Kasikov uses cross-stitching, a form of embroidery, to sew portraits of her friends. The 8-by-10 inch portraits use one to five colors of thread weaved together in small diagonal lines on a grid. The lines stand alone, or are formed into "x" shapes, building a larger geometric pattern that makes up the features of a face.
Each portrait is based off a photo from of a friend, but Kasikov stitches each free-handed, using only the preexisting grid as a guide. Some portraits, like "Jill" is a monotone sea of maroon, while others like "Ciaran" is an explosion of primary colors.
"I try to find the most appropriate method for each person I am portraying," she said. "Some images are bold and colorful, some more poetic."
Kasikov is a trained graphic designer and makes a living by designing books. Her first foray into stitching was during her time as a Masters student.
"I love experimenting with ancient craft techniques in a contemporary design and illustration context," she says. "It has been mainly cross-stitch for me so far but the possibilities are endless."
Kasikov said this computer-graphic-like look was achieved through her grid-based cross-stitch technique, though upon closer inspection, it also reveals the handcrafted quality of the pieces.
When completed, "Portrait Project" will be a series of 10 portraits. Thus far, she has completed six in the series, along with one self-portrait.
Click through below for "Portrait Project":
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