Today, I want to introduce you to Svetlana the mastermind behind the miniature embroidery pieces of Eira Teufel. Svetlana lives in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and was kind enough to answer my questions about her work. She embroiders the tiniest animal portraits on little necklaces and t-shirts and makes the cutes shiny fish brooches.
Interview series – Hands of Embroidery
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Hi, Svetlana, I’m so glad to have you here! Could you give a short introduction so my readers know who you are?
This is the question that always irritates me. Well, let’s try it…
I’m known as an embroidery artist but I’m having a background as a programmer. Coding – yes, that is what I like to do, too.
Additionally, I’m a nerd – I play DND, prefer to stay at home, and have a handful of friends in real life. I hate loud parties, small-talks, go shopping and more. All of my laptops had a name.
At first glance, this has nothing to do with embroidery but in reality, it’s strongly correlated. If I didn’t live this way there wouldn’t be these super detailed miniatures.
How did you find your way to embroidery? Did you learn it from a family member?
At schools over here, there is a class for crafts. Girls and boys are separated. Girls cook, embroider and sew, boys, do carpentry.
So my journey began in school but it did not teach me much. I have practiced and learned everything on my own and even discovered a couple of techniques on my own.
When did you start embroidering on such a small scale?
I have always made very tiny things. Be it in embroidery or other things. Of course, it became tinier and tinier with time but I’m not consciously realizing this process.
Many embroidery people are struggling with storing their embroidery threads. What’s your system (or non-system), would you share your secret-sauce with us?
I would have liked to have a special system but it’s just not working for me. I live chaotically and my materials are stored chaotically most of the time. So I’m not the right person to give tips 😉
Do you have favorite embroidery stitches or techniques you just enjoy doing over and over again?
I’m not a huge fan of monotonous work. I only like it when I’m tired. But I like the moment when I add the light to the eyes when doing portraits. This suddenly brings the animals I’m “painting” to life.
I’m a notorious beginner of new things and it’s what I enjoy the most. What part of the embroidery process is your favorite?
I like the entire process. Almost. Doing the back side – that’s what I hate.
Your miniature embroidery is really really tiny. Especially the cufflinks are so delicate I personally could hardly stitch a letter in a size where you make pet portraits. What’s the tiniest embroidery you have ever made?
That’s the micro pendants, very tiny pendants. The inner part is only a couple of mm wide. It’s the golden leaf on black fabric. (you can see it below)
Which embroidery project was the most challenging one you have ever encountered?
It’s in progress right now, so no spoilers 😉 Follow me on Instagram to see it in the future.
There are so many embroidery techniques and materials out there. What would you love to try out one day that you haven’t done yet?
I would like to try working with silk – silk fabric not the silk ribbons. There will be many new technical possibilities but it’s said to be quite tricky, too.
Do you have some tips on how to handle embroidery stitches this small?
Patience, practice and patience again. Very simple 😉
(You can get her condensed wisdom on how to put tiny embroidery in a setting in her ebook on Etsy)
Thank you for taking the time answering my questions! Where can we find you on the internet to see your gorgeous embroidery?
Do you want more tips and tricks on hand embroidery?
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