It may look like birds have landed on Beth Carroll‘s embroidery hoops, but they are actually hand-stitched creations. The Australian-born and Ireland-based artist captures different species of colorful birds the moment they have landed for rest. She makes these depictions all the more captivating by embroidering a tail that extends past the hoop's border.
A lifelong lover of birds, Carroll turned to them as a creative muse when the COVID-19 pandemic started. “I sought solace in my family and nature, enjoying the little birds hopping around,” she tells My Modern Met. “[During this time], I envisaged a robin embroidered on tulle standing on a real stick and was determined to bring it life.” This first piece was the impetus for more experimentation with techniques and supplies.
While some of her bird art features subjects atop a real stick or barbed wire, others showcase the winged creature perched on the embroidery hoop itself. Carroll uses a special approach to do this called stumpwork, using wired slips and tulle fabric. “First, I stitch the bird in a big hoop or move the tule inside the hoop so I can use it for support,” she says. “Once I have completed the tail, I carefully trim the tulle to the edge of the embroidery and then finish the edges.” The results look as though the bird is sitting on the edge of a cage.
You can purchase original art from Carroll via her online store, and keep up to date with her latest projects by following her on Instagram. If you want to support the artist's creative practice, you can also become a patron on Patreon and receive a custom bird pin.