Originally a painter, Cayce Zavaglia still thinks of her embroidered portraits as paintings. Zavaglia might use wool, but her work borrows techniques from drawing and painting. Frustrated by the limitations of the range of colors available to her, she created a system of sewing the threads in a particular sequence that give the allusion of specific colors or tones.
Initially, working with an established range of wool colors proved frustrating. Unlike painting, I was unable to mix the colors by hand. Progressively, I created a system of sewing the threads in a sequence that would ultimately give the allusion of a certain color or tone. The direction in which the threads were sewn had to mimic the way lines are layered in a drawing to give the allusion of depth, volume, and form. Over time the stitches have become tighter and more complex but ultimately more evocative of flesh, hair, and cloth.