Embroider the Truth

Blog by artist/printmaker Dawn Cole

The Diary of Transference

Over the past few months I have returned to my collection of vintage hand embroidered pillowcases and have been making a series of small dry point etchings recording the embroidery designs. The series title references to recording process used for the wounded soldiers as they travelled through the hospital system during WW1, but more on that in another blog post.

The dry points are very small – each plate is 10x15cm, and each drawing is done through a magnifying glass. As you can see from this image, I am a firm believer in improvising and saving my money for things I cannot do any other way.



This close, intense scrutiny of each stitch on each design and the repetitive nature of the drawing process has bought me closer to the person who lovingly created them. I feel that as I draw each line and record the stitch I am following her hand and I find myself wondering what she or he was thinking. It reminds me of  the slow, careful process of writing over Clarice’s hand writing for the etchings on the pillowcases that formed the focus of Resting Place (see blog post from Oct 2012) and seems a natural progression from this project. Looking back on this old posting I see I wrote:

The act of carefully copying over Clarice’s writing has set me thinking – was she left-handed or right-handed? I think most probably right as being left-handed myself I have found some strokes of the letters difficult to replicate. What sort of pen did she use? What time of day did she write? What made her give her diary a title – Adventures of a VAD? All unanswerable questions but as I am writing and following the form of her letters I have found myself gradually getting a small insight in to her.Here is a short time-lapse showing part of the drawing process.


And a couple of images of completed prints. More thoughts another time.


One comment on “The Diary of Transference

  1. Pingback: Backlogs or backfilling? | Embroider the Truth

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This entry was posted on May 1, 2015 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , .
Resting Place is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Supported by Kent County Council

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In collaboration with Platform-7
All images and content © Dawn Cole 2013
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