Tag: art tatin

To A Bodkin

The furniture rearranging continues apace.

Sewing Drawer - Misericordia

I’ve reordered my supplies by genre rather than work/not-work and realised that I had only been using the front half of my plan chest drawers. (I suppose that’s part of the challenge of a large drawer in a small space!)

Drawing Drawer - Misericordia

With the liberal application of hoarded fruit punnets and clicky-sticky tape, I’m slowly bringing a bit of order to things (no clear flat surfaces though, let’s not be too hasty).

Corded rouleau - Misericordia

I’m still itching to draw rather than sew, which hopefully explains the slow progress on anything involving a needle and thread (no matter how beautifully organised). I did get a bodkin out, which is always pleasing. I’ve been playing with corded rouleau to use as stems for the Ark Project tablecloth, and it’s been unnecessarily difficult.

Bodkin - Misericordia

In the end I’ve settled on turning the loops empty and then threading it with a homemade cord made of scrap fabric. I’ve managed to streamline the production so much that I’ve stopped cutting holes into the ends of the fabric in favour of slits so I don’t have to put the wee flappy pieces in the bin.

Corded rouleau with recycled padding - Misericordia

I’ve become very callous and started to cut up abandoned or unsold embroidery. I just don’t seem to have the energy spare to deal with shuffling it around or looking after it.

Recycled cording for padded rouleaux - Misericordia

I wish I could say it was helping me get more work done, but it’s been mainly infinitesimal updates to various baby books, half rows of knitting, and a pleasant return to regular Pilates sessions.

Recycle scrap fabric into yarn - Misericordia

This is my favourite bit of the cord-making process, when you pull the two ends and they lock together. I’m not sure what the emotional equivalent is, but I’ll let you know when I find it.

Use fabric scraps to make corded padding - Misericordia

How Do You Know When To Stop?

Do you struggle against the overwhelming desire to add one more strawberry to your pavlova, causing a near-fatal whipped cream slide?

Perhaps you just make one tap too many as you perfect the nose of your latest humano-leonine sculpture.

If you are drowning beneath symphony manuscripts or tarrying in front of nearly finished canvases, Misericordia Ltd can offer you the perfect solution.

For a practically trivial consideration we will post you an Arbitrary Deadline in plain, unmarked packaging.

Simply apply your Arbitrary Deadline (it is acid free and water soluble) to the medium of your choice and await developments*.

*Misericordia Ltd cannot guarantee results when product is not used according to the instructions. Common mistakes include spreading product too thinly or failing to allow product to dry completely. Please note that AD is not for human consumption. This does not affect your statutory rights.

Greener on this Side

We’re pretty big hippies here at Misericordia Mansions and so I face a little conundrum, how do I make art (which is more or less a luxury) as kind to the Earth as possible?

I know that it can be a little overwhelming navigating the various ethical merits of organic, fairtrade, local and recycled, so I sat down and tried to make a list of what was most important to me, in order of preference. (This comes in handy when I’m stuck in front of the coconut milk section of a shop prevaricating wildly between four brands!)

This applies to my everyday shopping just as much as Misericordia supplies.

  • Second hand – charity shops, eBay, beg, borrow or lift from a skip
  • Independent – small businesses or makers
  • Local – shops in my local area, the UK, Europe etc
  • Fairtrade – if it has to come from overseas, it needs to be fair
  • Recycled
  • Organic

That’s why my frames are upcycled from charity shops (with Auro plant-based paints), my hoops and mini canvases are from the fabulous Fred Aldous in Manchester and my jewellery findings are from a new discovery, Jasmine Studios in London. When I feel I can be trusted, I take myself along the road to Edinburgh Art Shop with a very strict list.

frames and paint

I’m even hoping to change my fabric to organic muslin someday.

Do you look for any particular ethical qualities in your art (or shopping basket)? Any top tips for greener living, we’re always keen to try new things!


Have you ever held out against a new thing, only to discover, once you finally succumb, that it was just the thing you had been looking for?

Yea, well I’ve gone and done just that with Instagram.

Cutting it fine for tomorrow’s Morningside Makers Market! #workinprogress #craftfair #Edinburgh #hoopart

A photo posted by Katy Bromberg (@mymisericordia) on

Not only is it absolutely amazing for displaying your caffeinated beverage of choice, but there are heaps of vibrant and inspiring hand embroidery artists keen to interact with and support each other.

