London-based textile artist Laura Baverstock crafts bespoke embroideries that both honor and push the boundaries of the ancient craft. We often think of embroidery as consisting of only thread, but the designs can be completed with other elements, too. Baverstock creates three-dimensional winged insects, big cats, and marine life using a combination of fibers and most dazzlingly, metal beads.
Baverstock studied fine art and fashion textiles before deciding to pursue a degree in Hand Embroidery at the Hampton Court Palace. “Embroidery has such a rich history,” she tells My Modern Met, “and I’ve found the specialized nature of the craft and the variety of traditional techniques to be hugely inspiring.” She combines these historical approaches with a more experimental one in order to create her own stunning works. “I specialize in goldwork embroidery,” she explains, “and I love to incorporate the precious metals into raised-work and silk shading to give a different finish and feel to my pieces.”
Baverstock’s embroidery expertise has allowed her to break into costuming for feature films. She has worked on several productions including Murder on the Orient Express and the Oscar-nominated movie Mary Queen of Scots. “Each film I’ve worked on has been within different historical time periods, which is fantastic as they all require a very different mindset and embroidery skills for the era,” she shares. “For the outfits of Mary and Elizabeth 1 in Mary Queen of Scots, I created embroidery for many different outfits, including the development of leather cording designs for Mary, and embellishing mythical creatures in the tiniest of metallic sequins on an elaborate dress for Elizabeth 1.”
Scroll down to see Baverstock’s beaded embroidery and watch for her work in the upcoming film The Aeronauts, which is set in the Victorian era and stars Eddie Redmayne.