Like any good intrepid needlecraft adventurer it always pays to be prepared when going on a scouting mission, so with my knitted fedora, bobbin trophy necklace and obligatory magnifying glass I set out on my quest to track down the latest crafter to feature in ‘Exploring Etsy’. Tracking those loose threads, that are always a tell tale sign that you are on the trail of a needle crafter, has led me to Osaka, Japan and the wonderful work of Ria Paramita and her self titled shop ‘riaparamita’.
A mum of one, Ria likes to craft when her daughter goes to school and her husband’s gone to work, using the time to explore new designs or learn new techniques. Before she decided to focus more on hand embroidery Ria experimented with a lots of different techniques: crochet, sewing, paper cutting, needle punch, hand weaving and knitting. The idea of creating personalised family portrait dolls came to her after reading ‘Embroidered Portraits’ by Jan Messent – she fell in love with it instantly. Jan Messent’s use of soft sculpture, embroidery and embellishment details really opened her eyes to all the possibilities embroidery holds. The combination of embroidered portraiture and the current trend of family portrait illustration have formed the basic concept for her own exquisite work.
What is your earliest stitching memory?
The earliest stitching memory I had was when my mother had made a beadwork appliqué on my black velvet dress for my big brother’s wedding. On the collar area, she stitched full seed beads and gold sequins. I felt like the prettiest girl in the party because of the dress ;p. Afterward, I asked her to teach me how to embroider. A small trip to our local market during the weekend to pick up some yarns, buttons, fabrics, and lace was our weekly routine. It conjures cherished memories and has influenced me to love the same thing just as she does.
What fires your imagination?
Japanese crafters. I’m always amazed with their attention to details, they could turn something ordinary into something very attractive by simply adding tiny details. I’ve observed that many Japanese designs have gotten their influence from other cultures yet they do so creatively that the essence of Japanese has never gotten lost in the mix. Most people would recognize any handmade items that were crafted by Japanese crafters.
Ria’s beautiful soft sculpture portraits are chock-full of character and every minute detail is done to absolute perfection so why not head on over to her shop, maybe even put in your own order for a very special and unique personalised creation.
Jessica Taylor aka Loadofolbobbins is a Textile Artist and Illustrator based by the sea in Portsmouth. At her happiest with a needle and thread, with a passion for genealogy she often explores old photographs in her textile art. With her fingers in many creative pies she loves to experiment with new techniques, creating illustrated and stitched goodies for her new Etsy shop.