See all the beautiful original submissions:
Make sure to also visit these links!
Cira Troilo's Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/CiraDesign
Cira's Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/CiraDesignSoutache
Congratulations on winning the February EBWC, The Solar System. Your necklace is beautiful; I loved your interpretation of the planets and their orbits.
I'm flattered that you have contacted me following the challenge of winning the February EBW team, a victory that is unexpected for me.
With pleasure I answer the questions that you ask me, which will allow me to get to know better the group and followers.
Your soutache work is beautiful. I must admit I am not that familiar with the technique. How long have you been doing soutache work?
I have realized soutache jewelry for about 3 years now.
Where were you introduced to soutache? Have you taken classes? Do you teach classes or write tutorials?
I started to approach the soutaches self-teaching, I have never taken courses or read books about it. The techniques three years ago were not as widespread as now. One day, browsing the web, I saw pictures of these, such "strange things", I wanted to understand how they were made. So I bought the material and tried. Initially I was only doing horrible things, then watching a video on Youtube in Polish, and not understanding a single word of the woman who introduced it, I began to understand how to sew braids. Between the Italian soutache workers, I have been among the few pioneers who spread this technique in my country.
Do you sell your work in galleries or at shows as well as in your Etsy shop?
I sell my soutache creations via Etsy and on my Facebook page. In Italy, artisan work is little recognized and it is hard to find boutique or people that give you the opportunity to realize the dream of an exhibition or to see my works displayed in a shop window. I am self taught also in this: I created my logo, my banner, I try to make myself known with social media and with the internet tools, looking for customers, and I intend to postulate to shops. However, Italy has not recognized the right value to the "handmade", because people prefer the chinoiserie maybe even some bigger jewelery houses known.
Do you belong to any bead groups, societies or guilds? Are there other people you know who work in soutache?
Enrolled in various groups facebook Poles and Russians especially in the beginning, I have been much help on the Soutache technique, although I must say, creative people hardly reveal their secrets. Through the rhythm of numerous errors, I can now say I have reached a level that satisfies me.
One of the memories I have from my travels to Europe is the architecture. Is that one of your inspirations in your designs?
Living in Italy and having in my cultural background as a humanities education, I am inspired a lot by nature, landscapes and monuments geometries. Inspiration of my work in soutaches are often typical Italian regions, such as I have recently created a collection dedicated to Sicily. Other times, however, I draw inspiration from the world of fashion, referring to designers like Valentino oppuro Roberto Cavalli. Elegance and inspiration, are some of the faces of my way of being.
Your choice of colors is so vibrant. Is color the first element you look to when designing your jewelry?
The colors are the strength of my creations, I can not create anything without the use of color. Few works are monochromatic, black above is almost banned in my palette, rare are the creations in this color. But also in my daily life I play a lot with colors in clothing, furnishings, or in how to wear makeup. I use it to cheer me up!
What other types of beads, stones or materials do you like to use?
For my work in soutaches I prefer good quality material: hard stones, crystals, beads of the Czech Republic (which I collect), hand-made items I purchase from other creative to fit them in my creations. Rarely use plastic or stuff of dipoco value.
Are there other crafts or art that you do as well? Have you combined any of them with your soutache work?
In addition to soutache I really like the bead embroidery, but I do not get the results I want. I have got beads of various shapes and colors, but my embroidery technique is not yet blossomed. Every so often, to get away from soutache, I realize works in embroidery.
How much time a week do you have to devote to your jewelry making?
I dedicate to soutaches most of my free time: it is my outlet, it brings me up when I am down; to know I can create something beautiful that will be born from my own ideas and my hands, makes me feel good. Slowly it is turning into a job and very often in the past I have completed bijoux on order for special occasions such as weddings or major holidays.
(Cira) Thanks Patti, for the opportunity you gave me.
(Patti) Thank you Cira. It was a pleasure getting to know you better and having a chance to learn more about your work. I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful soutache pieces in the future challenges.
Patti Parker is an interviewer part of the EBW blog team! (https://www.etsy.com/shop/RoseBluBeads)
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