Homemade Holidays No. 3: Elena Caron’s Embroidered Hoop Art

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Each weekday between now and Christmas, for our series “Homemade Holidays,” we’ll offer one locally made holiday gift idea we love, from clothes and music to beer and art. Got ideas for a gift? Tell us.

Elena Caron’s Hoop Embroideries
For: The ones who inspire you
Price: $30

Growing up in the Ukraine, Raleigh artist Elena Caron learned to embroider from her grandmother. But for most of her youth, she says, the near-lost art was nearly lost on her. She was more likely to be found gardening with her grandfather.

When Caron came to the U.S. for graduate school and married her husband, an artist named Mark, her grandparents’ passions resurfaced in her work. She started with watercolor paintings of flowers, which evolved into portraits of women. Finally, she again picked up embroidery. 

To create her four-inch embroidered hoops, Caron begins by sketching out a design in pencil on a cotton duck canvas. She uses a sewing machine to outline the sketch with thread, then creates clothes and accessories for the faces of her subjects using locally salvaged fabrics. Finally, she hand-embroiders embellishments, such as flowers, onto the designs. 


Much of Caron’s art reflects her Ukrainian upbringing. She paints and embroiders matryoshka-like women, intricate flowers, and, recently, men with fluffy mustaches and beards. Caron says she seeks to make each of her pieces as unique as the people who inspire her.

So, give an embroidered hoop to the ones in your life who do the same for you.

You can order Elena Caron’s embroidered hoop art on Etsy.

(Images from Instagram

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Jane Porter
The Raleigh Agenda's Senior Reporter