Irem Yazici is an embroider. She went to Anadoulo University in her homeland of Turkey to study public relations and advertising, but she soon realised that the course she had chosen was not for her. She took some time to re evaluate.
To pass some of the extra time she then had, she bought herself some sewing thread and fabric and it turned out to be what she considers to be one of the best decisions of her life.
Her grandmother is an accomplished tailor and her mother had taught Irem to sew, crochet and knit as a child. This time, as she took up the needle, she really felt a connection with it. She began to stitch small intricate landscapes and pictures, so small they fitted into bottle tops!
Irem admits that as a child growing up with her brother, they loved the idea of magic and pretended that things were happening for magical reasons. She drew on images from her own imagination as designs for her pictures.
This piece is called ‘A Night in a Haunted Forest’ (2016) it is 4 inches across. It shows how much detail Irem can achieve in her embroideries.
So this story began in 2014 and to this day Irem Yazici is self taught and is making a living from her work. She admits that before the internet it would have been almost impossible to get the recognition that she has. By sharing her work online, it has been seen and enjoyed. Irem now sell her work and takes on commissions. The picture above was commissioned by the person who owns the cat!
HOW IT HAPPENS
Irem begins her work with a sketch of the main subject, she chooses a background fabric and begins to sew, the picture and colours evolve as she sews. In the early days she used the simple stitches she already knew and liked, she also added beads and sequins. More recently she has learned some new stitches and also sometimes uses paint and fabrics too.
Irem Yazici also considers that the addition of embroidery to clothing takes the item to a new level, from a simple garment to a piece of art. She has made decorative collars, buttons, badges and stitched images to garments.
As well as her commissioned work, Irem Yazici now teaches and has written a book: ‘Tiny Stitches’
I chose Irem Yazici to write about because I love the fact that she has chosen her own way to go in life, is self taught and has become a successful internationally known embroiderer. It is very difficult to make a living in any craft based industry, but by using the internet to display her talent, she is making it work.
PROJECT INSPIRED BY IREM YAZICI
Next Friday. A project using only VERY simple stitching. Find some thread and fabric. If you do have an embroidery hoop good, but that isn’t essential. See you then.
FURTHER READING AND INFORMATION:
You can find lots of images on Instagram _baobap
An interview about her more recent work: