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NAVISTITCH BY SAM LUXFORD
My NaviStitch work encompasses my love of our coast, charts and stitch.
I was inspired by an image on Pintrest of a family who had stitched their holiday road route as a red line onto a road atlas; this got my creative mind working. I have always loved the lines and colours on Nautical charts and although my first piece was just a line following the coast (see photo below) this quickly evolved into nautical images and boats.
All my life I have spent my summers on the Stour Estuary in Essex and I love the serenity of sailing. It is always a special moment when you see the iconic red sails of a Thames barge or traditional sailing boat coming down the river. I have spent a large part of my adult life working aboard our beautiful Thames barges, and these stunning vessels feature quite often within my work.
I love the charts in their own right. I guess I have become a little obsessive about collecting charts and love to recycle them. I have been lucky enough to find some quite old and unusual charts, some of which have been used for my NaviStitch work already, some are still waiting to find their right owner. I do not use new charts, all the charts I use are old, and out of date, some are well used, and some have had very little use. Many of the charts have creases, pencil or pen marks and show general signs of wear and tear, this is the natural patina of a used chart, and I think adds to the story that the chart tells.
I have always been a stitcher, and all my artwork is stitched by hand very carefully directly through the paper of the chart. I want the lines to enhance and add to the chart rather than detract from the beauty underneath. When I prepare a piece for stitching, I look at the contours of the coast, colours in the chart and consider the frame and the mount colours at the same time.
I have also introduced a range of printed greetings cards, again with the chart background. The cards all include a nautical image with a sentiment or pun, great fun for anyone who loves the coast.
It is evident that the location of the chart is just as important as the image stitched on it. Often customers will have a place which is special to them such as where they live, where they sail, where they grew up or just somewhere that holds special memories for them. With that in mind, I can offer a commission service. You choose the chart location, image, thread colours and style of framing. Bespoke design service also available, if you can provide me with a good clear photograph of the required vessel, I can stitch your own boat and even on your own chart.