Artist Paris Evans creates art chain-stitched with heart
Published 8:00 am Tuesday, November 15, 2022
SALUDA – Paris Evans, the owner of Milkweed Studios, began selling her embroidered art and designs at craft shows and online before eventually growing it into a thriving business that now operates out of her home studio in Saluda.
Milkweed Studios showcases several handmade products and does specialty embroidery on everything from vintage clothing to denim jackets, all chain-stitched. She hand draws all the stencils and has created a wide variety of embroidered patches, and recently added scrim felt earrings.
You may have seen her hand-embroidered work on denim jackets, corduroy hats, or even hanging on the wall at a recent exhibit in the Tryon Fine Arts Center. The Charleston native moved to Saluda roughly three years ago with her husband, photographer Paul King, and was quickly embraced by the town. She opened a brick-and-mortar store downtown before moving to a home studio she and Paul built themselves.
While Evans grew up in Charleston, she spent many summers and holidays in the Western North Carolina mountains, visiting family in Hickory and Burnsville. Her grandmother utilized her talent with thread by being a car upholsterer, who people would come to from many miles away to have her repair their torn car seats. Taught to sew by her mother, Paris combined her talents by bringing embroidery into her artwork. While attending the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), she began creating mixed media pieces where she would layer hand embroidery over her pencils or paints.
“I found my way back to embroidery a few years ago, and things just came together when a friend encouraged me to attend a local market in Charleston. I started doing live stitching, and it grew from there,” Evans says. “I’ve found a lot of customers online, and now I’m doing a lot of work for my local and corporate clients. And, of course, my home studio is available for visits by appointment.”
Upon entry to Evans’s home studio, one is immediately struck by the brightly colored yarn, the variety of embroidered patches, and a rack of clothing awaiting her latest design to be sewn upon. The centerpieces of her studio are her two vintage sewing machines, on which she does most of her work, one from the 1930s and the other from the late 1800s.
“I’m so happy to be here,” Paris says about the area. “I love the community of Saluda and meeting everyone. It’s so nice being in a small town where people are so excited about the arts and my work.”
For more information or to make an appointment to visit her studio go to www.milkweed-chainstitch.com or check out her Instagram feed @milkweedstitch.