June 20, 2013

Flying from pottery to embroidery

Olá! When I started my project agulha não pica (needle does not prick), I decided that my embroidery patterns would be inspired by Portuguese culture, that they should have a "Portuguese soul". Soon I discovered that although the inspiration from Portuguese Regional embroideries would be endless it could be very challenging to bring some motifs from arts & crafts other than embroidery. One of those arts deep rooted in Portuguese tradition and culture is pottery, that you'll find from the North to the South of our country.

I bought this (and many other) pottery plate 20 years ago in Redondo, a beautiful small town in Alentejo, in the South of Portugal, renowned for its clay products and wine. It was made by an artisan, Adriano Martelo, that claimed to use ancestral techniques.

The richness of the work of the artisans from Redondo comes from the use of traditional patterns like floral motifs, portraits of the daily life from rural Alentejo region and reproductions of antique plates from the 17th century. Flower baskets, small cottages, birds, cork oak trees and shepherds deserve special attention.

Pottery from Redondo, Portugal
pottery plate, my photo
I love this plate and decided to transform it into an embroidery pattern. I asked the help of a friend with better drawing skills and I was delighted with the final result of this pattern inspired by rural pottery.

Recently I used it to decorate a linen/cotton apron made in the region of Guimarães and embroidered it with cotton pearl size 8 from Limol, choosing the pastel colors box.
Tranferring the pattern
Using carbon paper to transfer the pattern, my photo
Transferring the pattern
Transferred pattern, my photo

Bird Pattern and pastel colors
Patel colors, my photo

Embroidering "bird from Alentejo" pattern
Embroidering... My photo

Embroidered "bird from Alentejo"
Embroidered bird from Alentejo, my photo.
And here you have how a beautiful bird flew from pottery to embroidery... 

Do you have a special embroidery pattern's story, too? Share it with us...


  1. Thanks for your words... They made me smile :)

  2. Beautiful, Julie. Thanks for sharing... I hope you continue having space for more names :)