We’ve already introduced you to thread painting, but check out Cayce Zavaglia, another hand embroidery artist who uses thread to create amazing portraits! 

Here at FurnishMyWay, we love those who are creative, especially those who take crafts we already know of and either use new materials like coffee or meld together past and present works, like these overlapping photos. So, when I came across these beautiful hand embroideries by Cayce Zavaglia, I just had to share them with y’all! I introduced you guys to thread painting when I did a post on Chloe Giordano and her cute and realistic woodland creature hand embroidery art. But, these portraits by Zavaglia are on a completely different scale of awesome! Let’s take a look at these gorgeous hand embroidery portraits, shall we?

Hand Embroidery Thread Painted Portrait Sophie by Cayce Zavaglia Artwork About Face

c/o Cayce Zavaglia

I can’t get over how intricate and beautiful this hand embroidered art is! The portrait literally looks like it was painted, as is the nature of thread painting, but I’ve never seen portraits done quite this well! Zavaglia created these portraits based on her family and friends, so everyone you see here is a real person who had their likeness forever stitched onto cloth. I find that pretty spectacular, and I bet her friends and family thought the same when they saw these beautiful works of art!

Join the conversation on Facebook → →

Hand Embroidery Thread Painted Portrait Ray by Cayce Zavaglia Artwork About Face
Hand Embroidery Thread Painted Portrait Ray Verso by Cayce Zavaglia Artwork About Face

c/o Cayce Zavaglia

One of my favorite things about Zavaglia’s work, titled About-Face, is that you can see the backs of the embroidery, which she calls the verso. It’s a long-standing tradition in the embroidery world to never ever show people the back of your work, as it's usually messy, haphazard, and no one wants to see the ‘ugly’ side of your work. The embroidery thread on the back is supposed to be out of sight, out of mind. However, Zavaglia purposely allows us to see this part of her work. Why? The answer is the juxtaposition between the pretty side of ourselves that we show the world, and the hidden, not so clean side we keep away from the world. I find this extremely intriguing and thought-provoking.

The backs of tapestries and embroideries have historically been hidden from the viewer...My show is an attempt to show both sides, and address the two sides we each possess: the presented and private self.

Cayce Zavaglia 
Artist
Hand Embroidery Thread Painted Portrait Uncle Angelo by Cayce Zavaglia Artwork About Face

c/o Cayce Zavaglia

This one amazes me. You can actually tell that his shirt has a pinstripe design on it! I know I mentioned this on the last thread painting post I did, but thread painting takes a lot of time and skill to master. It takes a lot of thinking ahead to know what color you’re going to lay in what spot so you get that painted look. It’s very tedious, but the results are spectacular! Plus, she’s embroidering on fabric she has painted over with acrylic paint, and that’s not easy to stitch through!

Hand Embroidery Thread Painted Portrait Martina Verso by Cayce Zavaglia Artwork About Face
Hand Embroidery Thread Painted Portrait Martina Verso by Cayce Zavaglia Artwork About Face

c/o Cayce Zavaglia

The colors in this embroidery art are beautiful. I love the deep navy and teals on the bright blue of the painted background. You can even see the flyaways in her pinned back hair, which is an insane amount of detail to put into a piece of hand embroidery! I think my favorite part of this one is the way Zavaglia stitched the shirt collar. You can barely tell the polka dots are stitched, let alone the almost invisible teal button!

Hand Embroidery Thread Painted Portrait Uncle Stevie by Cayce Zavaglia Artwork About Face

c/o Cayce Zavaglia

I think this is one of my favorites of all of her works, next to Raphaella in Her Winter Coat (the featured image). I love how even the bow tie has an insane amount of detail and time put into it. You can see every single mustache hair, and the subtle gingham pattern on the shirt! It’s mind-blowing, and I cannot get over the intricacy in all of Zavaglia’s embroidery designs!

Like FurnishMyWay
Follow FurnishMyWay
Follow FurnishMyWay
Hand Embroidery Painted Portrait Greg Sr Verso by Cayce Zavaglia Artwork About Face

c/o Cayce Zavaglia

Recently, Zavaglia started adding acrylic paintings of her thread painted works into her galleries. She chooses to paint the verso sides of her embroideries, on a very large scale, so people can see just how intricately the embroidery threads meld together on the back.

There you have it, folks! Another gorgeous textile artist who thread paints some pretty spectacular portraits of her family and friends! Which piece by Cayce Zavaglia was your favorite? I’m quite partial to Raphaella in Her Winter Coat! Comment and let me know, and don’t forget to share this post with your family and friends! And, as always, stay creative, my friends!

**All images c/o Cayce Zavaglia