Jane Smith - Embroidery Artist

As an artist I am sometimes asked for an artist's statement.  For me this is difficult to define, I do not have a political or social agenda nor do I feel the need to 'suffer' for my art.  For me it is simply enough to create a thing of beauty which brings joy to me in its creation.  By no means do I put myself on the same level as Claude Monet but I recently discovered a quote from him which I feel sums up my feelings about my work.  "Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love." 

I was introduced to traditional Japanese embroidery (JE) in 1991 and it has fascinated and inspired me ever since.  I started my studies in earnest in 2004 dedicating myself to the study and practice of Japanese embroidery and, after thousands of hours of practice, I graduated from the Japanese Embroidery Center, Atlanta in 2010.

JE is rare both in Japan and in the rest of the world with perhaps about 100 students in the UK and only a handful of tutors.  As one of the only tutors in the north of England I have been enjoying passing on my passion for this this wonderful form of embroidery to a new generation of students. 

For my own designs I am inspired from many different things, the colours and designs of antique kimono, classical artists, nature, and literature.  Following on from a class in 2018 with Kusano sensei I am currently developing a range of embroideries which include both western and Japanese themes. 

Each piece of work is embroidered entirely by hand onto 100% kimono or obi silk using flat silk thread, this gives the characteristic sheen that only occurs in traditional Japanese embroidery.  An extraordinary level of technical skill is required, each piece of work takes many hours to complete, anything between about 60 to 300+ hours.

I am available for talks and demonstrations of Japanese embroidery and have many examples of both my own and antique embroidery for display.  For more information and class detail please visit the events page.