My work has many influences, Art Nouveau being one of the strongest. I love the work of Alphonse Mucha, in particular his illustrations at the turn of the 20th Century, advertising posters that featured the actress Sarah Bernhardt in various acting roles - Gizmonda 1894, the first of many. Born in the Czech Republic in 1860, he began his artistic career working for a publisher providing illustrations of bohemia, asking friends to pose for him. Many of these works has a Renaissance feel, flowing gowns and hair, natural forms - flowers, plants in flat areas of colour. He created his own style in lithographs, which became true woks of art. His commercial posters are some of his most famous works and reflect the desired lifestyle of the day, Job Cigarettes, Moet and Chandon Champage, Waverley Cycles, Absinthe.
One of my favourite of his works is Monaco Monte Carlo 1897(lithograph), pictured below.The Mucha style of swirling circles of plant and floral motifs provided the inspiration for the embroidered clasp of my Mucha bag.
Using a small leaf design repeated in a circle, after all the hours of hair pulling, stitching out redigitising and tweaking stitches, I created the design below which I am very proud of.
Finally it turned out the way I wanted and completed the design I had in mind. I have only used this design on five bags, all of which were sold some time ago, I think it's time I revisited this embroidery, perhaps using Ivy - always a favourite leaf shape with me, another idea from Monsieur Mucha. Watch this space...WK