Series: Stories from beehive front panels
Motif: by Aleksij Kobal
Type: Embroidered painting
Technique: Mixed embroidery
Year: 2013 - ongoing
Edition: Limited (30)

Size: Small
Dimension: 32 x 14 cm | 12.6 x 5.5 in
Number of stitches: over 190,000
Thread length: over 2 km | over 1.2 mi
Thread colours: 34
Development: over 60 person hours


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About the artwork

Painted beehive front panels are autochthonous part of Slovene cultural heritage. First ones were done by Slovene peasants in the 18th century and used to carry solely religious motifs, however, in the 19th century, beekeepers turned toward secular depictions, too. Through the last decade, many Slovene painters revive this, almost forgotten art by recreating old motifs in their own modern styles, part of this being a series of beehive front panel embroideries, done by Ercigoj art in cooperation with numerous Slovene artists.

Brewing alcohol beverages and distilling alcohol has always been a very common occupation of people in Slovenia. Also, traditional distilleries brewing schnapps and other hard liquors have been popular motifs on beehive front boards, and Aleksij Kobal gave the motif a unique combination of architecture and endless skies.

About the artist

Aleksij Kobal is a painter of landscapes that can be vividly imagined but not experienced physically. Of impossible buildings that are seen but cannot be entered. Of atmospheric clouds turning into mists. Of spaces floating in the abyss of the mind. Everything is in complete silence perhaps or in droning echoes of memories. He is a painter of visions that are propelled gently and intimately, yet are powerfull mentaly and spiritualy.

Born in 1962 in Koper. He graduated and completed his masters studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana. In 2016 he received the Prešeren Foundation award, the highest national honor for artistic expression in Slovenia.


Innovation of layering

We layer multiple colours of threads and so create rich embroidery and colour texture that is impossible to create with classic one-layer embroidery technique. By layering, we develop colour transitions and shadowing, by which we create multiple-colour surfaces, similar to pointillism painting.

Smooth transitions and shading

By intertwining threads of endless colours and creating colour transitions, we can shape soft shadows, make one surface transition into another and mix colours into an endless multitude of hues. This way, we can also recreate motives from photographs and sophisticated art paintings which wouldn’t be possible with classic embroidery technique, using vector surfaces.

Sophisticated colour calibration

Usually in embroidery, 10 or 20, maybe 30 colours of threads are used. We use around 1,000 colour hues and if a colour still doesn’t match the desired one, we create it by layering and colour transitions. We have digitally scanned colours of all threads by using a spectrograph, so we can colour match any colour from an original material or from CMYK, RGB or Pantone colour schemes.


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Other motifs by Aleksij Kobal