The traditional ancient Greek embroidery motif Spitha, represents a small stylised tree; a schematic rendering of the “tree of life”.  It was commonly found in work from the Cyclade islands of Greece.

Spitha 1

This shows an example of the motif being used in an intricate design for a valance from the 18th century.  It was embroidered by women from the island of Pholegandros, which is situated in the southern part of the Cyclades.  The harmonious polychromy, the precise symmetry and the excellent technique attest to the refined aesthetics of these Pholegandrian women, who were known for such exquisite, intricate and precise work.

The counted embroidery is executed on linen textile in single surface filling, darning and long-armed cross stitches.  The silk threads were then dyed with vegetal pigments by the women themselves.


I have taken inspiration from part of this Spitha motif to create a new collection.

My first design within this collection, being a pair of earrings that were hand embroidered with cotton thread and then translated into solid 18kt yellow gold, to which I have then added two square green tourmalines to the centre.Spitha Earrings - Green Tourmaline