Comfy sweaters, oversized blouses, and fluffy pink tops – Sila’s embroidery art is not your regular fashion portrait. It is a celebration of the calm and ordinary moments in life. The characters in Sila’s embroidery pieces look as if they hold still and enjoy the moment in their everyday life. Her use of colors and textures are a feast for the eyes and it is no wonder that Sila got such a huge response to her magnificent work! With that said, I’ll introduce you to Sila Gur, the maker behind Jolly Hoops in this interview.
Interview series – Hands of Embroidery
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Hi Sila, I’m glad to have you here! Could you give us a short introduction so my readers know who you are?
My name is Sila, I’m 35 years old. People know me as Jolly Hoops on Instagram. I am from Turkey and live in Scotland with my husband and two-year-old daughter. We live in Scotland because of my husband’s work.
How did you find your way to embroidery? When did it become a passion of yours?
I have always loved to be productive and creative. I studied Fine Arts in high school, then Fashion Design in university, both in Turkey. After graduation, I also studied Fashion Styling in New York. Hand embroidery gives me the opportunity to use all my skills in one. It is like turning the thread into art, or fashion drawing with lots of textures using by threads. And I am so satisfied with putting these skills together.
I discovered embroidery actually not so long ago (October 2018) but fell in love with it right away,
and couldn’t stop myself to try new things, challenge myself and keep making and making it every day. It makes me so happy. I also find it super relaxing after a long and overwhelming day.
You create incredible fashion embroidery pieces with lots of texture and colors. What do you like about using these techniques?
What is your favorite time and place to embroider?
Since I have a little one around me all day long, I don’t really have time options to embroider. I can work whenever she is asleep. For me, it’s better to concentrate
Are there any embroidery helpers or tools you recommend using?
Absolutely the hoop stand that I bought on Amazon (there are lots of different options but I use Elbesee brand hoop stand) Using both hands makes you faster.
What is your system of storing your embroidery threads?
In the very beginning, I was using rolled cardboards to wind the threads. After a short while, I had more than a hundred colors, so I decided to get some plastic bobbins and a thread organizer box from DMC. Now they are all well organized according to color schemes.
What is your favorite part of the embroidery process from start to finish and which do you like the least?
My favorite and the least liked parts are the same: preparing my work for the customer. Once a work is sold I do the back of the hoop (cover it with circle shaped felt) and then packaging. It’s so exciting and happy feeling that your work is liked and purchased by someone. But it also makes me a little sad by knowing that it’s going somewhere in the world and I’ll never ever see it again. It’s like love and hate relationship I can say…haha!
Which embroidery project was the most challenging one you have ever done?
I think working on tulle is really challenging at all points. But I recommend people to try it at least once because you learn a lot. Sometimes it’s also good to take a step back from your comfort zone, you know.
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 wonder how the tambour hook needle works. I’ve always wanted to try that technique one day.
What piece of advice would you give to your younger self who has just started embroidering that you wish you had known back then?
I wish I could say to young Sila ‘Do not spend your money on Instagram marketing. Just believe in what you do and keep making, people will recognize you eventually.’
Yes, I promoted my 6-7 posts on Instagram in the very beginning just to get some followers. It didn’t work at all. I was so frustrated. Then I stopped spending money on them and focused on what I did. And one day, DMC shared one of my works and all craziness started afterward. 11k followers today just with word of mouth.
Thank you for taking the time answering my questions! Where can we find you to see more of your work?
Thanks for the interview Anne! It’s my pleasure.
To follow my works on Instagram
Check out my Etsy shop
Do you want more tips and tricks on hand embroidery?
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