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I have the  good fortune to be contacted by numerous small artisans asking me to write about them on DEZIGNLICIOUS. I am very discriminatory about who I write about.  I only want to present to you the crème de la crème of the design world…and hopefully introduce undiscovered talents that you might be as thrilled about as I am.


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So, today’s little gem of a discovery is all about Wende Cragg,  a self taught textile expert and the soul and heart of Artistry Appliqué, a company that employs the forgotten art form of applique to produce beautiful jewel tone creations. Cragg hails from San Fransisco and is using the  artisan art of appliquê  to create stunning bedding, draperies, wall panels, tabletop and throw pillows for the home.



Belle Epoque



Before I go any further I want to define “Appliqué” so you can be fully appreciative of the work that Cragg puts into her creations:

appliqué |ˌapliˈkā|:
ornamental needlework in which pieces of fabric are sewn or stuck onto a large piece of fabric to form pictures or patterns.

The art form of appliqué dates back to 3000 B.C. and Cragg has been practicing this art for over 45 years. She gets her inspirations from the Art Nouveau, Arts & Crafts and Art Deco design periods but they are all her unique designs.  She has also done many a custom commission for her clients when something especially unique was required in a room.



Fire Poppies nouveau



According to Cragg’s web site, “This neglected medium has unlimited possibilities. Somewhat like marquetry or stained-glass inlay, the composition can be manipulated to achieve shading and depth by “angling” the silk, turning it at 45 degrees to create subtle variations of the same color. This and many other techniques are employed when crafting one-of-a-kind pieces that are sure to dazzle any audience.”



Aztec Bleu



Although I am of the “less is more” attitude in interior design, I am a big fan of some unexpected little zsazs to make a space dance and sing…I know you have heard me say this many a time before.  I could just imagine  a bed all dressed up in over-sized gorgeous pillows and matching bed throw with Cragg’s designs…or some long and sexy throw pillow centered on a sofa in the living room or thrown on a chaise! We are definitely in “yummy territory now…



Arroyo Frieze



When contacted by Cragg she wrote to me that “…All work is hand cut and machine stitched, without the aid of computers…”  I think this type of skill has to be greatly revered and honored in a day and age when so many computer driven products abound in the market place and talented artisans are disappearing. This alone made me have an even  greater appreciation for her talents and skills and devotion to her craft.






Cragg has received numerous awards and accolades for her skills and her work can be found in homes around the world.  I hope you appreciate her beautiful works of art as much as I do.



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Ciao, ciao ’til next time!