Swiss artists

Featured embroidery artist: Corinne Kühn

Corinne Kühn is an embroidery artist from Switzerland. You can follow her creative process on Instagram on her account more_than_stitches.

When her first daughter was born, she suddenly had a lot of time on her hands. First she tried water colour painting, but this seemed to be too two dimensional. With her mother and grandmother both seamstresses and inspired by a friend, she tried hand embroidery and later did some machine embroidery too. Then for many years, embroidery took a back seat in her life, until both her daughters were grown up and she started to embroider again. Her first big machine embroidery was an embroidery of three portraits of her younger daughter at three stages in her life. Added were three drawings her daughter made at approximately the same time as the portraits were taken.

„Embroidery fullfills my need for colour and texture. I can’t get enough of different types of fabric and thread and my stash of all kinds of threads is still growing. I love the feel of different types of fabrics and I could drown inrainbows of colour.”



These days, Corinne embroiders mostly by hand. She focuses on landscapes and plants. Besides these works, she takes commissions for portraits. „Portraits are landscapes too, which tell of moments in time, of a life lived.“

Asked about her creative process, she answers: „There are landscapes or plants, which just speak to me. There is something I can’t name that calls to be stitched. I feel the same with people. There are faces, which just call to be stitched. This can be a newborn or a person who has lived a full life.”



“The first part of every new project is always a photo”, Corinne continues. “For landscapes or plants I then make a rudimentary sketch and select lots of fabrics and threads. Even though I’ll only use a small part of it in the final piece, the selection helps me to decide how to proceed. For a portrait commission, I sketch every line and shadow of the face, before I start stitching. I only use black cotton or silk thread, so that the final embroidery resembles a sketch still.“
at summer's end
dance of the cherry blossoms


Swiss textile industry

History of the Swiss Textile Industrie: Klöppelspitze (Bobbin Lace)

schwaches Verb
Spitze[n] herstellen durch Kreuzen, Drehen o. Ä. von Fäden, die auf Klöppel gewickelt sind

Bobbin lace is a lace textile made by braiding and twisting lengths of thread, which are wound on bobbins to manage them. As the work progresses, the weaving is held in place with pins set in a lace pillow, the placement of the pins usually determined by a pattern or pricking pinned on the pillow.

Bobbin lace evolved from passementerie or braid-making in 16th-century Italy. Genoa was famous for its braids, hence it is not surprising to find bobbin lace developed in the city. It traveled along with the Spanish troops through Europe.

In the 17th century, the textile centers of Flanders and Normandy eclipsed Italy as the premiere sources for fine bobbin lace, but until the coming of mechanization hand-lacemaking continued to be practiced throughout Europe, suffering only in those periods of simplicity when lace itself fell out of fashion.

(source: Wikipedia)

Also in Switzerland, bobbin lace making became a popular craft done at home to generate an additional income, especially in rural areas. Most of the bobbin lace was thus sold to the aristocracy in neighbour countries or to clerics.

The Valley of Lauterbrunnen was one central point of this handiwork. When I visited Lauterbrunnen last summer, I passed by a shop window featuring bobbin lace works. And I learned that there is still an active bobbin lace making culture in the village (Lauterbrunner Spitzen-Klöpplerinnen).


I made this collage with photographs of works displayed in the shop windows.


Traditional ethnic Swiss costumes called “Trachten” use bobbin lace embellishments as well, up to this day:

copyright by Ballenberg

If you want to learn about bobbin lace making, you can do so while visiting the open-air museum Ballenberg in Bern. There, you can watch a craftswoman make bobbin lace or even attend an introductory workshop.

copyright by Ballenberg

Substantiv, maskulin [der]
1a. im Innern einer Glocke (1) lose befestigter Stab mit verdicktem Ende, der beim Läuten an die Wand der Glocke schlägt und den Klang erzeugt
1b. [an einem Ende verdickter] Stab zum Anschlagen von etwas
2. Spule aus Holz für Klöppelarbeiten
aus dem (Ost)mitteldeutschen, zu kloppen, eigentlich = Klopfer




Project 2015: ONLINE AUCTION


In spring 2015, the Swiss Hand Embroiderers’ Guild hosted an online  auction.

