Artist Transforms Countryside Into Vibrant Textiles Using Only Her Hands

An artist from Rockville, Maryland is touting her craft as a meditative process that allows her to reflect on the larger landscape of American life. In threads, French knots, chain stitches, and straight lines become peaceful countrysides and abandoned shacks overrun by moss and vines.

Artist Katrin Vates works with threads in natural color palettes of greens or autumnal hues that she lays in variable lengths and thicknesses so that the eye can absorb their layers.

Katrin Vates is an embroidery artist who has gained popularity for her stunningly detailed landscape designs. Vates was born in a small Siberian town, but now she lives with her family in the United States.

Vates’s favorite fabric is an unprimed, dense canvas typically used for painting—she doesn’t normally use hoops or frames when embroidering.

Using only her hands, she weaves together threads in natural color palettes to depict scenes ranging from peaceful farms and abandoned shacks overrun by moss and vines to lush oceans and dried fields. The Rockville, Maryland-based artist rarely sketches a preliminary design and never uses a hoop, which allows her more freedom to adjust both the image and how it’s impacted by weather or sunlight.

Her process involves drawing out what she wants to stitch beforehand — usually on paper — then transferring it onto the canvas using carbon paper. Once completed, Vates then photographs each piece as well as herself working on it so that she can share them online with others who appreciate her work.

Vates’s textile designs bring a fresh, modern flair to the traditional art of hand embroidery. Whether it’s interpreted in a three-dimensional medium like weaving, or a two-dimensional one like embroidery or cross-stitch, adding texture never fails to complement a design.

The artist’s landscapes are intricate and detailed, bringing her photos to life. A truly stunning and awe-inspiring end product. We recommend you check out some of her work on her website. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Katrin Vates

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