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Art

Beautifully embroidered tennis and badminton rackets! We speak to the artist behind them

Last week we showed you the awesome (and inspiring) work of Cape Town-based artist Danielle Clough. Not just talented with embroidering on cloth, Clough uses tennis and badminton rackets to show off her mad skills.

So, interested to learn how Danielle actually began embroidering rackets and what other cool projects she has in store, we asked her a bunch of questions about her work.

We’ve never seen badminton embroidery before! We have to know how you came up with the idea! Are you a badminton player? Did you have badminton rackets lying around?

‘I have never played badminton before actually! I’ve started playing squash with a friend recently but think that’s more inspired by the rackets than the rackets being inspired by the game! Someone once shared an image of simple woven hearts on a racket and I was adamant to figure out a way to embroider in my style onto it’.

When did you begin embroidery? Were you inspired by a piece of art you saw or had you always had a fascination with the art form?

‘I’ve always been around sewing. My mother taught me to sew and when I was studying I would make plush toys for extra money. Around that time when working, I was really bored and without a pen and paper I drew a rabbit onto a piece if scrap felt with a needle and thread I had lying at the bottom of my bag.

Bunny

‘I really enjoyed it and tried it again with a portrait a while after and from there it grew. Only recently, I’ve started looking into the history and more traditional techniques. I think it’s important to figure out your own interpretations of a medium before being too influenced by the ‘dos and don’ts’.

How long does it typically take to produce an embroidered badminton racquet?

‘I lose track of time when I’m sewing and a whole day slips past so easily. I’d say a few days’.

As well as embroidering, you’re also an accomplished photographer, VJ and designer. Tell us more about these projects!

‘I like living between different creative disciplines. Photography has taken a back seat for a while and now I mainly shoot on film as a hobby. The visuals (VJ) are super fun and I do the live show for Haezer . I’m also part of a hip-hop collective called Uppercut. And we have just been confirmed to play at the Cape Town Electronic Music Festival in February’.

What are you working on right now you can tell us about?

‘I’m working a few commissions and setting up an online shop. The plan is to keep my head down, graft and get better! The dream is to do an artist residency somewhere weird and wonderful, travel and create a body of work to exhibit’.

Danielle just announced that she’ll be launching an online store in February on her website, so be sure to check it out. And also be sure to follow her on Instagram for the latest and greatest projects.

Photo credit: By Jono (byjono.co.za)

Blue paper flowers. #embroidery #racket #flowers #?

A photo posted by Danielle Clough (@fiance_knowles) on

? In the 1600s the Tulip was the most expensive flower, and more valuable then most peoples homes ? -Sold #embroidery #racket #tulips #whataracket A photo posted by Danielle Clough (@fiance_knowles) on

‘To Hold To Love’ ?? You can grab this piece! Its up for auction at @apolloauctions now. #embroidery #whataracket #rose #racket

A photo posted by Danielle Clough (@fiance_knowles) on

Second attempt at getting involved with sport. #embroidery #racket #protea #whataracket A photo posted by Danielle Clough (@fiance_knowles) on

So now I roll around with rackets. Wool wizardry 1000. #embroidery #rose #progress #thefirst

A photo posted by Danielle Clough (@fiance_knowles) on

About the author

Rachel Oakley is an Aussie writer based in NYC with an obsession for the creepy, cool and quirky side of life. She’ll remind you she’s a vegan every chance she gets. Her IG is filled with doggo pics: @patty_pottymouth