(Now that we have author tags enabled for the upcoming addition of new blog contributors from the shop, I’ll be writing this post in the first person, seeing as it’s about my project! -EC)
I’m happy to announce that the January issue of the matchless embroidery industry trade magazine Stitches, is out today! Featured on the cover (viewable here in the digital edition) is the work of none other than your Black Duck Blog author, Erich Campbell. I was honored when in November of 2011, the editor of Stitches Magazine, Nicole Rollender, contacted me with twofold good news. First, I’d been voted in to their annual Power List as the 60th most influential person in the industry (seen here) and that they were interested in having me create the embroidery for the January cover.
Being that November and December are our busiest time of year, I was concerned, but I would never deny such a great honor. I jumped at the challenge. Not long later, I was staring at a full-color photograph of a carousel, complete with a depth-of-field effects that, though wonderful in photography, aren’t well suited to the clean edges created by thread and needle. I pitched the concept of rendering the background scene in a range of grays and creating a spectacular full-color piece for the lead horse in the photograph. Luckily for me art director Jim Lange was on board. Now the real work started.
Wanting to create it in secret so as to make for a big reveal, I worked on the project at home. After some 60 hours of art and digitizing (plotting stitch placements and types in specialized machine embroidery software) later, I had a file that would make our embroidery machines spit out a piece measuring over 9.5″ by 10.8″, consisting of 16 colors and 182, 389 stitches. The actual run, when coupled with the necessity of rethreading the machine and prepping the materials, would take over 7 hours to produce. In the end, however, I was very happy with the piece and shipped it off urgently to be photographed, cropped, and styled into the magnificent cover you see here.
I’d like to thank our proprietors, Doug and Dana Bird for the freedom they give their creative staff to do such skill-building projects, as well as the crew at Stitches Magazine for spurring me on to contribute to the industry. Last, but not least, I’d like to thank all of our customers for staying with us, and proving that quality and creativity matter and are worth supporting.
I’m happy to say that we at Black Duck are not just up to industry standards, but as you can see, we influence the standard. When you need something truly amazing, we might not be the only ones who can make it happen, but we have some practice. If you have a spectacular image or brand that you want made into a beautiful embroidered or screenprinted garment, or if you just want an artist’s eye directed toward your company’s uniforms and promotional products, please contact Black Duck. We’ll be happy to go that extra mile for you.