Tine Wessel holds a BA of Textile design, handicraft and Communication- specialized in Embroidery and Cultural studies. Her mission is to re-ignite the old craft embroidery and she has worked for Danish ELLE Magazine, Kopenhagen Fur and for artist Cathrine Raben Davidsen.
To open people´s eyes up for the qualities of embroidery as a meditative activity Tine Wessel got the idea for the book project KORSSTING NU which was released in April 2015 and she has designed DIY embroidery kits in geometric patterns and cool colors.
Besides that Tine Wessel is teaching Embroidery classes.in her own Salon de Broderie.
What inspires you on a daily basis?
A lot – I am letting too much in – it is a hard job to sort out all the impressions. I have weakness for eroded walls there are about to fall apart. If they are painted in a fine color and if plants are growing on them too – it is a MUST for me to photograph them.
Vintage books of plants and animals always get me hooked. Communication (or lack of) between people is always a great mystery for me and make me think a lot – sometimes the reflections ends up as a saying I just have to embroider.
Why did you become an artist?
I am more of a craftsperson or embroiderer than an artist. Though I try to make embroidery more available and modern by adding a touch of our time to the old techniques and brush it up by presenting a more artistic angle to the motifs.
Can you describe the style/genre of your work?
In one word: Simplicity. When all the impressions have been worked through – they often end up very simple. I like to work with one or two embroidery techniques at a time or with one color theme. It makes the embroidery work more modern and simple.
How did you discover your love for embroidery?
I have always been deeply fascinated by “the good craft” and the authenticity that comes along with it. I have been apprenticed to an upholsterer, which also is a fine craft with old traditions. Embroidery has been with me from my childhood – my grandmother, aunt and mother have all embroidered many fine things, but not until about 10 years ago I became engulfed in embroidery and felt an urge to go deeper into the craft That´s why I got educated as a textile intermediary.
Can you describe the creative process from inspiration to finished art?
I mostly work with hand embroidery – which is a very slow process that calms me down and gives me the time to reflect and work up my impressions. I get inspired when I embroider. When I work with a theme using one technique, color or material – I get curious to find out how it works if I change one of the components a new world of possibilities opens up to me. One idea often results in several different expressions within the same theme.
Is there a motif you would never want to do?
Never say never. I have embroidered many different motifs. Among others I accepted the challenge and embroidered two pieces for the exhibition “Erotic Embroidery – grandmother with a punch”. I have embroidered sculls for the exhibition ”Enjoy the Silence”, Cathrine Raben Davidsen´s drawings on mink for her solo show “ House of the Ax” on Gl. Strand, a front page for the fashion magazine ELLE. Queen Margrethes´s signature and my own “children´s trophies”. As long as I can vouch for the piece ethically and morally, and as long as I think, that there is a crafts-related and artistic challenge in it, I gladly embroider.
Is there a message, a theme or a certain feeling you want to convey through your prints?
Tell us the story behind a specific work
I would like people to reflect more about themselves. One specific example is the story behind my “White Scull” embroidery made for an exhibition in 2012.
I worked with the title “ENJOY THE SILENCE”. The White Scull embroidery is stitched in different shades of white and was made to make the observer reflect over themes such as death, silence and purity. The combination of the white color and the Scull motif gives us conflicting associations – the death is repulsive to us but at the same time the motif contains an aesthetic touch and the white color a purity that attracts us. The past is brought into the embroidery by using a vintage cloth as a base for the modern embroidery and it gives nourishment to the silence that most of us are in big need of today.
Humans and animals often blend in together in your works. What does that mean?
My series “Embroidery Circus” is much different from any other thing I have embroidered. The series is a circus-inspired and childish universe, which originates in my fascination for dolls, animals and toys. It is embroidery, where I draw upon a very childish universe that I have inside of me, and which is not always acceptable to linger in – but in this little series, my inner child gets to run freely.
What was the first thing you embroidered?
I don´t remember exactly. I embroidered my first portrait 7 years ago. The portrait was of Nelson Mandela, whom I have admired for many years, especially after a visit to South Africa in 1996, while he was a president, and I met “his people”, who were so full of hope and forgiveness. Some say that the works are fragile and scary, others have given them as a baptism gift. And that´s excactly what I want to accomplish. Because there is no final result – the embroideries have to be free for interpretation.
Is there a link between your work and you being Danish?
I have worked with Danish vintage furniture for nearly two decades and I am very inspired by the simplicity, the great craftsmanship and the respect for the materials that it represent. My work is in that way typical Danish and influenced by being Danish. Japanese patterns are a great source of inspiration for me as well.
What is your tagline?
The Needle has a Point!
“You need power to re-ignite an old and forgotten craft. A lot of power. And that´s what Tine Wessel´s got. The craft I am talking about is embroidery. And now you might think: Huh, that´s the kind of thing my great grandmother used to do. But that image is over and done with. Because Tine Wessel has within a few years´s time made embroidery so hot that even ELLE has had her works on their front page.Her mantra is: The Needle has a Point”, and with nice little stories she has embroidered herself into my heart. She has launched sewing kits and invites us all to jump aboard and embroider pillows – are you game? “
Pia Olsen, Living Stories