linda villano, serendipitea, tea cup, tea pot, postcards, letters, jennifer collier
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  The Tea House Times Guest Blog - Linda Villano
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A STITCH in TIME by Linda Villano

Monday, February 23rd 2015 @ 11:19 AM

While walking so many Trade Shows over the years we often see the same vendors and the same or similar items. Every once in a while we find something new and exciting that makes an indelible impression.  A few weeks ago at the NY Now Show I was stopped in my tracks by the wondrous items in U.K. artist Jennifer Collier’s booth.  




NY Now Display


Her display was a wonderland of decorative hand-sewn paper objects that conveyed a sense of nostalgia and whimsy.  I was drawn to the Tea Sets in particular.


Tea Set


Having studied textile design, Jennifer Collier gives new meaning to the term “up-cycling” by working with found and discarded paper from books, maps, letter and wallpaper to sheets of music, vintage postcards and even tea bags!  Ms. Collier uses the paper as one would use fabric by making patterns for a wide array of objects (dresses, shoes, lamp shades, bird houses, etc.).  She stiches the pieces together after applying her unique method of bonding and waxing the paper.  The result is a gorgeous interpretation of three dimensional, textured objects.


Tea Pot Butterfly

Tea Cup Butterfly


In the artists own words: “By bonding, waxing, trapping and stitching I produce unusual paper ‘fabrics’, which are used to explore the ‘remaking’ of household objects. The papers are treated as if cloth, with the main technique employed being stitch; a contemporary twist on traditional textiles. I use both hand and machine stich in my work, and where possible try to use traditional embroidery techniques. I use resin to embed objects to make my coat hangers. the papers are rarely ‘treated’ in any way, as most people think, it is just the paper itself that I use, but through years of practice you get a feel for how far you can push it, and when it is going to tear, and which papers work best for what job. Some of the shoes are formed over a mould, using a moulding medium, but the Stilettos and Brogues are made from a flat template I have designed, then constructed into a three-dimensional shoe shape and the Ballet Slippers are hand stitched to form the shape.”


Each piece is unique and she will even create custom items from personal letters or postcards which can be sent directly to Ms. Collier. And, she ships the commissioned piece in a beautiful stitched gift box. Have a look at an extraordinary example below ~ the lid on the tea pot is removable!


Tea Pot Postcards

Tea Cup Postcards


Ms. Collier even works spent teabags into some of her work as can be seen in these adorable Wellington boots.


Wellington Boots


Decorative wall pieces are created by stitching found papers to create the piece, which is then mounted onto a book cover, backed by a wooden board to hang on the wall. These would look lovely in a Tea Shop!


Children’s Tea


Tea Cup Wall Hanging


Enjoy this delightful video of the artist herself explaining her process and inspiration while creating a fabulous Lamp Shade:


And if you’re now as inspired and moved as I am, visit Jennifer Collier’s website for a peek at more of her goodies:


Artist and Tea Set


I’m off to place a few orders now ~ Cheers to creativity and innovation!

~ Linda Villano, SerendipiTea

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© All content and images are copyright of author.
LINDA VILLANO co-founded in 1995 with Tomislav Podreka. With a passion for all things Tea, she oversees all aspects of the business; including client consulting, concept and design, staff training, sourcing and product development (recipe creations). Having grown up in a family of restaurateurs and chefs, she considers her role as a purveyor of premium teas & tisanes a natural continuation of her family’s culinary tradition.   Linda is a published illustrator and writer. Her illustrations appear in Tomislav Podreka’s book, SerendipiTea: a guide to the varieties, origins and rituals of tea, and she writes articles about tea for trade publications.

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