Irene is an illustrator, painter and all round artist that turns her work into colourful uplifting embroidery with immense stitches. She lives and works in San José, Costa Rica.
How do you get into embroidery
All of my life I have been surrounded by embroidery. Mainly within my family, especially my aunts. A few years ago, I was living in Buenos Aires, Argentina and found an embroidery club, since then I have been working on mixing this technique with my paintings.
What other textiles have you explored or would like to explore?
I have explored pattern design for textiles and took some courses on natural textiles. I would love to explore some regional techniques that can be found in countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, etc.
How do you keep your threads organised?
I store them in a few boxes, and organise them by colour and type. I love to keep them in antique boxes.
Where do you get your materials from?
What’s your favourite fabric to stitch on?
I think this is essential for every embroidery artist, I need to feel comfortable when embroidering. I love thick fabrics and I mostly use canvas; it allows me to work with a firm structure.
What are your favourite stitches to use?
My favorites stitches are chain, rope stitches, the French knot and the straight (running) stitch. I love those that let me almost paint the canvas.
What stitches would you like to learn and use?
I’m actually learning how to use the punch needle. I’ve been using it for a while but I don’t really know the technique, so I’m in the process of learning.
Do you embroider for a living if not what’s your day job?
I don’t, but I would love to. I’m an illustrator and painter. That’s why I use embroidery as a technique to paint.
Who would you like to collaborate with and why?
I would love to collaborate with Chiachio Giannone. I met them at one of their exhibitions and was mind blown by how they handle their technique, concept and mostly the way they paint true embroidery.
What do you love about embroidery?
Embroidery is genuinely my form of meditation. Every time I do it, my soul and body feels better. I love embroidery because of the people and places I have met doing this art. I would say that I enjoy the process sometimes even more than the result, when it comes to embroidery.