Adriana Torres...by Niamh McCooey
To give you a taste of what you can expect in the pages of our magazine, here's a sample our issue 68 feature on the talented embroiderer, Adriana Torres...
'Who is going to buy your dolls? Your friends? I thought this was just a hobby,' exclaimed Adriana Torres’ boyfriend when she told him that she was going to do embroidery full-time. But, unbeknownst to her immediate circle, Adriana, aka Miga de Pan, had been quietly working on her stitching skills and forging a distinctive and highly desirable style. She learnt how to embroider while still working as an art director and graphic designer. 'I quickly realised that I was the only illustrator-embroiderer in Buenos Aires, so I sent my portfolio to what I thought was the cutest gallery in the city at that time. To my delight, they invited me to take part in their shows.'
This nod of approval was just what Adriana needed and her hobby soon became her flourishing profession. With expert flair, Adriana mixes stitches, ranging from the plainest to the most complicated, and alternating two and three dimensional and effects. 'I can apply up to 30 stitches in one artwork,' she states. 'I usually use the finest type of thread I can get, such as antique silk. Thinner threads give a texture that contrasts with thicker threads. In the same way, unsaturated colours clash with dashes of saturated colour implemented on precise parts of the artworks.'
Every one-off embroidery takes the viewer to a whimsical destination; lions meditate while sitting on clouds, quirky cats rest in gardens, hybrid chairs sit – their backs in the form of sweaters. A spiritual dimension also hovers over some of the pieces, no doubt reflecting Adriana’s interest in astrology. 'My studio is on the first floor of our house and I’ve collected all the tools and materials you can imagine. I’m obsessed with being able to touch the material: I have my ascendant in Taurus after all,' she quips.
The ideas of yoga and meditation generally surface just before she goes to sleep, or right before she wakes. 'First, I sketch with a pencil, and then I start making with fabric, threads or clay. When I design an object, I think of the form first and then the colour.'
She has now expanded to crochet, ceramics and soft furnishings. Having been selected to represent Argentina at many international design fairs, she also teaches embroidery workshops. 'When I embroider,' she confides, 'I feel as if I have been embroidering all my life, I feel absolutely free.'
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