One of my favourite flowers has always been the heather. I remember it from trips to the Ardennes in late summer, I still see the snow heather shives in the fresh wind high up in the Alps and the soft nestle of the bell heather in the marshy grounds of the Venn in the Eifel. By the way, the common heather has the name of many German girls in my generation: it is called Erika.
So I drew the Erika, the bell heather and the snow heather. Then I tried to really translate the drawings in embroidery. I did it with cross and stalk stitch and finally with ʺneedle paintingʺ technique. – The Erika n cross stitch comes from the Danish tradition, whose outstanding artist is Gerda Bengtsson who started as a painter and a weaver. Already a long time ago I had brought a little kit from Eva Rosenstand’s in Copenhague.
- The napkin with the bouquets was realized with rests of threads I had in my work-basket. The cloth was saved from a sale where it risked to be sold as a job lot. When I worked it, I left the stitching a moment outside in the sun, and when I come back, bees were humming around the flowers seeking honey. That was such a happiness.
- The bell heather with the honey combs are a souvenir from an excursion to the ʺLüneburger Heideʺ in Germany. This is a wonderful landscape full of mystery and the stitching made me see still for a certain time the flat land with the genever, the horses, the famous sheep who hide away, and, above all, the rosy heather grass-hand stretching nearly into eternity.
By the way, this little text encourages me to the future study of Gerda Bengtsson’s book and to enter thus in a wider world of botany, design and embroidery – which means happiness.