Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Embroidered Portraits: Detailed & Gorgeous!


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Michael Cook of Wormspit sent along a link the other day to the website belonging to artist Cayce Zavaglia. Cayce is an artist who uses fibers (wool and acrylic) on canvas to create painted portraits, or at least what looks like painted portraits. This is needle painting taken truly to the artist’s level! It is amazing how Cayce Zavaglia uses strategically stitched threads to create these gorgeous portraits – and it is definitely worth taking a good look at the website!

Cayce Zavaglia Embroidered Artwork

While visiting Cayce’s website, be sure to read the artist’s statement. Cayce notes the difference between mixing colors of paint and mixing colors of thread – and how creating a system of stitching with the threads in a certain sequence of colors brought about the illusion of painting with certain tones. It is positively fascinating to see the detail in the stitching and the overall effect of the thread placement when stepping back a bit from the work.

Cayce Zavaglia Embroidered Artwork

The neckline of this wooly sweatshirt is perfection. I can’t decide what I like better – this or the earrings on Sophie. If you take a look at the “artwork” section of the site, when you get to Sophie (towards the end of the slideshow), click on her to see the up-close details. Note her earrings! Incredible!

If you’re looking for inspiration, or if you just like browsing through amazing textile art, go visit Cacye Zavaglia’s website! And prepare to be astounded!


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(19) Comments

  1. Mary, thank you for that link. The portraites are stunning. What a tallented lady. I like both the close ups you point out but would like to add the close up of her Dad’s eye to the list.

  2. Hello Mary,

    Love your site!
    I was able to see the photos at the Cayce’s site but was not able see where to read the artist’s statement. Could you send me the URL
    for her website?

    1. Hi, All – They’re gorgeous, aren’t they?!

      Barbara – if you click on the link above, it’ll take you to the website. There are no individual URLs within the site – it is all done, I think, by Flash. If you look at the taps on the top left of the main “picture,” you’ll find one that says “Statement” – click that, and it should take you right to it.


  3. Thanks for sharing. I’ll be looking at the details for months. Just finished the boxes of your Long and Short Stitch Lesson. Can’t thank you enough for your inspiration and online help.

  4. G’day Mary,

    This is so umm…well all I can say is move over Sydney’s Archibald Portrait Prize.

    Thanks Michael for the site info and Mary for sharing.

    I have a bad chest infection (2wks now and not much better,Dr again Mon I suppose) and my sister in law has suddenly taken very, very ill so am floundering with my usual daily comments. I don’t like suddenly dropping off. Feels like loosing contact with family and I enjoy commenting. I only watch 2 blogs, your’s and a friends photograph blog. Running to Syd hosp (7hr round trip) and with the worry probably got a bit run down and the bugs take hold then. Anyway, disturbed with cough so took the chance of diversion to pop in here. You don’t need to know all this eh. Thanks for listening.

    I’ve had a good look through the site and also her favouite artist’s sites etc and feel relaxed and sleepy again. I really enjoyed it.

    Cheers Mary, Kath.

  5. Thanks for sharing….The website (Cayce Zavaglia) was amazing, and breath taking. I have so much to learn about embroidery and fiber art work…


  6. Mary,

    I’m glad you posted this link. I also work as a realist fiber artist. You might enjoy my portraits, also. I have a somewhat different style, but I am also transliterating paint to fiber. I go about it differently. I wish I’d had her notes on technique.

    Here is my Flickr page if you don’t want to page all of the way through my blog. It also shows works in various stages: http://www.flickr.com/photos/15177141@N06/

    Alexandra Walters

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