20% of the net income went directly to Guldusi, an embroidery project of the German-Afghan Initiative e.V. (DAI) that was jointly founded in 2002 by Germans and Afghans as a non-profit relief organisation. The DAI tells about Guldusi that “many of the women living in rural areas of Afghanistan are highly skilled embroiderers. We aim to provide opportunities for them to generate an income using their embroidery skills. At the same time we hope that these projects will help to safeguard traditional hand embroidery skills from disappearing” (cited).

Following is the gallery of all the works that were put up for auction.

Swiss artists

Featured embroidery artist: Elly May

Elly May, from @ellymaydesigns, is an embroidery enthusiast specializing in handmade felt ornaments.


Back in 2000, she began sewing small felt keepsakes for her family after receiving an ornament that her sister had made for her.  The original ornament was a tiny, white Christmas tree with three pink buttons sewn onto it.  Impressed by its charm, Elly May decided to continue the family tradition but would expand the designs to feature embroidery.  Using metal cookie cutters as templates, she would trace the shapes onto felt sheets and create a miniature design within the shape.  As the ornament-giving tradition expanded to include friends, interest from a wider audience began to grow.


Elly May felt ornaments are crafted in Geneva, Switzerland.  Each one is unique and features traditional embroidery stitching in floral designs, often with added detailing using buttons or beads.  Predominantly made from wool felt, these quaint keepsakes can be hung anywhere in the home.  View more on Instagram under @ellymaydesigns.


Swiss artists

Featured embroidery artist: Marie Maglaque

Marie Maglaque is a French-Swiss embroidery accessory designer, currently
based in Switzerland after living for more than 10 years in Asia.


Marie caught the travel bug early on and graduated in 2001 from ESMOD
Paris, an international fashion school, with a degree in fashion design
and pattern making. Shortly after she moved to Florence (Italy) where she
learnt Italian, studied jewelry design and did an internship at the
fashion label Emilio Pucci’s HQ.

In 2004, an opportunity to work in Tokyo as a marketing assistant for a
French jeweler initiated her passion for Japan. Later on work led her to
live in Singapore where she founded her family before moving to several
other countries in Asia.


Marie takes her inspiration from floral patterns and laces as well as
embroidery materials. Her favorite includes cup sequins, tiny beads and
DMC cotton threads with vibrant colors. Though her background is in
fashion and jewelry designs, Marie is a self-taught embroiderer and only
works with embroidery needles, mostly on felt & lace bases.

In addition to selling finished pieces and exhibiting, Marie is also
teaching workshops in several languages (French, English and Japanese) and
most recently published her first DIY book in Japan.


You can connect daily with Marie on Instagram (@marie_maglaque) or on
Facebook (MarieMaglaqueBroderie).
Also check out the website and online shop she recently launched:

Swiss artists

Featured embroidery artist: Else Ruckli-Stoecklin

Else Ruckli-Stoecklin in her studio.
When I visited the Textilmuseum St. Gallen earlier this year, I discovered the works of Else Ruckli-Stoecklin, a now deceased Swiss hand embroidery master that created beautiful and intricate needle paintings long before they became “hip”. She also worked with enamel, wire and collage, but she considers her embroidered pieces as her main interest.
Else was born in 1912 in Austria but both her parents were of Swiss origin. Else spent her school years in Basel and moved to Luzern in her twenties to study fine arts. After study visits to London and Paris, she was married to an engineer and henceforth lived and worked in Bern. I could not find her exact day of death, but I believe it is sometime around 2004.

flammenFlames. Silk on silk. 1972

Choosing embroidery as her medium was a deliberate and brave decision. Needle arts were not counted among the fine arts but generally classified as craftwork. Thus, her curator writes: “… with each piece, Else Ruckli-Stoecklin performs a balancing act between art and craft…” (cit. Dr. Gerda Benesch; translated by blogger).

But Else declares that she “works independently and doesn’t follow the mainstream” (cit. Else Ruckli-Stoecklin; translated by blogger).

Else exhibited in reknown Swiss galleries and museums. I love her works for their colors, forms and neatness; they make me happy to look at – and that is exactly what she intended!

