Interview with Yaroslava Troynich

YAROSLAVA TROYNICH

interview first published in dec 2019… yara will be leading an exclusive feltmakers ireland members only finger puppet online workshop on may 1st… limited to 30 places on a first come first served basis- this is filling up quickly. please submit your interest to FIONA- ADDRESS fmrleech@gmail.com

Felt makers Ireland follows several felt makers on Instagram to get our regular fix of inspiration. A member put us in touch with Yaroslava Troynich, a 41yr old Russian textile artist, based in Helsinki, Finland.  Her specialty is felted animal puppets. She says “this is fun textile way to worship wildlife” we decided to get in touch to find out more…

 Tell us a little about you as a person? e.g. upbringing/ where you work/ work other than textiles…

My life seems to me like a huge pile of wool, which I could transform into endless forms.

I was born in USSR and had no artistic background in my family. As a child I was fond of sewing textile toys and dreamed about art school and industrial design. The next big dream was to become a policeman to fight for justice and make the world better. However, the world itself captured all my attention so in the end I graduated from university as a journalist! For several years I have been traveling the world and contributing to Cosmopolitan and National Geographic in Russia and continued to write for local media after moving to Finland in 2007.

Most of all I loved to make stories about remote places, where wildlife, traditional lifestyles and crafts remain. The best moments of my life have mostly connected to wildlife – snorkeling with manta rays in Galapagos, planting rainforest for orangutans of Borneo or searching for the sloths in the Amazon.

Humans and wild nature cohabiting and environmental issues were always on my top interest list.

How and when did you start your textile journey… what is your experience, tell us a little…

Once in 2009 I came across of artwork done by Stephanie Metz. Her meaningful sculptures made of white wool and some experimental textile pieces were shockingly modern, pure contemporary art.

In Russia felting is very traditional craft and to me it felt quite outdated. But this was the first moment I began to look at it differently. My inner artist woke up. I tried needle felting and was amazed of wool’s ability to take any shape. But I really fell in love with wool after my first wet felted piece. The feeling of soapy babbles on my hands and witnessing of wool fibers transformation into something totally new – this magic has forever bewitched me. Quite soon I realized that I want to work with 3D-felt. In my childhood I loved “bibabo”, traditional Russian hand puppets, with their history dated back to 17 century and originated in Italy and France. Ideas came fast and naturally. My first fox puppet was born, and it felt like a real gift from textile and craft gods. Surprisingly, combination of traditional felt with traditional toy turned in to very modern and unique art object. Suddenly everything came together: my love of puppets, of wildlife and of wool. That is the story of my own transformation into textile artist specialized in felted animal puppets.

My artwork is my small personal contribution to environmental awareness. These puppets are really great communication gadgets. They help to connect parents with children, create new stories and learn new things. They have strong social position – they support environmental education and promote love to animals. My special pride if they work with ecologists in the national parks and museums and with teachers and psychologists.

I have been learning a lot from great textile artists to develop my own skills, tried new areas of textile art but nothing makes me as happy as these animal puppets. Felting process itself has great art-therapeutic effect on me. So, I do share these benefits with others on my workshops around the world. I love to teach adults and transform them into artists and kids at least for a day. This transformation is no less amazing than wool metamorphoses. Sometimes I feel that it can be my real vocation to inspire people for creating via my puppets.

thumbnail_Bibabo_Puppets_3YAROSLAVA TROYNICH

Tell us about your process from conception to creation and what is your motivation? e.g. for hobby/ creativity/ art/ fashion/ health/ money…

My strongest motivation is a game with the world, special quest. I want to explore its secrets and search for opportunities to create new, positive and inspiring things.

