Briar necklace by Tinctory

One of my very favourite daily reads is Creature Comforts. Ez has great style and she has a special knack for pulling many elements things together into a perfectly pretty package on a daily basis. I’m always sure to fill my eye candy quota with a visit to her blog. A few weeks ago she posted about an artist that I haven’t been able to get out of my head, Tinctory.

I’ve spent lots of time already just looking through Tinctory’s flickr page, not only are her pieces absolutely intriguing and unique, but her photographs are incredible. I had to know more and so a new feature is born on this blog, “Introducing”, a chance for me (and you) to learn more about someone especially inspiring.

The woman behind Tinctory is Eva, who lives in the UK. All her jewellery is made entirely by hand and goes through an intensive process that includes the embroidery technique, smocking. What I hadn’t realized about smocking was that it is functional, as well as decorative. It was developed in the Middle Ages and is used to gather fabric so that it can stretch. Long before there was fantastic elastic, there was smocking. When I look at Eva’s pieces I really feel she has captured a historical essence in her interpretation of this age-old technique.

What is the meaning of tinctory?

EVA: Tinctor means ‘dyer’ in Latin. I don’t know if it’s a legitimate word but tinctory could mean ‘a place where things are dyed’. I picked it as a name for my Etsy shop when I thought it would sell mostly fabrics dyed with plants. The direction has changed since then but I’ve kept the name.

What is your creative background and what do you do for a living?

EVA: My interest in textiles started with a silk painting kit I got as a birthday present years ago. That lead me to dyeing, batik and shibori, knitting and most recently smocking. Most of what I know about textiles comes from books and experimenting. Craft is my only job right now and a lot of the time I feel there aren’t enough hours in the day. Hats off to people who have a day job, manage to make things, run a shop while maybe looking after a family as well.

What inspired you to start making these amazing smocked pieces of jewelry?

EVA: I was looking for a textile technique which would create permanent texture on natural fibres and require minimal space and equipment. Smocking was the perfect answer because a piece of fabric, needle and thread are all that’s needed. When I learnt the basics I played around with shapes and stitches until I was pleased with the result.

Thanks so much, Eva! I’ll be ordering one of your necklaces as soon as I can decide on just which one I love the most.

Silver Crest Ring by Tinctory

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