This blog article shall end with another quotation of Else that I really like: “… as the needle is piercing the canvas, the motif is quasi growing out of the fabric and is literally enmeshed in the background…” (cit. Else Ruckli-Stoecklin; translated by blogger).

blumenwieseBlumenwiese II. Silk on silk. 1974

(source: Ruckli-Stoecklin, Else. Mein Erleben und mein Schaffen. Niederteufen, 1997.)

Swiss artists

Featured bead embroidery artist: Chantal Stalder (sogni d’oro)

medusa`s shield of vengeance def. (2) “Since my hands follow me, I am creative” says Swiss bead embroidery artist Chantal Stalder. As a child, she used to draw a lot and created many little art projects.
After high school, she studied at The School of Arts in Basel.
That was the start of her professional life as an artist: She began to paint and after a while discovered the art of bead embroidery which is still a great passion of hers.
Since 2000, Chantal lives in Tessin (the Italian speaking part of Switzerland) and owns a studio (‘sogni d’oro’ meaning ‘golden dreams’), where she works and studies. Armband after eight
Cellini2 Chantal exhibits her paintings and bead embroidery art in Switzerland.

She frequently gives workshops and teaches tutorials, showing people how to realize their own art pieces.

Chantal loves to share her knowledge gained in the past 8 years of beading.

Ohrringe Feder

You can find Chantal online at the kunstatelier-sogni-d-oro.

Swiss textile industry

History of the Swiss Textile Industry: Bündner Kammtaschen

tasche_herger2copyright: Beatrice Herger-Kieliger

Kammtaschen (toilet bags to hang up on bedroom or living room walls) were very popular during the late 17th and the 18th century. They were found in households all over Europe.
Usually there were three or four compartments to fill with toiletries, notes or letters.

The Kammtaschen of the Grisons were of a very particular type: made of black taffeta, embroidered with silk threads and occasionally metallic thread.
The embroidery technique used was silk shading.

Beatrice Herger-Kieliger is a Swiss textile artist to continue this tradition; the two pictures show some of her beautiful works.

tasche_herger1copyright: Beatrice Herger-Kieliger

(text source: Schneider, Jenny. Bündner Kammtaschen : einige Bemerkungen
zur Seidenstickerei des 18. Jahrhunderts. in: Bündner Monatsblatt : Zeitschrift für Bündner Geschichte, Landeskunde und Baukultur. 1969.)

Swiss artists

Featured embroidery artist: Claudia Jäggi

self Claudia Jäggi (born 1975) is a mainly self-taught fibre artist with a family background in textiles (her maternal grandmother was a textile art teacher, her paternal grandmother was a couture dressmaker). Transforming traditional techniques into fiber art and adding further media, her work could mayhap be titled “mixed media embroidery art”.
She is based in Winterthur, Switzerland.
Claudia grew up in Davos, a small town in the Alps; so she often draws inspiration from nature. For example, she uses makro photographs of plants or patterns found in the beautiful surroundings of her home at the edge of the woods, translating them into stitch. alpenblumen
rig3 As she is also a writer, another important source of inspiration is her longing to tell stories.
 Claudia exhibits her work in local galleries and online at

She is also the founder of the Swiss Hand Embroiderers’ Guild.

Her art can be purchased at Claudia Jäggi Textile Art.

Swiss textile industry

History of the Swiss Textile Industry: Appenzeller Weissstickerei (The Whitework of Appenzell)

5130a6ef28copyright: Tourismus Appenzell

The Appenzeller Weissstickerei (whitework of Appenzell) evolved from three related craft industries: tapestry, cotton spinnery and chain stitch embroidery.

Handkerchiefs, collars, christening robes and scarfes were worked and attracted wide interest in France and the United States.

The Appenzeller Weissstickerei industry reached its peak in the fifties of the nineteenth century. Afterwards, machine embroidery largely repressed hand embroidery. But filigree work (e.g. for costume making) was (and is) still done by hand. However, there are only few hand embroidery artists today practicing this art.

e143818267copyright: Tourismus Appenzell

You can find more information about this specific whitework tradition on

(text source: Tourismus Appenzell)