Almost all my ideas I draw from the nature. Weird animals, beautiful animals, endangered animals. While visiting national parks I have chance to encounter wildlife closer. Even though I don’t follow physiological accuracy in my work, I study animals a lot, examine pictures, watch nature documentaries and read about their habitats and personal lives. I am minded in spirit of minimalism, restrained Scandinavian design and naive art, so I try to create live animalistic images using as little details as possible. But I also like to add some humor or bright travel and cultural heritage inspired details to my work. Especially, I feel free with my finger puppet collection. Some animals can wear Russian felted boots at some occasions and use the laptops at their homes. This kind of art makes me play all the time. I draw very poorly, so my rare sketches look like ugly construction schemes. More often I just have an idea inside my head and then test it directly on the wool. Complicated shapes I break into many simple forms and play with it. I combine different felting technics but my main one is wet felting. There are wool, soap, water and hands only. I use a lot of different fibers for creating animal hair, especially I love hairy goat mohair. I try to make my felt durable and flexible in the same time to keep the most of mobility for the toys. Sometimes my projects involve dyeing of materials and even painting on top of the wool toys.

It is weird, but 3D objects at first are just flat and in the beginning of my journey I was too depending on the patterns and constructive solutions but nowadays I become increasingly aware of limitless sculptural opportunities of felt. You can always change, reshape, improve. Felt makes me feel braver as an artist because in this process even apparent mistake can turn in to genius idea. Besides, it is difficult to make mistake with animals – they always come out wonderful. Probably, because they are born twice – at first from the idea and wool and then again become alive on top of the hand while playing.

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YAROSLAVA TROYNICH

What currently inspires you? 

Lately I am passionate about the animation to give my puppets even more life and voice. It is inspiring to integrate and collaborate different types of art and creativity in to the one beautifully felted structure. Well, and sponsors of all my ideas and inspiration invariably remain wildlife and life itself, with all that everyday routine and new changes. The coolest ideas come to me when traveling or hang out in the mountains, through the forest or along the cold ocean. The Amazon jungle and Himalayan snowy peaks are my eternal favorites.  But during my life in Finland, I fell in love with the north. Perhaps the northern animals are not the most vivid and expressive as objects for creativity, but the power of life in northern nature, with its short as a flash summer, is simply unique.  This power nourishes me. In Finland, people are very respectful to their nature resources, and this gives me the feeling that I am in the right place. After all, partly my work is pure nature worship, and toys are a tribute to the nature.

Thank you Yaroslava for taking the time to answer our questions for supplying the wonderful images of your work and for providing the dose of Instagram inspiration that we need. If you want to see more follow Yaroslava at the below.

Instagram

@yara_bibabo

#yaroslavatroynich

VPP_7219
YAROSLAVA TROYNICH

Felt with Us and Keep Well

Felt with Us and Keep Well-

Workshops are being offered by 3 experienced Feltmakers- made possible by funding recieved from DCCI under the keep well initiative.

Classes will be taught by Caoilfionn Murphy O’Hanlon, Niki Collier & Liadain De Buitlear

Have you tried Stained Glass technique in felting?
Join your tutors for three online classes to try felting, spark your passion for fibres and discover a fun
technique for making colourful pictures in felt.

All materials included.


This project was made possible with funding from DCCI under the Keep Well initiative.
See details here:


28th Feb 11am -12 noon Making a Felt Picture with Caóilfíonn Murphy O’Hanlon

7th Mar 11am – 12 noon Patchwork Felt Niki Collier

14th Mar 11am – 12 noon Making a Stained Glass Finish on a Felt Picture Liadain de Buitlear

To book classes go here https://www.nikicollier.com/keep-well-campaign

After the workshops you will be able to submit your piece for an exhibition called Evie and Us.
Deadline for submission 1 st September. Exhibition will launch 1 st October 2021.

Gabi Mc Grath- 30th Jan 2021 Zoom Workshop

Delighted to announce an ONLINE ZOOM based workshop on 30th January at 10am.

This is a workshop with tutor- Gabi McGrath, 3hrs long, starting at 10am. To make an A5 felted book cover. Your 100grm of fibre and cotton gauze is included in the price and will be sent out in advance. You will need to have downloaded the zoom platform as a link will be sent one week before.

The price is €55- and this also includes your membership to Feltmakers ireland for 2021.

Please fill out both the application form for the workshop and the membership form- sending to faybreda@gmail.com.

Payment should be made by bank transfer- details on the membership page of this site- please make a note when paying- your name and “workshop- member”.

