Q. Tell me about your background. How did you arrive at felting.
A. I started due to a simple fascination about the properties of fibers to create new continuous fabrics. Since my mind wasn’t constrained with what felt must be and the rules around making it, I began experimenting.
I had been a dancer for 10 years in my life and I quit dancing as I started my psychology studies. My hands now make the wool and other fibres dance, move, entangle, and interlock.
I should say that all of my life experience step by step led me into the world of felt.
Q. How would you describe your signature style to someone who has not seen your work? What are your favourite pieces?
A. My pieces are always very organic, they have movement encoded in them, they are never static. It’s a mixture of softness, lightness, transparency and wildness, roughness. My pieces encode sensuality, poetics, as well as little drama elements. They do communicate, arise feelings, have some seduction in them. My colour language is delicate, you would hardly find a big number of different colours together in my pieces. I am a huge fan of all natural things, so besides using natural fibres, I prefer to dye my fibres with natural dyes – plant materials.
The pieces that become more dearer to me probably have more rawness of my soul, purer feelings and most sincere inner conversations that matter for me most and maybe not for someone else.
Q. What does a typical day in your studio look like?
A. I am still waiting for a place to be called my studio, for now I am sharing the space of some rooms we live in. I am not that kind of felter who felts every day and does certain amount of work each day. There are days when I don’t even touch the wool. There are days when I do nothing but felt without seeing anything around. But I do explore felting in my mind each day, I dream, I imagine, I create. This “thinking” process is of big importance to me, the same as the process of getting down to the wool and working with my two hands. I am happy in doing everything by myself – from dreaming, designing, discovering new materials, preparing my own fibres by washing, carding or dyeing, felting, to taking photos of my work, packing and shipping my pieces to clients and using Internet for making my personal, more intimate shows...
Q. Where do you go for your inspiration? List 3 or more books, websites, blogs that inspire you.
A. There is plenty of inspiration inside yourself as well as outside – in the nature, in the world that surrounds you. I find beauty in other kinds of textile, fashion, photography, architecture, design elements, and other kinds of artistic expressions.
I mention a blog and tumblr site curated by a fibre artist Abigail Doan - http://eccoeco.blogspot.com/ and http://lostinfiber.tumblr.com/ - where I do like to wander and soak up some inspiration.
Q. Are there other felters or creative people that you admire?
A. I always mention Claudy Jongstra whose feeling of felt is so close to mine.
Q. Do you have any other creative interests?
A. One of my biggest interests besides felting is photography. I am also interested in dance art, fashion, interior and landscape design, as well as literature…
Q. Have you had a mentor?
A. For first 4 or 5 years I experimented on my own. During this time I formed my style and signature, I matured as a felter. Then I took a workshop with Claudy Jongstra who helped a lot in developing my artistic expression and in a way she set me free from my own self, my own boundaries.
Q. Where do you buy your supplies?
A. I have several sources for different materials – some come from commercial traders, some are sourced directly – wool from shepherds who love and care for their sheep, fleeces of alpacas who are also kept as pets and loved by their owners, or exotic kind of silk from the village in India where it is first collected.
Q. What business skills have you acquired to run your business? What would you still like to learn?
A. What is most important in business is believing and loving the things you do and having courage to present your pieces to others in your own style as only this way you will be noticed.
All of my business is now made on line so I have acquired good internet communication. The Internet has made everything so fast and easy and the world – so small, but on the other hand it took away so much pleasure of direct communication, even in business. And when people can see and touch the fabric you are making, there’s a much bigger chance for more opportunities coming your way. So I would like to learn how to get a bit more of real face to face business into what I am doing now.
Q. Any advice or words of encouragement for VFI members who do it as a hobby or as a business?
A. I always encourage people to travel their own journeys in finding their own signature in what they create. Be brave to experiment, be brave to be different, be brave to look silly sometimes, let yourself forget the technical rules from time to time and try to see what you do with a beginner’s eyes, because the beginners usually have that big hunger for exploring, experimenting and thinking everything is possible. Refine everything you do to what is really YOU.