We had the good fortune of connecting with Tiersa Nureyev and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tiersa, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I’ve always loved to be surrounded by beauty, and found particular pleasure in objects that had a story, excellent craftsmanship and that were made lovingly from thoughtful and beautiful materials. I was raised by a seamstress and opera singer so craft and artistry were the examples I was given about how one makes a living. Mainly I’ve just been following my intuition, and doing the things I find I have a natural inclination towards. The fact that there seems to be no end to artistic inspiration, and that I’ve yet to encounter a creative dry spell tells me I’m on the right track. Art is and has always been the lens that I can look through in order to understand the world, humanity and myself.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started my career as a maker and seamstress before training as a fashion designer, segueing (when I became a mother) into working as a jewelry and accessory designer and a part time art and fashion design teacher, because I needed the flexibility to set my own schedule. While still in school, I spent a great deal of time in the textile department, which fostered my love of materials and a material-driven process of creative production. My academic training also helped me to define and articulate the conceptual framework that continues to inform my current professional practice.
What ultimately drew me to fashion was the excitement of transforming a two dimensional piece of fabric into something three dimensional with the function of clothing the body. Training in textile design furthered my ability to transform a raw fiber into cloth, and exposed me to the potential of adding a surface design to cloth before turning it into a wearable object. Additionally, knitting, weaving, braiding, and knotting have featured prominently in my designs from the beginning. The act of strategically manipulating linear fiber into a form was always and to this day remains integral to my design practice, which is currently centered on the hand-production of accessories and jewelry. Ultimately, making objects that utilize and experiment with textile construction techniques affords me a compelling, rich pathway to innovation and creative iteration.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
On a Sunday I would take said friend to the Ferry Building for shopping the Farmer’s Market and brunch at Boulette’s. This would be a leisurely affair followed by a walk to City Lights Bookstore in North Beach and then back home to my home in Pacific Heights where we have a home cooked meal using the produce bought earlier that day. Monday we would go to the Dogpatch neighborhood to check out the galleries at Minnesota Street Project, stop buy the Museum of Craft and Design, and have lunch at Piccino. Tuesday we’d roam the Mission, stopping at Le Dix Sept for amazing botanical pasties and coffee, and then a little later grab a picnic from Bi Rite and eat it in Dolores Park till the sun went down. Wednesday would be shopping in Hayes Valley, coffee from Ritual, and lunch at Souvla. Thursday would be hanging out at the beach/Crissy Field and having an early dinner at Greens in Fort Mason. Friday we’d grab coffee from Saint Frank on Polk and then head off to the Eastbay to traipse around Berkeley and then head over to Magnolia Mini Mart or Vick’s Chaat House for lunch. Saturday would be a walk to Andrew Goldsworthy’s Woodline and then over to the Palace of Fine Arts for another picnic and photo ops.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The person that deserves more than a little credit is my partner in life and business, Erik Hilburn. We have been together for 20 years, raised a family and started a business. From day one he has supported my creative drive and passion, through tireless encouragement, emotional support as well as being willing to live frugally as we’ve grown our business. I’m beyond fortunate to share my life with someone who so whole heartedly understands and appreciates my vision. My creative endeavors are regularly informed by his natural design sense, and problem solving skills. Business wise his sales experience and our shared passion for ethical and sustainable design make for a great pairing. I could not be more thankful.
Photographer and model: Senecca Dawn Model: Angelyne Tompkins