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.


Wonky edges

I must work

And nothing shall get in the way. I have to work or I will go mad. Also I desperately need a space for my materials and there is a lot…Anyway, here are the before shots of my cheap and dingy studio:

It was really horrible. I have lived in places that were marginally better, but at this point in my life, this was really horrible. It was dirty, dark, cold, damp and dusty. The previous tenant had left a van load of his stuff to rot in there. None of it was worth salvaging. And yes, that is styrofoam covering the walls. I don’t even want to know what is growing under that stuff. And there had been rats.

However this was all I could afford, so I decided that I will make it work. How hard can it be?

Turns out not very difficult, but certainly laborious and the process did require some imagination. This is the end result:

I painted and covered every surface with something and now it at least looks ok and is fairly clean. The styrofoam is still there though…The things I do to work.

I must work

Noctuary Art

I have teamed up with my little brother who is a blacksmith/carpenter/to be ceramic and glass designer and set up an Etsy shop to sell our craft products and artwork in! Check it out and if you have an Etsy account, please like my things/add my shop to your favourites 🙂 In future we will also stock downloadable colouring pages, more textile pieces, ceramics and jewelry.

Also, my studio space is slowly becoming habitable. Feels really empowering to be able to do almost all the work myself, since until this week I had not used power tools before (unless a sewing machine counts) or had the opportunity to fix something up for myself. I even mixed cement and found out I can carry those 25kg bags without breaking my back (only just). I think cement/concrete art experiments will be happening soon…

It is my space and will be made to look and feel how I want it. On the downside it is located in an old barn, the walls are covered in styrofoam for insulation and I am pretty convinced there is mold underneath and the stress of this all has made me uniquely insomniac in the sense that I can only sleep every other night when I am usually exhausted enough to manage it. It will be worth it. I hope. In any case it is the only place I can afford, so it’s either this or not working, which is not an option.

More updates soon with the before and after photos. I can promise you it will be a shocking difference.

In other news, I am practicing for a handfasting based performance and ceremony for a friend’s wedding. I say performance because this is definitely my own take on a handfasting and I am not officially a priestess. Finally an opportunity to dig out my old Beltane stuff and the body paint!

Noctuary Art