Works in Progress- Nightcrawlers

a fabric art piece made from sackcloth that resembles a giant centipede

I think artists and hoarders have the same gift/curse of finding a use for anything-


Including scraps of sackcloth 🤗

I’ve been using sackcloth for several projects recently. I love the textures you can get with it and I love how the frayed edges look like little roots sticking and searching out.

To prepare it I take a big coffee bag (what the actual green raw coffee beans come in- it helps to be friends with a coffee roaster) i cut it up into smaller pieces and remove the seams. Then I soak them in water with a good amount of backing soda for a few days then thoroughly rinse them out in several changes of water. The baking soda helps to leach out the tannins in the burlap and makes it more supple and with the water any oils left on the cloth are washed away. It also frays the cut strands of jute or sisal or whatever it’s made from – so you get these really interesting feathered edges.

Anyway- so I had finished rinsing a batch and as I laid the pieces of sackcloth to dry I was immediately struck as to how animated some of the scraps of sackcloth looked- esp the sections with seams-

With the frayed strands coming out of it the first thing that popped into mind was a centipede with dozens of little legs.

Not to mention other potential bug-like forms-

So I tweaked the threads a bit then soaked each piece of fabric in a bit of glue water-

Now this really looks like a giant centipede
At first glace they really look alive – like they could crawl off the table and right up your leg
A roach like form
The antenna on this one came out quite nicely
Wasn’t expecting the scorpion-like form this piece of cloth turned into

I added some wadded up paper ephemera for stuffing- gives the crawlers a little more depth- so they really pop off the ground 😧


Next a little dry time and then they will be ready for a skin of paint. Stay tuned….



  1. Au Québec, on appellerai ça des “bébittes” (c’est un mot pour nommer des insectes quand on ne connaît pas leur nom). Beau travail, ça ressemble beaucoup à ce que je retrouve dans mon jardin l’été.

    Liked by 1 person

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