Although percussion has been a trend for the last few years, loop sewing techniques have been around for nearly two centuries. Monica Danowska found Instagram Rose Pearlman, who was looking for a suitable means to “express herself artistically” and … lost. While having fun, she develops an old embroidery tradition under the pseudonym Pan Candy. We invite you to talk to an inspiring Creator!
You are known on the Internet as Mr. Candy, the creator of punch needle stitches, which is stealing more and more people’s hearts. Where did the idea for this technique come from? Do you have an art education or did you start this activity for leisure?
Monica Danowska: Although not romantic, I am indebted to the idea of working with needlework … Instagram algorithm that gave me a post in 2019 Rose Pearlman – American artist, craftsman and punch needle teacher. At the time, the world of my handicrafts was quite interesting; weaving, collage, mixed techniques. The impact needle was like a blue bolt. In my mind, “I’m going to make carpets, that’s it!” – It took about 7 seconds to make a decision. I hastily ordered the basic materials very blindly, some from the United States, some from the United Kingdom, some from Poland. I began a long history of trial and error, but also found the ideal environment in which I could turn it into a work. Today I sew full-time, although I did not expect it. I just wanted to be artistically crazy. It was hard to learn at first; lack of materials, lack of any content suitable for the Polish market, it takes the longest time to master the selection of suitable materials. A lot has changed in less than 3 years, it’s easier to get started, and I’m trying to meet people who want to try this technique – I recently opened an online store with punch needle learning materials.
I have no art education and I do not consider it a condition for a career. I am a zoo and amateur engineer, and after graduating I started caring for dogs. I didn’t give up my hairstyle, but today I take pictures of furry, thready places instead of dogs.
What exactly is a stroke needle?
The punch needle, sometimes known as loop embroidery, is an artisanal technique for making carpets from the United States and Canada. The specificity of the action performed differs from that of ordinary embroidery; We attach the needle to the fabric, but do not pull the thread to the other side. Using a percussion needle, we can cover a large area in a relatively short time, depending on the needle and thread used. The work is enjoyed fairly quickly in the form of visual effects. The impact needle allows for more and is more forgiving – if something goes wrong, the area can tear and repeat; without damaging the fabric and yarn, without creating any waste – this is special. With the help of this technique, we can independently create decorative and utility projects – textile paintings, pillows, rugs or patches for clothing and accessories. There really are no restrictions.
What is the creative process and cooperation with the customer?
I use very simple tools to create a punch needle project, even a project with a complex structure and colors; yarn, fabric or special needle extending over the frame or hoop. The key to success is the proper selection of these elements.
Working with clients, I assign a specific color palette and discuss inspirations – these can be photos – inspirations, interior photos, moodboards or even my previous projects. Sometimes we talk about what the future owner and his relatives like. Although I create mostly abstract works – sometimes I try to avoid the figurative accent, which is an important symbol for the client or brings good memories.
Working with me requires a lot of trust from the client, because there is no initial design or sketch – all my work is improvised. The last effect is also a surprise for me.
Is the customer the most private person, or have you ever decorated a company interior?
Most of my works have passed into the hands of private clients, who decorate the walls of their homes or order gifts for their loved ones on different days – birthdays, anniversaries and weddings. Sometimes the company buys my paintings.
I would like to do some work for a restaurant or hotel – everything is still ahead of me!
What is the question of interest – growing, punch needles are becoming increasingly popular?
Interest in punch needles is very high this year and is growing dynamically. I think this is mainly due to social media. I would like to emphasize that loop embroidery is not a new technique – it is about 200 years old! This craft wakes up after a very long sleep. Some have old knitting needles at home, which their mothers and grandmothers used in technical and drawing classes at school. I think it’s worth looking for corners and drawers – as a rule, knitting needles have not changed, and these old tools are as functional as modern.
Are you planning to expand your business in any way?
I think there are several potential scenarios for the development of my business, but my main values are the joy of the process and job satisfaction. I would like the development of my small business to meet these key elements. I started selling my works to clients from Poland and around the world. Punch needle accessory store opened in January – pancukierek.pl. I see that there are many people who want to try this technique, and I want to focus on this area first. I plan to start stationary workshops in the coming months – so we will meet soon.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
It may sound a bit clichéd, but I’m mostly inspired. I work primarily with intuition and imagination, which leads to the next set of patterns without much difficulty – I really appreciate these tools. I am mainly drawn to abstraction, which I call “yarn dyeing”. When working on my own projects, I try not to limit my creative process to any framework, but to cooperate with the client – a certain framework belongs to me, of course, but in all this there is still a lot of sluggishness and spontaneity. – I have a great time.
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