Andrew on stitching the Ai Weiwei piece

Andrew on stitching the Ai Weiwei piece

“It is very humbling to be chosen for special commissions as it means Fine Cell Work has trust in me to do a good job. I am proud to contribute.

The tiny details stitched with only black and white on black and white were demanding on both fingers and eyes. Also being so large, progress seemed hard work. However, when I finished it I felt pride – the greater the struggle, the greater the sense of achievement… and relief!  Trying to maintain intricate detail and good quality stitching of the people, especially faces, was the trickiest part.


Fine Cell Work Ai Weiwei Odyssey in Quilting


I have stitched many elaborate works and special commissions for FCW. The stitching on this piece may look easy but it has been one of the most difficult pieces to create in both labour and mental motivation. The artwork is evocative, portraying the struggle on refugees' faces. The details were so very tiny.

Fine Cell Work has impacted my life in prison beyond measure. It has been a financial crutch - sending my family money and gifts would be impossible without earnings from my stitching. I spend my time productively making something that means a difference for good in the world and I take pride in completing projects.”

- Andrew, Fine Cell Work Stitcher


Read next: Ai Weiwei on Human Touch


  • Sharon on

    Wow what an epic piece of embroidered art.This will live on as the Bayeux tapestry has for generations to enjoy.It must be wonderful to have contributed to this project.Well done all who worked on this with a great artist like Ai Weiwei.The needle arts are wonderful for us who have struggled in our lives.

  • Jason Law on

    As a designer – this piece humbled me. It is so well done. Beautiful. Ai Weiwei is such an inspirational human being and this piece of work is a complement to him but just as important a testament to hard work, perseverance and incredible talent. Superb.

  • victoria walker on

    Out of this world. The images, the emotions, the stitching. Well done Andrew.

  • Ann Winchester on

    This is an incredible piece of work; I am in awe of Andrew’s talent and the huge amount of perseverance it must have taken to achieve this. Ai Weiwei was a very lucky artist :-) But he fully deserves all the luck in the world. As does Andrew. Together you have created something that is truly a masterpiece.

  • Jennie on

    WOW! WOW! WOW Andrew. This is amazing. A beautiful heirloom for people to look at and admire for years to come. You should be so proud to have been involved in such a beautiful piece. Well done and keep stitching!

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