Designer Creates Bold Flower Portraits, Painted with Thread

Embroidered flowers

Embroidered Flower Triptych, designed by Jean Ferlesch

Jean Ferlesch

Jean Ferlesch

By Claudia Marshall

‘I feel like a country girl stuck in the city,” says artist Jean Ferlesch. From her home base in Brighton Beach, NY, Ferlesch brings to bear her rich experience in art and design on her gorgeous tapestries. Translating her love of floral photography into silken embroidery is a multi-step process, informed by five years of experimentation. “It takes time to develop as an artist,” says Ferlesh.

Sunflower detail

Detail of a sunflower that's part of the triptych.

Ferlesch spent decades designing for upscale Manhattan department stores, including Bloomingdales. But, she notes, “I really wanted to do something a lot more original for me, from me.” Each embroidered floral piece starts with photography, advances to the sketch phase, goes through a digitization process and finally ends with embroidery. Ferlesch compares the embroidery process to watercolor painting, with layering of multiple colors and threads.

How does she know when a piece is a success? “I think it has a certain boldness. I wanted my business to have soul. I think it’s a drive to do something powerful and unique.”

embroidery detail

Detail of a thistle blossom, one of the flowers featured in the Embroidered Flower Triptych.

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