This is a great value offer and a nice way to either learn the skill of felt making or brush up on your skills and come away with a lovely token – a book cover that could be used as a journal, diary or inspiration notebook. Start 2021 the right way.

Please help Feltmakers Ireland by spreading the word and sharing- to beginners or gifting this to a friend.

Places limited to 30- first come first served.

Gabi Mc Grath- 30th Jan 2021 Zoom Workshop

Delighted to announce an ONLINE ZOOM based workshop on 30th January at 10am.

This is a workshop with tutor- Gabi McGrath, 3hrs long, starting at 10am. To make an A5 felted book cover. Your 100grm of fibre and cotton gauze is included in the price and will be sent out in advance. You will need to have downloaded the zoom platform as a link will be sent one week before.

The price is €55- and this also includes your membership to Feltmakers ireland for 2021.

Please fill out both the application form for the workshop and the membership form- sending to faybreda@gmail.com.

Payment should be made by bank transfer- details on the membership page of this site- please make a note when paying- your name and “workshop- member”.

This is a great value offer and a nice way to either learn the skill of felt making or brush up on your skills and come away with a lovely token – a book cover that could be used as a journal, diary or inspiration notebook. Start 2021 the right way.

Please help Feltmakers Ireland by spreading the word and sharing- to beginners or gifting this to a friend.

Places limited to 30- first come first served.

Gabi Mc Grath- 30th Jan 2021 Zoom Workshop

Delighted to announce an ONLINE ZOOM based workshop on 30th January at 10am.

This is a workshop with tutor- Gabi McGrath, 3hrs long, starting at 10am. To make an A5 felted book cover. Your 100grm of fibre and cotton gauze is included in the price and will be sent out in advance. You will need to have downloaded the zoom platform as a link will be sent one week before.

The price is €55- and this also includes your membership to Feltmakers ireland for 2021.

Please fill out both the application form for the workshop and the membership form- sending to faybreda@gmail.com.

Payment should be made by bank transfer- details on the membership page of this site- please make a note when paying- your name and “workshop- member”.

This is a great value offer and a nice way to either learn the skill of felt making or brush up on your skills and come away with a lovely token – a book cover that could be used as a journal, diary or inspiration notebook. Start 2021 the right way.

Please help Feltmakers Ireland by spreading the word and sharing- to beginners or gifting this to a friend.

Places limited to 30- first come first served.

Gabi Mc Grath- New Year, New skill-30th Jan 2021 Zoom Workshop

Delighted to announce an ONLINE ZOOM based workshop on 30th January at 10am.

This is a workshop with tutor- Gabi McGrath, 3hrs long, starting at 10am. To make an A5 felted book cover. Your 100grm of fibre and cotton gauze is included in the price and will be sent out in advance. You will need to have downloaded the zoom platform as a link will be sent one week before.

The price is €55- and this also includes your membership to Feltmakers ireland for 2021.

Please fill out both the application form for the workshop and the membership form- sending to faybreda@gmail.com.

Payment should be made by bank transfer- details on the membership page of this site- please make a note when paying- your name and “workshop- member”.

This is a great value offer and a nice way to either learn the skill of felt making or brush up on your skills and come away with a lovely token – a book cover that could be used as a journal, diary or inspiration notebook. Start 2021 the right way.

Please help Feltmakers Ireland by spreading the word and sharing- to beginners or gifting this to a friend.

Places limited to 30- first come first served.

Annika Berglund- exhibition Oliver Cornet Gallery

Feltmakers Ireland are pleased to share that committee member Annika Berglund will be showing some new work in the winter group show at the Olivier Cornet Gallery (facebook.com) in Dublin. The title of the exhibition is “On Paper” and it is co-curated with Jackie Ryan. The show can be viewed virtually or you can make an appointment to go and see it in the gallery.

Annika’s pieces were made especially for this exhibition.

“A Year of Circles and Edges I and II:  made of Wool, silk, mulberry paper, cotton and jute thread and recycled wood.

