search /// embroidery

patricia larocque

Embroidery that makes me not hate snakes… now that is something special! This is the colorful, hilarious and wonderfully weird work of Canadian {France based} artist Patricia Larocque. Are you wondering, “What? Why? Where?”… I’ll let Patricia explain:

“The designs stem from my over active imagination that braids in imagery from horror films and the stranger-then-fiction stories of reality TV.”

Ahhhh yes, that makes sense. That description also explains why her Instagram feed makes me happy and scared all at the same time.

francesca cramer

Seriously, that horse is the best… I feel happier just looking at her. This is the work of UK based {I think?} artist Francesca Cramer. Yes, we’ve seen embroidery on vintage postcards before, but there’s something so lovely about Francesca’s whimsical work. The ivy, the mossy cottage roof … and I mentioned how much I love that little horse, right? Happy Friday.

ps. I’m in San Francisco for my book tour right now, and I’ll be talking, Q&A’ing and signing books at Hashimoto Contemporary tomorrow afternoon from 2-4pm. AND, Seonna Hong will be there with me! She has a solo show at Hashimoto right now and she also happens to be one of the artists in the book… win win!

“petrified and totally excited”

Embroidery. Yes, everything except that lovely pink background is done with thread. THREAD. Cayce Zavaglia is an American painter who now uses stitches instead of brushstrokes – although, paint has recently come back into her arsenal. In reverse. Huh? Well just listen right up there under “Florence”, or subscribe on iTunes, and it will all make sense very soon.

First, a handful of Cayce’s insanely beautiful embroidered portraits… brace yourself for the realism:

Yeah, thread. Teeny tiny perfect little stitches, all coming together to create absolutely stunning portraits of Cayce’s friends and family. I mean, WHAT!?

So creating this work is exciting enough, but then she started flipping her pieces over and VOILA, the “Verso” series:

Messy but beautiful… just like life.

Well, why stop there, right? Might as well be “petrified and totally excited”! Here’s what happened when Cayce decided to pick up her paints again:

Gasp! Verso paintings! And wait until you see them in context {especially that last piece above}:


Double gasp!

And finally, I have to show you some of Cayce’s process shots… found, of course, on her dreamy Instagram feed:

Love! And there she is in action. Seriously, I could NOT do what Cayce does. Thank goodness for that little ball she squeezes while stuck in traffic so that her hands stay strong! Thanks so much to Cayce for doing this with me; thanks to Saatchi Art and Thrive for supporting the episode; and BIG thanks to you for listening. There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Sarah Ball, Artist
  2. Alex Katz, Artist



hinke schreuders

Embroidery on paper on linen… not to mention pearls, beads, and little yellow balls of fluff. This is the mixed media work of Amsterdam based artist Hinke Schreuders. I couldn’t find any information on why she does what she does, but I’m glad she does it. Lovely.

cayce zavaglia

I mean, what!? I’ve written about American artist Cayce Zavaglia and her insane embroidery portraits before, but every now and then I like to swing by and see what’s new on her site … and today I found these quirky little kids in the middle of some gorgeous / colorful negative space. LOVE. And just to reiterate my earlier eloquent observation… what!?

rana balca ülker

Portraits, painting, petals AND embroidery? Oh, so many of my favorite things (done beautifully) all in one spot! This is the gorgeous work of Istanbul based artist Rana Balca Ülker. I wasn’t able to find out very much about Rana, but I do know that I love her work.

{Thanks to artist Melanie Biehle for pointing me to Rana’s work.}


“DON’T WORRY IT’S ALL FUCKED” … a hand embroidered, double-sided piece of art. This is the work of a Sydney based duo known as Maricor/Maricar… aka sisters, Maricor and Maricar Manalo. They make all sorts of beautiful things {for both art lovers and commercial clients}, but given the state of the world at the moment, I thought this piece was appropriate. Here’s why they made it:

“In this double sided embroidery the positive and negative messages are contained within each other. Often self help/uplifting quotes can seem a little overly positive and off-puttingly earnest, so we wanted to create a tongue in cheek response to that stereotype. Everything is all fucked so you may as well try not too worry and be happy while you can.” 

I’ll try.

ps. Prints of this work are available in their online shop.

preta wolzak

Gasp! These powerful portraits are from a series, by Amsterdam based artist Preta Wolzak, titled “Ma Petite Inuit”. Embroidery thread, leather, suede, and yarn living in perfect harmony for this very beautiful purpose:

“Homage to the people who are the first to deal with climate change, tourism and mining for resources.” 


gao rong

Gasp! It’s like spirograph come to life … with thread! This is the dizzying work of Chinese artist Gao Rong. A lot of her work involves “assimilating entire replicas of cars, tables, washing machines and other household objects in fabrics”, but this 2016 series took her in a more circular direction:

“A new direction in her oeuvre is an expansion of her fine embroidery practice, where she weaves abstract shapes across wooden hoop frames, looking at the intersections between domestic and public spaces. These works premiered in her second solo show in the U.S., “The Simple Line,” at Klein Sun Gallery.” 

Beautiful, right? Well, just wait until you see these beauties installed:

You’re welcome ♥

ying chew

In. Awe. This is the elegant, meticulous, and kind of haunting work {hand embroidery, petit point on cotton} of Australia-based artist Ying Chew. All of these lovely faces look like they have stories to tell … and quite a few secrets to keep. Beautiful.