Candace Bahouth, a New Yorker of Italian- Lebanese descent, studied at Syracuse University in upstate New York before moving to England. For over thirty years she has lived in a small village in Somerset in one of England’s most beautiful and unspoilt rural areas near Glastonbury. To start with she was best known as a tapestry weaver. In the 1970’s her famous punk tapestry was added to the Victorian and Albert Museum’s collection and large scale tapestry portraits of Peter Blake, Gilbert and George and David Hockney have followed. A few years ago she was invited to design the church hangings for the Lady Chapel at Winchester Cathedral. Needlepoint design was a logical extension and she has been designing kits for us for over twenty years.
Shoe sculptures Shelled creations
‘Medieval Needlepoint’ was published in 1993 and was an instant bestseller. Candace Bahouth has an instinctive affinity with this period. “I love this world of magnificent colours and dazzling patterns which extend from tiled floors to richly decorated jesters’ stockings and layered clothes of silk, brocade, velvet and damask embroidered with gold; to curling hats and trailing mantles set against a backdrop of millefleurs woven tapestries and softcoloured buildings, with tiled roofs in complex patterns. Over all these delights hang the blue heavens, filled with constellations and a sun and moon each with its own face.” Sumptuous colour and rich pattern are constants in her work and her needlework borders combine both to magnificent effect. Colour and pattern also predominate in the designs she has based on the backgrounds found in Gustav Klimt’s paintings and her series of Klimt needlepoints have been among the most popular we have ever produced.
In recent years she has moved into mosaics with her hallmark flair and originality. She covers the ceilings of grottos in shells, decorates furniture creating trompe l’oeil illusions with mosaic, designs obelisks, stone pillars and mosaic covered walls for gardens and in 2006 produced a stunning collection of feathered and mirrored shoe sculptures for an exhibition in Bath. All of these wonders can be seen on her website.