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