Textile Master Recreates Plant Decay, Moss, and Fungi

Textile artist, Amanda Cobbett, recreates the natural world in astonishing detail, transforming a piece of bark or twig into embroidered artwork that looks uncannily similar to the real thing. Amongst her works, you can find 3-dimensional, paper-mâché, and machine-embroidered sculptures of plant decay, lichen, and fungi, all of which are displayed in a contemporary form of a Victorian display case.

With her mother and grandmothers all being gifted seamstresses, it was only a matter of time before Cobbett followed suit. After studying at Chelsea College of Art (UAL), she worked in the printed textile design industry, but a move to the country and a gift of an old Bernina sewing machine changed her course of action. And so, her long-held desire to be a maker, as well as a designer, finally came to fruition, through her reimagined forests.

“I love intricacy and adding my own little secret threads to the work that might not be obvious at the time but in a certain light, they shine out or sparkle,” she shared in an interview with the Voice of London. Inspired by the forest floor, she constantly scours her surroundings, seeking hidden treasures, and photographing and collecting fallen debris. Those are later recreated using approximately 130,000 individual stitches a day.

“Someone said to me recently that when someone asks me how long each piece takes to make that I should say that it’s taken me 22 years of experience to get to this point,” she says. “I think sometimes we forget that a person’s ability to make something isn’t based on the actual time it took to make.”