Courtney M Cox

Courtney M Cox

About The Artist

Courtney Cox • Chattanooga, TN
Fiber and Textiles - Homegoods • CUSTOM COMMISSIONS

Working as a fiber artist with a specialization in hand embroidery, my art addresses modern observations through an ancient lens. Using the everyday tools of a needle and thread, my social commentary art tells the stories of society one thread at a time. My work often uses portraiture to investigate and communicate about issues and experiences. These pieces are often stitched as a response to my own emotions as I observe and move through the world. Self-taught in the art of hand embroidery, my work does not consciously adhere to any rules or traditions apparent in the legacy of hand embroidery. In my work I have combined hand embroidery with watercolor and found objects, as well as employing unusual mounting, such as onto a backward canvas or flyswatter. Often, I work with dissolving fabric and the cutting away of materials. In every piece, my careful use of needle and thread invokes a sense of discovery.


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

My process begins with the selection of a reference photo that is then sketched onto dissolving fabric. I hand embroider the portrait using a blend of cotton, synthetic, and metallic embroidery floss. When the portrait is finished, I cut away the excess fabric, dissolve what remains, and select a final surface for mounting. I often use unusual mounting practices, such as fly swatters or plastic. Other times, I will stitch the portrait to a different fabric, which is then stretched over artist's canvas.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

Hand embroidery has a long and storied history, often thought of as fussy and adhering to many rules. I enjoy playing on those outdated associations by stitching detailed portraits, using unexpected colors, and mounting on unusual surfaces. My process is experimental, which is endlessly interesting to me.

What is something unique about you or your practice?

Beyond the subject matter (portraits), the most unique aspect of my work is how it is finished, mounted, and displayed. There are a lot of other fiber artists who specialize in portraits, but I don't know of another that works with dissolving fabric. This twist on the traditional frees up my work and opens the door to attaching embroidery to unexpected items.