You’re probably most familiar with embroidery adding an interesting design detail to a dress or as a form of art that gets hung on the wall to lend a cheery, homey feel.
But one Swedish artist is breaking from the patterns, so to speak. Instead of using a loom, Ulla-Stina Wikander’s palettes are thrift store finds that she beautifully and intricately covers with her embroidered designs. That’s right: Electric mixers, vacuum cleaners, sewing machines, baby strollers and other obsolete flea market and vintage shop finds are all mediums for Wikander’s art.
While they’re not functional per se, these dolled-up kitchen gadgets and tools are super-adorable. (Embroidered heart-shaped cookie cutters? Swoon.)
On her site, Wikander says she likes to dress up old and forgotten items by covering them in colorful, scenic embroidery so they look beautiful in a new context.
“I give them a second life,” Wikander says on her site.
Who knew we’d be so inspired to decorate with an old cassette player that doesn’t even work? But alas, we’re in stitches.
Wikander has a special affinity for discarded items from the 1970s, according to her website. (In an archaeological dig through her site, we did indeed spot some 70s-tastic, disco-era platform shoes in her gallery that got the embroidery treatment. There are also some gussied-up boots, loafers and ice skates.)
Her art is a tad reminiscent of yarn bombing, the street art that covers trees, benches, statutes and the like in colorful yarn.
Wikander, a long-time artist, started transforming the outdated objects into art back in 2012. Her pieces are now part of art exhibitions and she sells them as well.
She says it takes her a day or two to transform a small item, like an iron or telephone. The larger objects, such as vacuum cleaners and televisions, may take a week or so before she’s done with them.
The takeaway, here? Not all art needs to be confined to a frame.
[h/t: Apartment Therapy]