Motif: after Claude Monet
Type: Embroidered painting
Technique: Mixed embroidery
Year: 2018 - ongoing
Edition: Limited (99)

Size: Medium
Dimension: 70 x 70 cm | 27.6 x 27.6 in
Number of stitches: over 11.2 mio
Thread length: over 18 km | over 11.2 mi
Thread colours: 60
Development: over 500 person hours


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About the artwork

Monet has, for a long while, enjoyed painting and exhibiting series of paintings depicting the same subject and perspective. Water Lilies are among his most prolific series in this regard, as he has painted approximately 250 pieces with this motif, depicting his flower garden at home in Giverny.

It’s been known that Monet has planted water lilies himself and has defied local authorities demanding to uproot the rare species that he had imported from Egypt and South America. This small act of defiance gave the world a series of revered and priceless impressionist paintings.

Whether the impressionist style of Monet is based on his failing eyesight as the critics claimed, or by his genius and mastery is still a matter of debate, but no one can deny that the paintings are, due also to their imperfections, heavenly beautiful.

These imperfections were the biggest challenge in recreating the motif as an embroidered piece of art – they bring colour transitions to a miniature scale, as each stroke of the painter’s brush becomes several embroidered layers. The motif required to correctly recreate extraordinary number of colours, and attention was given to every single stitch in the embroidered art piece.

About the artist

A founder and most admired representative of impressionism. Monet was a master of capturing a moment, a glimpse in time. Working with fast brushstrokes outdoors, en plein air, he best expressed the impressionist movement’s philosophy of revealing one’s perceptions before nature. He adopted a method of painting the same scene many times and his works show effects that changes in light and atmosphere have on a subject.


Extraordinary number of stitches

In a classic embroidery, the number of stitches is somewhere between 20,000 and 200,000, and is limited by stretching and contracting of materials. By overcoming this limitations, we are able to make embroideries with millions of stitches which enables us to produce photorealistic embroideries and recreate any painting of any artistic style.

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.

Water Lilies by Ercigoj

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