TO THE LET­TER

How the artist Ros­alind Wy­att in­scribes fab­ric with her care­fully scripted needle­work

Town & Country (UK) - - TOWN -

The art of the writ­ten word fas­ci­nated Ros­alind Wy­att so much that she has made it her life’s work. ‘When I was a stu­dent, I started look­ing at old let­ters in the Bri­tish Li­brary, not for any par­tic­u­lar his­toric rea­son, but purely for their vis­ual ap­peal,’ she says. ‘I was drawn in by the idio­syn­cratic hand­writ­ing and the more I looked, the more com­pelling I found it.’ Hav­ing per­fected her cal­lig­ra­phy, Wy­att won­dered if she could recre­ate the ef­fect of a pen with a nee­dle and thread, and be­gan ex­per­i­ment­ing with em­broi­dery.

Years later, she has honed the skill of stitch­ing, as can be seen from her ex­quis­ite Stitch Love Let­ter em­broi­dered on an an­tique lace-edged cloth, a one-off piece for sale through the

New Crafts­men. Other projects in­clude em­bel­lish­ing a trench­coat for Burberry and teach­ing Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and Olivia Col­man how to write with a quill for the up­com­ing film The Favourite, set in the court of Queen Anne.

‘Mak­ing marks by hand is com­pletely dif­fer­ent to writ­ing on a com­puter,’ she says. ‘It’s a very vis­ceral feel­ing when you draw thread through fab­ric, or put ink to pa­per – there’s a sense of re­al­ity to it. I feel that it con­nects us not just to the past, but to our­selves.’ cg www.ros­alind­wy­att.com

above left: ros­alind wy­att. above and be­low: ex­am­ples of her work

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