Why string art is the granddaddy of prick and stitch card making

Friday 29 August 2008

Way back in the swinging 1960s I was given a string art kit for Christmas. The kit had silver string, black felt for the background, a backing board and lots of nails. The picture was a sailing boat. I had great fun making the picture and it hung proudly in the hall for many years.

The string art picture usually starts with the design printed on paper. This is placed on a backing board and small nails hammered in the positions marked. The paper is removed and coloured strings are wound around the nails to form the pattern.

String art picture making is believed to have been the inspiration for prick and stitch card making. The main connection being the way the picture is formed by long threads that go backwards across the picture. Pricked holes take the place of the nails with the thread going in and out of holes rather than around the nails.

I guess that it was nostalgia that led me to start the String Art Fun web site. When it came to designing string art patterns I found my experience with prick and stitch card patterns came in handy.

If you fancy trying your hand at string art there are several free patterns on the String Art Fun web site.

A boat from the String Art web site.

A boat from the String Art web site.

Do you remember any string art patterns from years ago? If so let me know by adding a comment to this post.

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6 thoughts on “Why string art is the granddaddy of prick and stitch card making

  1. Judy

    My Dad used to make the string art pictures years ago and I was always fascinated by them. Perhaps that is why I was so taken with being able to create greeting cards this way.

  2. Bazza

    Many years ago the Americas Cup was run in Perth West Australia and the yachts looked impressive. I designed 3 picures, 1 yacht with the Australian colours, 1 with the American colours and 1 of the Americas cup done in silver. All done on a dark blue velvet background.
    I made them up and showed them to a friend of mine who told an American tourist about them and he made me an offer to good to refuse. I believe they were hanging in his office in the US for quite a few years.

    Bazza

  3. Bazza

    Just as a matter of interest, when I made the Americas Cup set, I used Nickel Plated Escutcheon Pins, and when I started and finished off each section, I put a small ammount of clear nail polish on the end of the thread. This stops the knot from coming undone and also stopped the end of the thread from fraying.

    Bazza

  4. Judy

    Some of the patterns I remember my Dad making were of things like the sail boat, a spinning wheel, a penny farthing bike, a wind mill, an owl and his most favourite at that time, was one of Concord in flight. He used something like small shoe brads, the type you used to put a new heel on a shoe with. His colours came from using something called Twilly’s twine, which was all shiny and twinkly.

  5. sally

    How did you reduce the pattern size for the greeting card? the directions are for an 8×10 or 5×7 picture with nails and string

    1. DJ Post author

      String art and prick and stitch use a different stringing/stitching sequence so direct reduction is not the best approach Sally. For example, the string art candle pattern that I have just converted to prick and stitch was a complete redesign. I took the basic drawing and started again with different spacing on the holes and a revised stitching sequence. With string art the string usually goes across the design, around one nail and back across the design. On a stitching card the thread usually goes across the design, in at one hole and out of another before going back across the design.

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