“Much of the focus behind what I create is to elevate the premise of ‘women’s work’ to visual art. Handwork such as needlepoint and quilting have historically been viewed as a quaint pass-time or a basic utilitarian need. The female gender has held a similar place in history, continually struggling to gain equal footing with our male counterparts. But even when the feminine voice has been muted or ignored, it has always been there, however subversive. Looking closer at the handicrafts of the past this is often evident. My aim is to continue this tradition, using fiber as my medium to have my voice heard.” – Abby Langdon
I first met Abby at Fern's opening party, though I became familiar with her work long before that. Abby is a textile artist in Cincinnati, perhaps best known for her work in the indie craft world under the name “abbydid” for her plush creatures. Abby's plush has appeared in magazines, group exhibits, a myriad of craft shows across the country and is owned by collectors around the world, including my son Felix.
Recently, I spent a snowy morning in her studio barefoot and climbing all over the furniture to capture some of her world. Abby's studio is as she describes it, "what the inside of my head looks like." It's colorful and textural, a textile lovers dream, filled with stacks of fabric, a collection of embroidery floss organized by color, completed works, vintage furniture including her grandfather's drafting table, and works in progress. Her work is often playful yet always thoughtful and inspired.
I was anxious to view in person the works Abby had created for a show at the Marta Hewett gallery, Adrift in the Wonderland. Women making meaning of Moby Dick. Her contributions to the show explored two kinds of skin: the stitched, tattooed skin of her own image in The Warrior and the wrinkled, scarred skin of the sperm whale in The Whiteness whereby employing traditional female handwork she created a place for the female reader in Melville’s work.
I had approached Abby a while ago to see if she would be interested in teaching an embroidery workshop at the store. I am thrilled to announce that she said yes and will be teaching a pattern that she created specifically to fit right in at Fern.
Our embroidery class with Abby will be held at Fern on Saturday, March 11 from 11-1 and spots will be available for purchase on Friday, February 10th beginning at 10am.