A sampler is a piece of stitched fabric made to practice, log and exhibit a maker's needlework. Before the mass manufacture of printed textiles, embroiderers used samplers to record effects, elements and designs for guidance in future textile undertakings. Depicting hand-stitched figures, motifs, decorative borders and texts, select samplers were also used as a way to demonstrate technical ability.
Over history, samplers have chronicled the technology and culture of countless civilizations. Embedded with figures of birds, plants and mythological beings, the earliest extant sampler is from the Nazca culture in Peru, dated to the 2nd Century BCE.
The word sampler comes from the Latin word exemplum, meaning example. Reunited with the tarot of 100+ blank business cards I purchased in an office supplies store in Tokyo, I hope to dedicate some time to working in a 9.0 x 5.5-centimetre format - sampling, documenting and refining for reference and progress. More here.