Marta Brysha first learned the craft of embroidery from her grandmother, who lived in the Croatian countryside. “She did the most exquisite hand embroideries,” Brysha says. “She never worked with a hoop; she just made perfect stitches holding the fabric over her hand.” After mastering the basics in her twenties, Brysha has gone on to create detailed and richly colored hand-embroidered artwork.
Brysha, who is based in Tasmania, says her embroidery technique has a voice all its own. “Over time, I’ve developed my own stitch language, or my individual way of creating and using stitches,” she says. Brysha prefers silk, despite its finicky temperament. “Silk is an embroiderer’s dream,” she says. “Although it’s difficult to work with once you learn its moods and idiosyncrasies, you fall in love. Nothing compares to the feel of silk thread pulling through silk fabric.”
Brysha describes her creative process when conceptualizing a new work. “I think about what kind of line or texture I want to create,” she says. “I troll through my stitch dictionaries for inspiration. Sometimes I’ll use variegated threads or combine several fine threads of different colors to add interest and complexity.”
Several of Brysha’s pieces will appear at the Arps Window Gallery in Amsterdam in October.