The World of Cross Stitching
Talented stitcher Elçin Özcan creates fine art with thread
tep aside Picasso and pals, there’s a new master on the scene! Based in Ankara, Turkey, 44-year-old Elçin Özcan has recreated some of the world’s most famous paintings in stitch and we’re delighted she’s taken time to tell us all about it.
Elçin explains, “I’ve always been fascinated by paintings, painters and art. Firstly because of my grandfather, and I love to paint too.” She was inspired to create her miniatures when, on the hunt for alternatives to print versions of artworks to display at home, she found a few small cross stitch patterns but felt they didn’t do justice to the originals. “They were a bit flat,” she tells us. “I wanted more detail, so I started to design my own.”
Taught by her mother to cross stitch from an early age, Elçin fondly describes her artistic family. “My mother has multiple hobbies including painting, sewing, cross stitch, pottery, knitting and making jewellery to name a few,” she says.
Elçin’s favourite conversions to date are Vincent Van Gogh’s celebrated paintings and She confides, “I was lucky enough to visit the Van Gogh Museum stitches include her rendition of Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic and Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer’s
At 35 x 45 and 35 x 35 stitches respectively, she is delighted she was able to capture their essence at this size and says, “I think I was able to catch their likeness.” She continues, “Since my stitches are very small and packed with detail, I have to use a number of colours – the designs don’t look as appealing otherwise. I use from 15 to 25 colours depending on the project. Changing colour is, of course, always time consuming but it’s so worth the effort. Some of my designs also use a bit of confetti, especially Monet ones, to give that flowery colourful Impressionist effect, and this can be a bit fiddly.”
Elçin’s also generously shared some of her top tips for readers. “I tell people not to worry about the back,” she explains. “Neat backs are overrated in my opinion. If a project has confetti just jump to the next stitch. My projects are mostly two by three inches, so I can jump anywhere up to two inches. Having multiple needles threaded with different colours is also a great trick for saving yourself some time.”
With by Sir Frederic Leighton recently completed, along with by Van Gogh, Elçin anticipates tackling another Monet next, so we recommend you keep an eye on her website for new releases. We’ll certainly be looking forward to updates, and hope to see the full collection displayed on Elçin’s gallery wall in the near future.