Having told the story of our much-loved Phoenix design in a previous journal, we have an exciting new development to share – Phoenix is now available as a wonderfully bold and dramatic crewel embroidered wall hanging.
A technique that dates back centuries, crewel embroidery produces a luxurious embossed effect, adding vibrancy to design details, colour and pattern. Requiring an incredible degree of hand-stitching skill, as well as time, care and patience, crewel is a labour-intensive process, but one which produces a glorious finish, brimming with life and vitality.
Always a favourite
‘Phoenix was always going to be chosen as a wall hanging,’ Wendy explains. ‘The Phoenix rug in wool and silk has always been a favourite, especially hanging in the studio. The hand-knotted style of the rug makes her a real investment piece though, so I was always aware she was out of budget for many. She is such a powerful, dramatic piece, rich in symbolism, I felt she deserved to be a wall-hanging too, which also makes her more accessible.’
An auspicious, mythical creature, the phoenix is steeped in folklore, representing rebirth, regeneration, endurance, hope, eternity and new beginnings – themes that weave through Wendy’s designs time and again.
Design and flow
‘The wall hanging lends herself perfectly to the flowing nature of this design,’ Wendy explains. ‘I love the way the repeat pattern of the Phoenix wallpaper turned out, but it is very different from the rug design. The original design has a different energy, one that reflects the powerful symbolism of the mythical bird, along with bold peony roses, and gold and silver flowing backdrop. The wallpaper repeat, although equally dramatic, has more of an Art Deco feel.’
The Phoenix design was inspired by Chinese mythology, and started life as a tactile, shimmering hand-knotted wool and silk rug, first in bold black followed by a glorious green colourway. The luxurious design, inspired by the intricate embroidery, flow and fluidity of Japanese kimonos, translates seamlessly across different mediums.
The curves and Art Deco-feel of the design come to the fore in both the Phoenix Black and Phoenix Green wallpapers. Bold colours, combined with the curving arch of the birds’ tail feathers, create a gentle repeat pattern that still feels dramatic.
Phoenix also works effortlessly as a sumptuous Black Velvet Fabric, which adds instant glamour to interiors. We recently shared images of a bespoke headboard, covered in this luxurious material, to highlight just how easy it can be to create a stunning focal point with one simple update.
Phoenix adds elegance to our crewel embroidery hand-made cushion, the embossed effect lifts colour and design details. Again, it is a labour-intensive process, with a single piece for a 50cm x 50cm cushion taking two to three days to hand embroider. Even more of a labour of love, our Phoenix wall hanging takes around 60 days to create. The crewel stitching gives depth and tone to colours, creating vital images and details that captivate, draw attention and spark joy.
‘It has been really interesting to see how very different Phoenix is on each medium,’ Wendy explains. ‘The wallpaper has quite an alternative Art Deco-feel about her, whilst the rug and wall hanging certainly have a more distinct chinoiserie essence to them.
‘The velvet fabric too has a very rich, contemporary, Art Deco feel. And I certainly think the black backdrop provides a more dramatic impact. You can see from our latest green version of the hand-knotted Phoenix rug, that the feeling between the two is quite different; the black has real drama, while the green colourway seems more gentile, with a calming feel.
‘It has been fascinating to see this design develop. She has always had a special place in my heart and the symbolism behind her is powerful, so it has been wonderful to see the story of the Phoenix translate from floor art to wall art with interesting bits in between!’
Next week we discuss why, where and how a wall hanging can elevate a room, and add joy, colour and inspiration to interior spaces. Please do let us know if you have any styling queries about any of our crewel wall hangings and we will try to answer as many as possible.