yet powerful nature of these hand stitched clouds and the willingness to connect.