We spoke to incredible embroiderer, Ipnot who works perfect miniature versions of food and drink from around the world in stitch, about what drives her art and how she creates it…
What can you tell us about yourself?
I’m a Japanese embroidery artist. Ipnot is the nickname I’ve had since childhood, which I spent surrounded by very creative and crafty people who have inspired me, so I decided to keep using it for my embroidery.
I grew up with many people who love art and I thought that my grandmother, in particular, was amazingly good at her embroidery and admired her greatly.
One day, I came across embroidery that uses French knots and I was fascinated. I started learning from there, self-teaching the various techniques, which then inspired me to produce my current sketching embroidery style. I established Ipnot as an embroidery business in 2011. Looking at my grandmother’s creations through embroidery really inspired me to pursue a newfound dream in stitching and my business is the passion and love of my life.
What made you want to start making such tiny embroidery?
I think it’s because I always like things in miniature, even since I was a child. When I was young, I was given a puzzle picture book by my aunt that had many small doors. It inflated my imagination and as I ventured into the book, I imagined that I was in that different, small world. I acted out and dreamt to be a part of that miniature world, which I think influenced me a lot to love miniatures so much.
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What threads do you generally use?
At the moment I’m using DMC (25) cotton thread. This thread is made up of six strands, but I use only one strand in my work.
What materials do you use to make the stumpwork pieces?
I use a cotton broadcloth, a needle made in Japan, a wooden embroidery hoop and DMC (25) cotton threads. My embroidery involves layering up threads and I use a very thin needle. Cotton broadcloth is mesh like and thin, so for me it’s more than suitable for my embroidery.
Do you draw the designs and transfer them yourself? Or do you embroider freestyle?
I draw the designs first and then transfer them myself.
New to embroidery? Take a look at our hand embroidery guide for beginners.
Do you have any hints or tips for people on how to create such realistic embroidery?
If you look at food, it can be quite hard to make a design that looks real and tasty. Sometimes it is hard to use cotton thread only to make them seem real. I carefully observe the food then render it in my work, using gradation of colours. Balancing of the colour, the angle, the design, etc. is very important. If I see that it looks tasty, then I know I did the right thing!
Do you have anything exciting coming up in the future?
I often come up with an idea suddenly, so I am excited for the future as well! Leaving it to my own inspiration, I want to shape the idea more and more until I create something I love.
Find out more:
Meet another inspirational embroider, Jessica Long, as she shares her hand embroidery work inspired by nature.