All images: Sofia Salazar
Textile designer and illustrator Sofia Salazar has a fresh approach to tambour. Forgoing beadwork and intricate patterns, Sofia’s brand Hiedra sells clothes and wall hangings embroidered with strikingly simple faces and hands. Reminiscent of flowing Matisse sketches and abstracted figures in ancient Greek art, Sofia’s designs are giving chain stitch a new edge.
Explaining why tambour and working with a kantan needle appeals, alongside her other practises of drawing and painting, Sofia says: “I think what I like the most is how thick and uniform the lines look and feel and how hypnotic I find the constant repetition of the movement. I find it very soothing. Also, I like that it produces a very stable and durable embroidery.”
Born in Argentina, into a family of artists, Sofia now lives in Norwich, UK. Growing up around people who made things for a living created a template for Sofia’s life and career. Her parents made clothing, accessories, tapestries and even built houses, setting Sofia on a path to create ‘useful’ art, that is a part of everyday life.
Previously working mainly with mass-produced sweatshirts and t-shirts, as well as taking commissions to customise clothing, Sofia has recently started to create wall hangings. “I think I am moving away from new clothing. Mostly because I don’t make the pieces of clothing I embroider, and sourcing ethically made garments that I like, are available in all sizes and can be bought in small quantities is not easy to find and is not always available.”
“Also, I think we buy too much clothing already and I don’t feel great contributing to that. But I don’t know, it comes and goes, sometimes I do find fashion interesting and exciting.”
“I’m doing mostly wall pieces at the moment (quilted and embroidered) but also collaborating with rug makers, ceramicists and giving sculpture a try.”
Blog post by Kate Grinnell