Saddened by the sight of abandoned needlework, a family of designers at Frederique Morrel have made upcycling tapestry their main passion. From old piles of handmade drapes, to forgotten pillows, to intricately woven knick-knaks leftover from the neigbor’s rummage sale, these designers are rescuing embroidery from oblivion by transforming passed over pieces into new beautifully crafted foot-stools, couches, and stunning woodland creatures.
One of the most striking series are that of the trophy heads entitled “Passe Murailles.” The colorful animals in this set are not made from actual creatures, but from foam-filled polyurethane. The designers cover the life-like molds with vintage embroidery and top them with real antlers. Each work is a celebration of color and the whimsical craft of embroidery, offering a sense of nostalgia from a skill that has since gone to the cultural wayside.
The designers’ love of embroidery is also clear in their elaborate family portrait, a collage of color with a nod to old-school pixelation. And for yet more whimsy, visitors can turn to Morrel’s site for an amusing slideshow of the designers’ attempt to embroider their own dog, Maggie, where we see that perhaps upcycling is more about appropriate use — trophy heads yes, dog costumes maybe not… Sustainability, we guess, is as much about trial and error as anything else!
+ Frederique Morrel