Welcome fellow readers to the first issue of Morbid Minute, an exploration into the unknown where you get a brief glimpse of people who will definitely satisfy your morbid curiosity!
This week, Morbid Planet sits down with Amber Griffiths, an amazing artist who uses traditional punch and needle embroidery to depict morbid images and parts of the human anatomy. Without further ado, Miss Amber Griffiths…
Erin Chapman: Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into embroidering such unique pieces?
Amber Griffiths: I started stitching anatomy things when I decided I wanted to make a valentines piece, but I’m not really one for all the mushy cliche sort of stuff, so I decided an anatomical heart would be interesting to work on. As soon as I’d made it I was hooked, next was a set of lungs, a brain, etc etc and I haven’t stopped since. I’ve done most of the major organs and body parts now!
EC: How long have you been doing this?
AG: I’ve been doing embroidery for about three years or so, but I’ve only been stitching more interesting anatomy sort of pieces since the end of january this year, so about 7 months!
EC: Can you tell us a little about your process? What inspires you and how long does each piece take?
AG: I get inspired by all sorts of things, usually just life, seeing people move and thinking “I should really make an ankle”, that kind of thing. Once I’ve decided what I want to stitch, let’s say it’s an organ, I usually look through lots of images of it, both of how it actually looks and how it’s typically represented in medical illustrations and media. Then I select a range of about 10 of those images and make a sort of mood board, which I then draw from – blending different aspects of the representations together to form one design. Then I try to balance the design with colours and textures so it’s most visually appealing. Then I embroider it! The designing usually takes about an hour or so and then the stitching varies in time depending on how complex and large the piece is. Some simple pieces are as short as about 40 minutes, but bigger pieces take multiple days, sometimes even up to a week.
EC: Since you started this journey, what has been your most memorable moment?
AG: I think it’s probably the first stitching video I posted to my instagram page, it was the first time I’d had any sort of widespread recognition. At that point I was regularly getting around 100 likes per post, but that one post went wild and had about 1000 in a day. The next day I posted another video, it went viral(ish) and now has over a million views on facebook. After that I shot from 800 followers to 10,000 in a couple of weeks. It was absolutely unbelievable and there was a weird sense of adrenaline off it.
EC: What is a fun fact that many people don’t know about you?
AG: I’m double jointed!
EC: Where can our readers find you online and with social media?
AG: I’m most active on Instagram and try to post as often as possible there. My Etsy is updated usually once a month with new pieces. I have a Facebook page, a youtube channel and a website too, I’m a bit rubbish at updating them though, oops. Also YouTube.
EC: What’s next for you and do you sell your creations?
AG: I want to start working more in 3D. I have a degree in Design for Theatre, Performance and Events so I’d like to start blending that prop making sort of technique into more of my anatomy and embroidery work. I sell my work on Etsy! Usually about once a month I do a big update with new original pieces as well as prints, stickers, jewellery, all that kind of fun stuff!
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