A Year of Circles: made of Wood and Wool, but inspired by the ancient Korean paper technique called Joomchi.

Gabi Mc Grath- 30th Jan 2021 Zoom Workshop

Delighted to announce an ONLINE ZOOM based workshop on 30th January at 10am.

This is a workshop with tutor- Gabi McGrath, 3hrs long, starting at 10am. To make an A5 felted book cover. Your 100grm of fibre and cotton gauze is included in the price and will be sent out in advance. You will need to have downloaded the zoom platform as a link will be sent one week before.

The price is €55- and this also includes your membership to Feltmakers ireland for 2021.

Please fill out both the application form for the workshop and the membership form- sending to faybreda@gmail.com.

Payment should be made by bank transfer- details on the membership page of this site- please make a note when paying- your name and “workshop- member”.

This is a great value offer and a nice way to either learn the skill of felt making or brush up on your skills and come away with a lovely token – a book cover that could be used as a journal, diary or inspiration notebook. Start 2021 the right way.

Please help Feltmakers Ireland by spreading the word and sharing- to beginners or gifting this to a friend.

Places limited to 30- first come first served.

Gabi Mc Grath- 30th Jan 2021 Zoom Workshop

Delighted to announce an ONLINE ZOOM based workshop on 30th January at 10am.

This is a workshop with tutor- Gabi McGrath, 3hrs long, starting at 10am. To make an A5 felted book cover. Your 100grm of fibre and cotton gauze is included in the price and will be sent out in advance. You will need to have downloaded the zoom platform as a link will be sent one week before.

The price is €55- and this also includes your membership to Feltmakers ireland for 2021.

Please fill out both the application form for the workshop and the membership form- sending to faybreda@gmail.com.

Payment should be made by bank transfer- details on the membership page of this site- please make a note when paying- your name and “workshop- member”.

This is a great value offer and a nice way to either learn the skill of felt making or brush up on your skills and come away with a lovely token – a book cover that could be used as a journal, diary or inspiration notebook. Start 2021 the right way.

Please help Feltmakers Ireland by spreading the word and sharing- to beginners or gifting this to a friend.

Places limited to 30- first come first served.

Felt in Arts Review Ireland? Woo Hoo

We are delighted to share that  our own Niki Collier ( link :https://www.facebook.com/nikicollierfelt/) solo exhibition has been reviewed in the portfolio section of Irish Arts review. winter edition. Her solo show Viruses runs from 5th Nov 20 – 22nd Jan 21 at University of Atypical (https://universityofatypical.org/gallery/)
Here is how Niki describes her fate as a virus veteran:

How did I get infatuated with the bugs?

The sculptures are the culmination of a conversation in wool which started for myself a decade ago and somehow to my overwhelming sadness brought the whole world to a standstill in 2020. The dichotomy between function and form in viruses is commonly our immediate response. How something so cute and small (in our eyes) could do so much damage to us. To Us?! To Humans?! Often when fear and darkness overwhelm us we ask the wrong questions, don’t we?

 My life experiences have made me ask a different question. 

Are we the measure to all? As humans we have the weakness to put ourselves in the centre of the universe. It is heart wrenching to try grasping the idea that more often than not we are part of the universe., an organism in nature, not the centre of it. So the bugs that are bugging us have brought me humility and their impact on my life- a constant reminder of this eye opening perspective to our self proclaimed hierarchy.

There were those who were unfamiliar with Niki’s life who expressed disgust in her practice. She hopes that this interview for RTE Culture File would make them hear her point of view (https://www.rte.ie/radio/radioplayer/html5/#/lyric/21872327)You can see a virtual tour of the exhibition, created by Niki’s 11 year old daughter Tanya here ( https://www.artsteps.com/view/5face75aad03cf068775e86d ).Make sure to leave a comment in support of Tanya’s effort.
Niki knows that things are tough so  is having a craft kits give away for those who need a sparkle of joy for Christmas.You can claim yours here (link https://www.nikicollier.com/christmas-craft-gift/)
niki socialInsta : @nikicollierfeltFB: @nikicollierfeltwww.nikicollier.com