Sweet Meadow Stitchery

Place Category: ArtistsPlace Tags: fiber

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  • Merilee Thorstad’s interest in art began early, “when I enjoyed drawing as a child, and also

    created my own hand-sewn “mod” outfits as a teenager. Although I graduated

    from UW-River Falls with a degree in Art Education, this was a time of anfrom UW-River Falls with a degree in Art Education, this was a time of an

    overabundance of new education graduates, so I spent the next 40 years as a

    social worker!

    Folk art and folk music have always held a special interest for me. [I play the

    Appalachian dulcimer and other traditional stringed instruments.] Although I’ve

    dabbled in many different art media over the years, I’ve always felt most at

    home in the area of fiber arts. The tactile aspect of working with fibers – whether

    in weaving, spinning, or sewing – is very appealing to me, along with the feeling

    of being connected to an historical folk art tradition.

    Interest in my Nordic roots has led me to discover a long history of weaving and

    embroidery in Norway. I‘ve been inspired to pick up needle and thread and carry

    on these traditions with creations of my own. The ancient and simple technique

    of cross-stitch embroidery (“krosstingsbroideri” in Norwegian) has become my

    technique of choice. The cross-stitched pendants on display in Arts in Hand

    gallery come from a desire to express my Scandinavian heritage, with designs

    adapted from historical folk costumes. In a way, I also feel that my work honors

    the many Scandinavian immigrants who settled in this northwestern region of

    Wisconsin.

    In addition to Arts in Hand Gallery, my work can also be found in the gift shop of

    the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa.”

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