Multidisciplinary artist Lora Avedian depicts elements of narrative through textile and craft processes, employing traditional embroidery and embellishment techniques to craft modern designs. Following a successful career in set design and embroidery, Lora was awarded a Masters in Mixed Media Textiles from the Royal College of Art in 2017. She favours slow processes, focusing on short run and bespoke projects, and prefers to use antique and one-off materials such as cords, braids and ribbons when creating her pieces.
Multidisciplinary artist Lora Avedian depicts elements of narrative through textile and craft processes, employing traditional embroidery and embellishment techniques to craft modern designs. Following a successful career in set design and embroidery, Lora was awarded a Masters in Mixed Media Textiles from the Royal College of Art in 2017. She favours slow processes, focusing on short run and bespoke projects, and prefers to use antique and one-off materials such as cords, braids and ribbons when creating her pieces. Most recently, Lora has been exploring paper as a medium to express her creativity, developing framed floral, still life vignettes, which are as dynamic as her works in textiles.
Lora’s process begins with research, often looking at historical textiles and ethnographic objects as a starting point. Inspired by ceremonies and folk costume; the symbolism of the objects, colours and embroidery techniques used throughout her work are all important in telling her visual story. Using a combination of hand embellishment and machine embroidery, Lora enjoys experimenting with finishes and textures by mixing different materials and techniques together. For her artworks in paper, Lora creates texture and colour on acid free paper using a combination of gouache paint, coloured pencil, and pastels.
1. What motivates you to make?
I seemingly have a need to make with my hands. I am very passionate about my work and have always been very motivated to make things. I am spurred on by materials, the imagery that I collect and seeing other makers and designers doing exciting things. I love talking with other creatives, it really helps my process, especially if I am trying to move forward with an idea. Making beautiful and useful objects that people are going to enjoy and keep is also a great motivation to keep making my work.
2. What and/or who are you most inspired or influenced by?
I am a naturally curious person, always looking for inspiration from people and places. At the moment I’m finding inspiration in the nature around me, as well as looking at online archives and in books. I often look at the Victoria and Albert Museum’s archive of botanical drawings and costumes, which inspires my embroidery. Going through the materials I have collected over the years can also kindle an idea, and often collections are led by colours or pieces of fabric I have spotted at a market. My flowers are usually made from scraps of material – the white poppies on my last cushion collection for The New Craftsmen are made from a combination of offcuts from my wedding dress silk and vintage silk found at a market.
3. What is your unique approach to your craft, and how have you honed your skills?
With all of my work I try to translate my drawings into stitch, combining old and new materials to produce different qualities of line on the fabric. I do this using a combination of hand embellishment and machine embroidery techniques.
I enjoy experimenting with finishes and textures by mixing different materials together. I find this combination of techniques results in the most interesting outcomes, and is what makes my work unique. I start by looking at my materials and browsing colours, and often find the designs spring from that. I am also interested in creating a sense of narrative which comes from the particular character of the design, or the colour palette.
4. What is your defining or proudest moment as a maker so far?
I am very proud to have been the first person to be asked to create festive decorations for the Barbican Centre, during my residency there in Autumn 2018, and the project was well received. This was an opportunity for me to combine my experience in set design and styling, with my textile design work. Becoming one of The New Craftsmen makers has been a huge achievement for me and it was a pleasure to have launched my first cushion collection with them. Most recently, becoming an author of a book about my work has been my biggest achievement to date.
5. What is your dream project?
My dream project would be to work with a great interior designer on a beautiful, old, high-ceilinged apartment (somewhere like Paris), where I could fill the space with my embroidery and create large wall panels, curtains and furniture upholstery. I would love to work at a large scale like that, and to make something really bespoke. Perhaps even looking at their own garden to find inspiration for the design, to create something completely unique and meaningful for the client.
To find out more about commissioning Lora Avedian for a bespoke piece or to be kept informed about new collections from this particular maker, please email [email protected]
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