Creative clutter 

Repeating prints happening here at night while gathering knowledge and inspiration on Skillshare. It’s multitasking madness! I’ve come up with an idea that starts with making mistakes intentionally. The theme explores forgotten or seldom seen urban places and life found there. Let’s see if anything comes out of this…

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Creative clutter 

Reconnecting with my skills

Recently I’ve done a lot of drawing, although in the past it has been such a conflicting activity for me. I’ve always drawn, obsessively for 10 years since I could hold a pen. It got to the point where I would draw on myself if I ran out of paper (or margins…). However, it burned itself out and for a long time I didn’t dare make a mark on paper. This time it has come from the subconscious mind instead of ambition. For this reason trying to explain the work makes the meaning hide itself even more. My goal is to keep exploring this surrealism and see where it leads. Here is a piece I’m working on:

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It’s spring and there is a fox in my garden.

I make a few strokes on paper and then add to it depending on what comes to mind. I will finish the images digitally, so they will be a mix of pencils, inks, watercolour and pixels. Interesting how urban decay still keeps popping up. I’m tempted to make these into prints and sell them somewhere online.

Reconnecting with my skills

Wonky edges

Last weekend I officially opened my studio during the local village festival, ‘Koroisten kyläjuhlat’. In my open studio the visitors could try weaving on a traditional floor loom. I didn’t have any preconceived ideas on how it would go, because the surroundings were quite different to those in Kuusisto, where I held my summer workshops.

It turned out that a lot of people, especially kids, were interested in weaving. When they had their parents with them, it was much easier to approach the big loom and have the courage to say hello to me. The thing about floor looms is that they have not been designed for very short people (ie. children) or people with certain disabilities (you have to be able to use your arms and legs). However this was not a problem, as the children discovered that by working together with their parents, they were able to enjoy weaving. In practice this was done with the mother using the pedals and helping to throw the shuttle, which gave the child (who was too short to reach the pedals – very cute) the opportunity to just have fun with building the actual rug structure by moving the beam and choosing materials. I had trouble getting them to leave at the end of the day.

Clearly weaving could be used as a way for parents to spend some quality time with their children. The one negative thing I noticed was that many parents feel that they have to control the weaving process by insisting on making a rug that is actually ‘correct’ and usable. In other words it would have to have specific matching colours and straight edges. What’s with the perfectionism? It’s the child’s vision and it doesn’t matter if the edges are wonky. The end result is still functional, beautiful and unique, not to mention the importance of the experience.

I will definitely develop this concept further. The weekend’s end result was happy kids and one small rug made by many hands.

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Wonky edges

Head out of the woods

After about a month of intensive art collaborations, workshops and general ‘routine’, I’ve had my first proper weekend at home and not spent at least partially at the art residency or doing things related to it. It feels a bit like getting out of a roller coaster, with hair a mess, slightly dizzy, nauseous and with that ear ringing silence after the carts and the rider’s screams have suddenly stopped. Today I woke up at 5 am and noticed that I have a really strong feeling that this summer has to come to a close soon. I want to get out of the woods (literally) in the middle of nowhere and come back to the city. Update this blog more often. Get started with figuring out if my newly acquired, cheap and very dodgy workspace has mold on the walls, or not, in which case I can still make it work. Spend some time at home getting adjusted to the scary reality of not being a student anymore.

All major projects start to feel a bit like work after a while and I cannot wait for this particular creative cycle to reach its conclusion. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for my slice of opportunity and creative heaven. Still, I have always loved autumn most, because it feels like a time for new beginnings. I am never the same person I was in the spring and again it feels like it has been three years, not three months.

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Just look at that Simpson’s blue sky, space and the calm. The silence in Kuusisto is spectacular in its ability to both clear and numb the mind of a city dweller like myself. Time to come home soon.

Head out of the woods

Productive times

I’ve been at the art residency in the Kuusisto Art Manor for about 3 weeks and so far made two rugs, a brooch, Saori scarf, a wall hanging and a Saori inspired woven necklace. I think my mind is slowly gearing towards making art jewellery, despite having been pretty exhausted by it in the spring. I find myself getting inspired by the forgotten things I find on the ground.

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I’m also hosting weaving and knitting workshops in July and building light earth looms in the surrounding area. I hope many people feel inspired to do some crafts.

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Productive times

Work in progress

The surprisingly large response to my survey has been very uplifting and now I really feel like what I’m doing is important and want to just get stuck in again. I will keep the survey open for a bit longer, so if you haven’t done it yet, just click this link!: Survey for Saori weavers.

At the moment I’m starting to enjoy weaving experiments again.

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Taking pictures of the textures is too much fun.

Work in progress

Creative flow

I’ve written 15 pages of my thesis! Pretty amazing considering the amount of procrastination I also did. Now I feel confident enough to leave those pages for a while and start weaving again. As I may or may not have remembered to mention in earlier posts, I am doing my BA thesis on use of Saori weaving philosophy as a guide in creating woven art jewellery. My aim is to finish at least sketches if not make a few of the pieces (time is a factor). Hopefully in the near future I can finally have solo show, but we shall see. Gallery rents in Finland are hideous. Anyway, I have some pretty good ideas for the final art jewellery pieces, but I want to still experiment before I commit to anything.

While writing yesterday, I was slightly sidetracked into reading about the flow state, which Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes being a state of effortless concentration and enjoyment. When I do creative work, reaching this state of total absorption is what it’s all about for me. Of course there is also the need to express myself, but frankly I have to admit the feedback I get from the work itself is in many ways more essential. This is also the reason why I want to try to help others experience flow through weaving.

Therefore I am hoping that this spring I will have time to organise workshops for people to try Saori style weaving. I don’t have access to Saori looms, but I don’t think it will matter. I just need to make sure that the setting is right. No distractions, plenty of yarn to choose from, enough time and a challenge proportional to the weavers skills.

Creative flow