22 June 2011

Meet Jill Vendituoli and her amazing tapestries

A year ago, I profiled my friend Todd Vendituoli's brilliant renovation of a house in Eluthera, The Bahamas. Todd's a builder who divides his time between Vermont and Eleuthera and you can read about his project here.

Well Todd's back in the US for the time being and last night he sent me a video that profiled his sister Jill's art and I was really blown away by it. Clearly, the talent pool runs pretty deep in the Vendituoli clan.

Jill creates tapestries using a needle, fabric and a palette of 450 colors, but her video speaks for itself. Check this out.

From Jill's website:
One of the things that attracted me to this medium of tapestry making was its traditional origin. The idea of a late 20th century woman working at a craft that had been one of the few creative outlets for women prior to this century appealed to me.

During the last two decades, it's been a joyful challenge to unite my creations with those of my stitching forebears. But, unlike these women, I have operated under the liberated assumption that if I can see it in my head, then I can stitch it with my hands: contemporary vision meets historical technique. By blending 450 colors of thread I can create a palette as extensive as a painter's. However, because of the slow and labor-intensive character of tapestry making, my art defies the high-speed confines of our postmodern world and connects us all to a past that endures. I hope that you enjoy viewing the fruits of my labor of love.
I love seeing someone take an ancient art form and breathe new life into while keeping true to its roots, hence my love of mosaics. In a lot of ways, Jill's work reminds me of a mosaic, only her medium is thread. Amazing stuff.

Jill's art is on display in her West Newfield, ME studio but you can find her on her website and on her new Facebook page. Show her some love!


  1. As a hobby sewer who only has dabbled in the craft of needlepoint; I for one fully appreciate Jill's talent. Not only is it an art form that is extremely time consuming but it is one that demands superior creativity. Her creations are wonderful!
    Thanks for sharing Paul. -Brenda-

  2. Man, oh man! This is some absolutely stunning work, both in the fineness of the stitching and in the vividness of the colors. And the impeccable layouts. Every tapestry I have ever seen left—for my tastes—a lot to be desired. Really, I think, just because they were many hundreds of years old, and the colors were undoubtedly muted because of that. Not to mention that many of those tapestries have very stiff presentations. But these! Wow!

  3. Brenda and Joseph, thanks! I'm pretty impressed too if that's not too obvious.

  4. Great work (loved the music, too, which I hadn't heard before). But I can't work out how people don't go mad doing such detailed work. I get the yip-yips just threading a needle, let alone using it!

  5. I'm glad somebody can handle it, because I sure can't. I can't pay attention long enough to sew on a button! Kudos to Jill.

  6. Beautiful work, especially the organic stuff that looks like lichen on steroids. Beautiful shapes and color blending and so contemporary. And you're right about the connection to mosaic. Thanks for the introduction!

  7. You are welcome. In an early e-mail Jill mentioned to me that her first tapestry was a copy of a mosaic she saw in Ravenna. A light bulb went off. "I know some people who should meet Jill..."

  8. Paul I am astounded. Off to her website I go!!

    Art by Karena

    I have a New very fashionable Giveaway on my site!


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