Is cross stitch art? Or craft?

Often within the stitching community the question of art or craft comes up, and on a general basis it can be answered. However cross stitch always sits outside the classifications, and no one is really sure. Its not an art form in its own right, its part of embroidery, however there are LOADS of art pieces out there with just cross stitch. So does it deserve to finally be called an art form?

cross-stitch-mona-lisa

Mastering the art form

I wrote a post a few months back now on becoming a cross stitch master and how achievable that actually is, however I never addressed the elephant in the room; a master OF WHAT?

The reason there are so many issues here are down to the definition of art form. In short it could be “a medium for artistic expression”, “an activity that requires skill and care” or “the more or less established structure, pattern, or scheme followed in shaping an artistic work”, all of which cross stitch applies to. But its STILL not classed as an art form in its own right. So why?

I recently posted a link to someone who had used my cross stitch as a base for his own art work, so surely the original must be art too?

Museums

The greatest case therefore would be galleries and museums, both of which have a historic inclusion of cross stitch. Some of the best known are the V&A in London, the Met Museum in New York, and the Smithsonian in Washington DC. However most of these are old samplers, and almost none are from modern times.

Modern Renaissance

However there are a few exeptions. What I like to call the “modern renaissance” where art is in the hands of everyone, there are a few notable examples:

WWII cross stitch

We’ve shown this piece before in a history of cross stitch, however the works of Major Alexis Casdagli in the second world war are not only a fascinating story in their own right, but his most widely known work (seen below) has traveled all over the world in modern exhibitions.
sampler by Major Alexis Casdagli

Severija

The only truly well known cross stitch artist is Severija who uses cross stitch with historic objects to truly create a memorable set of works. We even devoted a whole post to creating works like hers.

cross-stitch-helmets-by-severija

Summary

So does any of that suggest an answer? Well, yes. But mostly in the craft camp.
Whilst there is cross stitch art out there, most of the works being produced are being done for just a beautiful image. To truly be classed as art in a modern form, it needs to have a message, like Severija’s works. So as much as I hate it, I’ve got to admit I’m not an artist.

Pokemon Mega Ring Cross Stitch

Pokemon Mega Ring Cross Stitch
Title: Mega Ring
Date Completed: February 2016
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 12
Canvas: Bracelet
Colours: 9
Game: Pokemon
I got a cross stitch-able bracelet as part of a competition i won, but it had hung around for about a year. However, whilst recently playing through Pokemon Sun I remembered it, and how perfect it would be for a mega ring!

Spirited Away Cross Stitch

Spirited Away Cross Stitch
Title: Spirited Away
Date Completed: February 2016
Design: Richard J. Evans & Lord Libidan
Count: 14
Canvas: Orange
Colours: 11
Anime: Spirited Away
MotoRuxin has been doing some sweet stitches recently on really bright background aida, and it got my fingers itching for something similar. I had a quick google online, and after seeing Adam Savage’s My Neighbour Toronto costume, I got on a bit of an anime binge. And lo and behold, a Spirited Away stitch.

I Believe In Mew Cross Stitch

I Believe In Mew Cross Stitch
Title: I Believe In Mew
Date Completed: January 2017
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 16
Canvas: Pewter
Colours: 6
Video Game: Pokemon
Back to the Pokemon Cross Stitch! I found this image on pinterest, and despite my best efforts I just can’t find the original, so shout out to the original artist. I redesigned most of it to suit my own needs, and to make it more obviously Pokemon. It also has some sweet Kreinik threads around Mew to make him look even more special. Its based off the old myth of Pokemon Blue and Red that there was a hidden Mew under the truck by SS Anne.
I believe in mew

Golden Zelda Cartridge Cross Stitch

Golden Zelda Cartridge Cross Stitch
Title: 24 Carat Zelda
Date Completed: January 2017
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 14
Canvas: White
Colours: 9
Video Game: Zelda
DMC recently came out with a 24 carat gold thread to celebrate their 270th Birthday. I managed to get my hands on a very limited quantity, and after throwing a few ideas around I knew that the thing I had to stitch HAD to be the most well known gold object in video game history; the Zelda golden cartridge. There are also some non-24 carat metallic threads in there from both Kreinik and DMC.

Pikachu Tea Cup Cross Stitch

Pikachu Tea Cup Cross Stitch
Title: Pikachu Tea Cup
Date Completed: October 2016
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 16
Canvas: White
Colours: 9
Video Game: Pokemon
I recently saw a super sweet Pikachu in a tea cup figurine and just knew I had to stitch it! I changed the sizes a little to fit better and it now looks super cute!
pikachu-cup-figure

Bowser Concept Art Cross Stitch

Bowser Concept Art Cross Stitch

Bowser Concept Art Cross Stitch
Bowser Concept Art Cross Stitch

Title: Bowser Concept Art
Date Completed: October 2016
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 14
Video Game: Super Mario Bros
I really haven’t made much from the Mario series, despite its popularity, and I thought that was really due for a change when I came across this original Bowser concept art on the Video Game Art Archive.

Pokemon Great Wave Cross Stitch

Pokemon Great Wave Cross Stitch

Pokemon Great Wave Cross Stitch
Pokemon Great Wave Cross Stitch

Title: The Great Wave
Date Completed: October 2016
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 16
Video Game: Pokemon
Not too long ago I went to the museum in London and saw a print of the Great Wave, and its stuck in my head for a while. I recently remembered it when I saw missypena’s Great Wave Off Kanto posters. With her permission I remade them and edited them to fit the original slightly better. This is the largest piece I have completed so far, but I think it might be my best to date…

Pikachu Notebook Cross Stitch

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Title: Pikachu Notebook
Date Completed: September 2016
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 14
Video Game: Pokemon
Despite the years of cross stitch I’ve never used waste canvas. This idea was originally planned to use it, but quite quickly I realised I couldn’t get the journal wet. After a lot of foundering I came across Severija, and worked out the way she cross stitched onto solid objects. I’ll make a guide soon, however for now, this is the completed Pikachu notebook, which will be up on my Etsy store, so catch it while you can!

8 Bit Earth Invasion Cross Stitch

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Title: Invasion Earth
Date Completed: August 2016
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 11
Video Game: Space Invaders, Galaxian, Bosconian, Metroid, Galaga, Xevious
I got this amazing world map aida in 11 count from SuckUK and just knew I needed to plan an Earth invasion. Bringing together enemies of various 8bit space video games this is their horrid plan!