Saturday, July 29, 2017



Interesting reading from my own collection.

I am excited to announce that at the end of my artist's residency at the New York Academy of Medicine Library I will be offering the Embroidering Medicine workshop! This four week course is open to participants with all levels of needle working skills.

Embroidery adapted from an anatomical image from
Hieronymus Brunschwig's Liber de arte distillandi de compositis.

Using the Library’s historical collections we will focus on the areas of the collection invoking the ideals of femininity, domesticity, and women's health, as well as the medical practice of needlework (stitching of the body).
One of the texts we will use.
Using the collections we will:

  • Explore some historical concepts of femininity and domesticity
  • Examine images of female anatomy and fetal development 
  • Each select an image from a natural history, botanical, or anatomical text to use as an embroidery template
  • Examine diagrams and descriptions of how to perform basic suture techniques

An illustration from the Bernard book, above.
We will also:

  • Transfer an image onto fabric for embroidering
  • Learn and practice basic embroidery stitches
  • Learn and practice historical suture stitches, on fabric
  • Discuss relationships between medicine, needlework, and gender.
  • Discuss the differences between sewing the body, sewing clothing, and decorative stitching.
  • Have some fun (yes, fun!)

The natural history books have some adorable animals to embroider, too!

Why all the "discussion"? Embroidery takes time. A lot of time. We could sit in stony silence, but why not have some interesting conversations facilitated by a couple short presentations? 

The workshop will be held-
Thursdays, September 14 - October 5, 2017
6:30-8:30 PM
1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, New York, NY 10029
$290 General Public | $250 Friends, Fellows, Members, Seniors, Students with ID
Supplies will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own.
Click HERE to be directed to the Academy workshop description and link to register.


  1. What a cool workshop! I wish I were close to NY. As a student in health care ethics and fiber artist, I seriously admire your ability to combine two worlds: anatomy and embroidery. I would love to know more about how this idea developed. True interdisciplinary work!

    1. Thanks! If you research the history of practically anything, you will find a point in time when multiple professions fuse or are practiced in the same room at the same time. For me, that is the opening for interdisciplinary studies. Where are you located, if you don't mind my asking?

    2. I'm studying at Saint Louis University!

    3. Ha! Well, that's a ways away from New York City. But I bet in a city like St Louis there is plenty to keep you thinking about needlework and bioethics: public health and the textile industry, end of live issues knitting circles or quilting bees. The world is your oyster (if you like sea food or pearls.) I look forward to finding out what interdisciplinary connections you make!

  2. Hi! I wasn't able to make the session last night but this looks amazing!! Will you have additional workshops later?

    Thank you!

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