Ercigoj Art – embroidered artwork

Ercigoj Embroidery has been creating embroideries on the verge of art for 90 years. We owe the knowledge of exquisite embroidery to our rich history of producing embroidered banners. Many demanding motifs on banners were based on murals, paintings, statues and other pieces of art. We have perfected the embroidery techniques to the point where any motif can be expressed with needles and threads. Our embroidery has transcended the boundaries of products and became a unique medium for artistic expression. You can view our gallery of embroidered art at www.ercigojart.com.

We started the project Ercigoj Art with proprietary embroidered art, created from motifs captured in photos. The largest embroidered art made in our company to this date is the picture of the Old Man, which we based on a photo taken by the renowned photographer Arne Hodalič. We layered the embroidery to create the age-worn skin of the old man – this method creates the impression of a true, living picture, by interweaving the different embroidery techniques.
We moved away from the traditional painting with this piece, as it hangs freely like a tapestry and is not stretched over a wooden frame.
As time progressed, we wished to involve ourselves in the creative process of true art. We got in contact with several outstanding Slovenian artists and in cooperation with them created impressive embroidered pieces of art in large format. Each picture is a project on its own. Creating the embroidered art is a process spanning several months of work.

The biggest challenge in these projects is finding the correct balance between our interpretation of the motif within embroidery techniques, and the wishes and specific style of each artist. The end result must be a masterpiece, based on cooperation with the artist, where embroidery as a medium is utilised with all its possibilities. We created embroidered art with artists who use very different styles of expression for narration.

We create several studies for each of the artworks. Creation of the embroidery demands constant cooperation with the artist, from thread color selection to choosing the right embroidery techniques for each separate detail. This cooperation proved crucial, as the process, sequence of embroidery, layering and utilisation of colors is often identical to the process the artist would use when painting the motif with traditional methods.

Plesničar’s “Dandelion Runner” holding a dandelion clock in his lifted hand is a parable of human cravings, yearnings, and phantasms. These, though seemingly irrational in the eyes of the beholder, “set us in motion” and give sense to our existence. The central and integral part an idée fixe plays in an individual’s life is exquisitely expressed through perspective and composition. The bird’s eye view of The Dandelion Runner’s outstretched body is all-pervading; his idée fixe leaves no place for anything else. He touches the soft grass carpet under his feet with the tips of his toes only. He seems to be all but lifting off the ground on the wings of his craving.
Using different embroidery techniques for the dandelion (impressionistic blending of colours) and for the runner (focused, sharp and contrasty embroidery), the perspective is accentuated even more.

Uroš Weinberger’s “Homoid” is a human-like creature. Originaly a photo of a boy with a gun from a child toy packaging – the starting point for the composition building. The painting is built from two basic layers – the background displaying the boy without the weapon, and on top of it dominantly, presented with simple line art, the Homoid – the symbolical creature, representing a demon, a modern mechanized government employee – the soldier. The vivid, warm colors of the embroidery are in stark contrast with the deep dark motif, creating an illusion of a pleasant image, and then sublimely hitting the viewer with its truth. This effect is emphasized even more by the use of the embroidery techniques, transforming the painting into a living image with the light and shade of the threads.

The story of “After a Hard Day’s Work” by Vladimir Leben is based on a true story about the life of stray dogs in Moscow. The dogs ride the city metro each day to the city landfill, looking for food, and return back home in the evening. The artwork captured them at the moment when they are riding the metro back home, after a hard day’s work, resting on the train.
The embroidery captured the contrast between the cold, neon lighted walls, and the warm fuzzy furs of the dogs, where the shading and the texture brings them to life.

Aleksij Kobal’s “Doge’s Dream” is a part of the series ‘Forbidden city’, created in order to portray the human secret desires, fears, nightmares, everything we hold repressed in the subconscious. The lonesome buildings therefore aren’t merely a peephole into the artist’s subconscious mind – they symbolise the human and the society in general. Kobal attempted to capture the images in small repeating details, precisely illustrated facades, repeating into the fractal infinity and disappearing into vague horisons.
Embroidered Doge’s Dream precisely portrays the premise – the background, the ‘insides’ of the palace, is a clear blue sky, brightness, in a stark contrast with the dull exterior of the palace, dominated by the thick grey fog.

In our online gallery www.ercigojart.com you can see the works of art in detail, with the special zoom feature.