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5 Mind-Blowing Sewing Machine Sculptures


Rather than repurposing vintage sewing machines into novel items unrelated to sewing, clever as they may be, some artists have taken great inspiration from the classic form and the intended purpose of our beloved machines.

These artists' work may emphasize the engineering and aesthetic beauty of the machine, like John A. Peralta's dissected Singer above, or bring a highly stylized vision to the sewing machine's shape and design. Others introduce whimsy with entirely unexpected media, color, context or in some cases, the artist's unique motivation.

Just when we thought we'd "seen it all," these artists remind us that no, that will never happen. Highly imaginative and skilled artists will always manage to surprise us, and we're thankful.



John A. Peralta | New Mexico



John A. Peralta, a self-taught artist, disassembles detailed engineered objects to create real-life "exploded diagrams" by meticulously and artfully suspending the parts with great precision. He explains his "Mechanations" at johnperaltafineart.com:

In 2005, while living in Hong Kong, I came across an exploded diagram of a bicycle on the back of a magazine. I was inspired by its fragile beauty, and imagined a three-dimensional version with a real object. Using only a ruler and simple tools, which I still use today, I developed techniques for suspension which expose the inner workings of these humble mechanical objects. The subjects I choose for the Mechanations series are icons of utility and invention. I also like to think they hold memories that we've long forgotten. They've watched generations pass; recorded every scene, love letter, and document. Each image, word, and note is permanently imprinted on them.

Artist: John A. Peralta



Jennifer Collier | UK



Making fabric from paper, Jennifer Collier uses recycled materials and multiple techniques to push textile art into new directions. She discusses her work at jennifercollier.co.uk:

By bonding, waxing, trapping and stitching I produce unusual paper 'fabrics,' which are used to explore the 'remaking' of household objects. The papers are treated as if cloth, with the main technique employed being stitch; a contemporary twist on traditional textiles. I use both hand and machine stitch in my work, and where possible try to use traditional embroidery techniques.


Artist: Jennifer Collier


Katharine Morling | UK


"Stitched Up" by Katharine Morling

Porcelain sculptor Katharine Morling creates intricately detailed monochromatic pieces and has this to say about her work at katharinemorling.co.uk:
I am interested in presenting ceramics in a way which makes the viewer take a second look; where the material is not always immediately recognisable, which is exactly what I am doing when I create a piece, taking a second look at my unconscious life.






Anne Butler | UK


"Remnant" in layered porcelain by Anne Butler

Contrasting "technology with the hand-made," Anne Butler works with specialized porcelain. She explains her work at annebutlerceramics.com:
My working method is intrinsically connected to the act of making and experimenting with techniques such as moulding, casting, layering. Some of the processes I employ are traditional, whereas others are borrowed and developed from other disciplines associated to an object... I presently work with Parian Porcelain but past work has also been in unfired clay and Egyptian paste. Parian was developed in mid 1800 to mimic marble and has a satin quality as a solid and a delicacy and translucency when thin which records each process of making; creating objects that, like archaeology, evidence their own history and that of the maker.
Artist: Anne Bulter



Jessica Dance | UK


Jessica Dance created this wool model of the John Lewis brand sewing machine (below).

Prop and model maker Jessica Dance has created significant commissioned works for commercial buyers, publications, and brands, and has also exhibited her work. The sewing machine above is explained at jessicadance.com:
Commissioned by UK department store John Lewis to design and create a knitted installation aiming to inspire customers and encourage them to think differently about wool. One of my most detailed knitted sculptures to date, the aim was to create a woolly doppleganger of the department store’s most popular sewing machine.
Below is the model machine that she replicated.

The sewing machine that Jessica Dance replicated in wool.



Serghei Pakhomoff | Russia




Russian freelancer Serghei Pakhomoff once worked on an advertising campaign for a pasta company, and this led to an idea to sculpt with the dry pasta from supermarket shelves. While small school children are familiar with "macaroni art," Serghei has taken the form to an extreme level. His pieces can require 30 hours to make.

Perhaps not "fine art," and admittedly the machine is positioned backwards, we still can't help but admire the ingenuity and attention to detail in some areas: the handcrank, the spool, the Singer name on the arm. The drawer doesn't make sense, but let's not "pick it to pieces" - grab your own box of pasta and boil some water if you find yourself suddenly hungry.



Bonus: A Sixth Sculpture We Love


It's rustic and a bit rough, but it possesses a truly vintage charm. This wooden sculpture is believed to have been a 20th century trade sign. 


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