From San Francisco to Budapest to Amsterdam
(and many adventures in between)
Sarah Pedlow, Artist, Founder, Instructor.
I love connecting with people, sharing the beauty of traditions, photography, and embroidery. In 2009 I attended an artist's residency program in Budapest, as a photographer and mixed media artist. Visiting the Neprajzi Ethnographic Museum one afternoon, the traditional Hungarian clothing and textiles set my heart on fire, sparking the first ideas for ThreadWritten.
At home in San Francisco, I couldn’t stop thinking about the vibrant floral patterns and detailed stitching. In 2012 I went to Transylvania, Romania searching for women who still practice Kalotaszeg written embroidery, called írásos in Hungarian. Through trial and error, serendipity, and the help of generous people, I met women who embroider in the disappearing style. For three years I manufactured bags and pillows made with a select handful of artisans in the Kalotaszeg region. I never thought I’d visit Romania and this fall I’ll return for the sixth time.
Since 2014 I have been lecturing on Hungarian embroidery and teaching workshops on the Transylvanian Written style. In 2016 I expanded my research, teaching, and personal art practice through textile artist’s residencies in Iceland and Mexico, followed by a residency in The Netherlands, independent embroidery study in Ukraine, and travel in Portugal.
In April 2019 I moved from Oakland, California to Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In August I led the first Gather & Stitch Cultural Textile Retreat in Viana do Castelo, Portugal. This marked a new focus: small group, creative, embroidery retreats where we learn from artisans in lesser-traveled regions of Portugal, Hungary, Romania, and my new home, The Netherlands.
ThreadWritten offers creative embroidery workshops in Europe and the US. Several times a year I return to the US to teach at venues including the Handcraft Studio School in El Cerrito, CA, San Francisco School of Needlework and Design, WildCraft Studio School in Portland, OR, and Tatter, Brooklyn, NY.
I hold an MFA in Visual Arts (installation, mixed media) from Rutgers University and a BA in Studio Art and French Studies from Scripps College, Claremont, CA. My fine art has been exhibited in the U.S. and Europe.