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Take a deep dive into the Cherry Blossom pieces

Take a deep dive into the Cherry Blossom pieces

For this entry into the creative process I wanted to do a deep dive into one of my favorite pieces to create, The Cherry Blossom. I created my first Cherry Blossom piece about 5 years ago and they are still one of my favorite pieces to create. They capture a little but of everything that I specialize in, up-cycled materials, embroidery, collage and and embroidered butterflies. Throw in vintage lace making techniques and you have the perfect recipe for a compelling piece of artwork that is sure to spark many conversations.

The intention when designing the Cherry Blossom was to have half of the design embroidered driectly on the surface and the second half of it rising out of it dimensionally. I wanted to combine a few techniqes into one, the first being direct embroidery and the second, lace flowers. I started by creating a digital draft of the piece and designed the elements. Every stitch of my pieces are drawn by hand on my tablets and then sent to the embroidery machine to stitch. Once all of the elements were created I moved on to the next stage. 


The first cherry blossom

The first Cherry Blossom piece that I created was on a 12”x12” Hermes scarf box. I embroidered the cherry tree directly onto the box which is no easy feat. The box itself need to be flattened, attached to stabilizer and then placed on the embroidery machine to be embroidered. This is a tricky process since embroidery machines were never intended for this process, through a lengthy process of trial and error, the first background was created. The embroidered background contains about half of the elements, All of the background stitching, tree branches and flower buds are stitched directly onto the surface material.

The Blossoms

Designing the flowers were one of the biggest challenges. Lace embroidery traditionally involves designing the embroidery element to be self standing, meaning that the thread has to hold its intended shape without the use of fabric or a background element. The way I create lace is to embroider all of the elements onto a specialized interfacing, When I design the flower there are layers of thread that are stitched in interlocking patterns that bind all of the layers together, like a birds nest. The interfacing is then rinsed away leaving only the thread. This has been the traditional way to create lace. If the process isnt done correctly the thread will unravel and the lace would have to be re-designed. I designed the cherry blossom flowers in this manner. There are multiple flower shapes designed for this piece in multiple sizes. The specific colors for the piece are chosen and dozens of lace flowers are created for each Cherry Blossom. 

Putting it all together

Once the first piece was stitched I added the lace flowers directly to the surface of the box. I wanted to arrange the flowers to look like a natural cherry blossom tree, mixing the shades and colors and sizes into the arrangement. The end result was a truly dimensional artwork, Each petal slightly rises off of the surface so that when the piece is lit, shadows are created adding tot the dimensionality. The butterflies were added as a finishing touch. Each of the butterflies are embroidered in the studio as well. I have created over 100 breeds of embroidered butterflies and each of these are embroidered in multiple sizes. Each Cherry Blossom artwork is treated with different butterflies making each truly unique. 

The next one was giant

I had a dear friend, who upon seeing the first cherry blossom, commisioned one for herself. The different was that instead of a 12”x12” artwork she wanted a 60”x40” piece. This required me to design an embroidery in a much larger scale. This piece was divided into five separete panels, with each panel containing a segment of the tree. The background was created with upcycled luxury boxes as well as vintage indigo fabric. Each panel was embroidered using the same technique as the smaller piece with the exception of it being much larger. There were hundreds of flowers added to this version as well as dozens of butterflies. The finished arrangement was stunning and is one of my favorite commissions. 

different sizes

Since then the Cherry Blossom series has been created in multiple sizes and arrangements. It is the only one of my pieces that has been designed in the aforementioned large size all of the way down to the 5”x5” petite size. The amount of flowers and butterflies added change depending on the size but the spirit of the piece always remain true. There are versions using up-cycling from every brand and they have been created in almost every size I offer.

different colors

Lately I have been experimenting with the Cherry Blossoms in different colors. I wanted to see how the pieces looked in different palettes. I have created tonal variations and even one in golds and purples for my Bergdorf Goodman collab. It seems not matter what colors the Cherry Blossoms are embroidered in, they look amazing. 


I hope you enjoyed this insight into the process I use to create the Cherry Blossom pieces and now you see why they are among the most beloved pieces that the studio creates. 

Stephen Wilson

Stephen Wilson expertly crafts extraordinary and timeless designs using sustainable materials. Each art piece embarks on a journey, starting with an up-cycled luxury bag, box, silk scarf, or album. Wilson meticulously creates a bespoke embroidery design, delicately intertwining every stitch by hand.

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