Jamie Chalmers aka Mr X Stitch is one of the world’s most recognised male embroiderers and he has decided to be part of the Craftivist Jigsaw project with us and two other craftSTARS (Deadly Knitshade and Hilary from CraftBlogUK) to support Save the Children’s Race Against Hunger campaign- what a man! His contemporary embroidery website receives over 20,000 visitors a month and he has thousands of Facebook and Twitter followers. He has made several TV appearances, being a regular fixture on Kirstie Allsopp’s craft programmes, and the curator of PUSH: Stitchery, an inspirational gallery book of textile art from around the world.
Here is a little interview we did with him
1. Real Name: Jamie Chalmers
2. Craft: Cross Stitcher and art curator
3. Why do you love craft? Simply put, it’s the joy of creation.
4. How did you get into it? I got into cross stitch as a pastime but fell in love with it. Before long I started seeking cross stitch patterns that reflected my interests which led to starting the Mr X Stitch blog. And the rest is history!
5. What is your favourite piece of your own work: Bad Ass typifies my embroidery ethos. Taking traditional stitchery, in this case an upcycled tray lining, and imbuing it with my own personal sense of humour.
6. Can you recommend someone who is doing craft work you admire and explain why? I love artists that turn a craft form on its head and at the moment I’m really enjoying the tapestry weavings of Philadelphia artist Erin M Riley.
7. What you love about craftivism? It’s the slowness, the consideration and the gentility of the form that helps emphasise the significance of the message.
8. Why did you decide to get involved in this Save The Children Campaign? It’s a fantastic opportunity to understand a really profound situation and work with a dynamic charity. I have some understanding of local food systems in the UK, having established a farmers’ market in my home town, so I’m interested to learn the wider challenges of tackling malnutrition in countries that may not have the luxuries that we do.
9. What are you going to write on your three pieces and why? I’m not entirely sure, as I want the experience of Indonesia to inform them, but I want people to understand what’s happening around them and realise as much of the whole picture as they can.
10. What other things are you doing for the project? I’m working with the Craftivist Collective to run some workshops in Milton Keynes, and will be lobbying my MP to engage them with a dialogue on the subject of international aid as well as local issues. I’ve no doubt that this campaign is going to influence me to get more political with my work and I’m excited to see what happens.