Sunday morning snooze #gingercat #sundaymorning

A photo posted by Katy Bromberg (@mymisericordia) on

So, if you’re missing out on photos of my work in progress, Kipling trying to help me, or (very occasionally) my breakfast, come and say hello at mymisericordia! I’d love to follow you lovely people, so let me know how to find you too.

Note to self – don’t get these plates confused! #workinprogress #workingbreakfast #watercolour #cheeseontoast

A photo posted by Katy Bromberg (@mymisericordia) on

Tin Type Adventures

It’s been a long time since we’ve had a photographic post, but I’ve been inspired by these gorgeous tin types, so here we go.

David Emmit Adams works in traditional photographic media (paper negatives and wet plate collodion) and uses the fact that these processes allow you to expose directly onto the display surface rather than projecting an image to make a final print.

I found (via Poppytalk) the series called Conversations with History which uses discarded tins as a base for images of the desert in which they were found.

Shadow with Cans - David Emmit Adams

Shadow with Cans – David Emmit Adams

Here are some of the images created on surface of the tins, which have been pre-exposed, giving them the

[This] rich patina is the evidence of light and time, the two main components inherent in the very nature of photography.

Traces - David Emmit Adams

Traces – David Emmit Adams

Traces - David Emitt Adams

Traces – David Emitt Adams

I can’t urge you enough to check out Adams’ website, there are whole other bodies of work which I could blog about, but I’ll let you discover them on your own because I have another photographer to tell you about!

Ed Drew took the first tin types in a combat zone since the American Civil War as a reservist on  duty during his BFA.

Ed Drew - Afghanistan, Combat Zone

Ed Drew – Afghanistan, Combat Zone

Oh those wrinkled edges, streaks and bubbles…

Ed Drew - Afghanistan, Combat Zone

Ed Drew – Afghanistan, Combat Zone

They make me go a bit wibbly, gorgeous!

Afghanistan, Combat Zone

Ed Drew – Afghanistan, Combat Zone

(via Petapixel)

1000 French Knots

Safety in Numbers

I thought I ought to inaugurate my return from holiday by helping someone else complete a project.

I picked up a tweet while I was away which pointed me to this post on artist Lisa Solomon’s blog.

Her work explores ideas of repetition and collaborative effort, for instance this piece where participants contributed 1000 crocheted doilies.

1000 doilies :: 8000 pins :: 100 colors of thread :: me + approx 45 women all over the world crocheted the doilies :: me + 6 helpers installed the doilies :: 4 days :: 1 wall :: 1 art piece for “sen” at Fouladi Projects.


The piece that caught my eye looks at the Japanese (get the feeling there’s a bit of a theme here?) good luck amulet senninbari, a belt which was embroidered with 1000 knots. Each knot was meant to be stitched by a different woman. The symbolism seems to come both from the number 1000 and various other plays on words which derived from the addition of coins stitched into the belts as well as the text or images of tigers created by the knots. For much more information, see here.

1000knots stitching

I’ve submitted my contribution – you have until June to submit yours (allow time to post to the States).

If the thought of french knots (you only have to do between one and ten) makes you break out in a cold sweat, you could contribute a drawing of a doily instead. There are details here and here.

I’ll keep you posted on the piece, it should be very interesting.

Embracing Imperfection

Does anyone fancy a little Japanese philosophy in two parts? I knew you did…

If you’re in to the handmade (or computer programming), you might be aware of the concept of wabi-sabi – a term that encompasses the beauty of transient or imperfect things.


As a maker it means that my best doesn’t always mean flawless or entirely regular and the places where the human-ness of the process shows through do not require an apology.

In the programming world, wabi-sabi has come to be represented by the phrase ‘done is better than perfect’ (an axiom I am also trying to embrace in all aspects of my life).

Kintsugi calls on a similar resolve to embrace the entirety of an object, including any flaws or breakages. In this technique, broken ceramics are repaired with precious metals both to


‘keep[ing] an object around even after it has been broken, and […] highlight[ing] the cracks and repairs as simply an event in the life of an object.’ Wikipedia

My next post will be about putting kintsugi into action, so stay tuned!

humade kintsugi kit

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