Interview with Yaroslava Troynich

YAROSLAVA TROYNICHFelt 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In Russia felting is very traditional craft and to me it felt quite outdated.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

 

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YAROSLAVA TROYNICH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hat Making Competition

Hat Making Competition 2020

#FeltmakersCompetition2020

NEWS FLASH

The annual hat making competition is now accepting entries- up to March 1st.

We have some excellent hat makers/ milliners amongst our members so this would be a great opportunity for some of you who may be interested.

The entry date is also March 1st…. so those attending and signed up for the “Basic & Beyond” have a little time to practice their new found skill on a wonderful creation and submit it!!

You just never know and if you aren’t in it, you can’t win it! Good Luck.

basic and beyond hat making 2020

basic and beyond application form 2020

 

 

HAT MAKING 1 DAY COURSE

basic and beyond hat making 2020

 

Delighted to announce the date of our “Basic and beyond” as the 25th January 2020.

A great 1 day hat making course. brilliant for beginners, but also intermediate feltmakers as a refresher course. Fibre provided and come away with your own unique hand made hat as well as a host of newly learned skills.

 

Application forms available and being accepted.

basic and beyond application form 2020

 

Sunday Session 13th Oct 10:30am

october 19session

we hope to see many of you there… we will hear from participants of the recent workshop. Share ideas and cosy chat. Lets have a full house again. Tea/ Coffee and Buns as usual. Come along for an autumnal craft & chat.

Fibre sales available as usual and plenty of anticipation around the Knit & Stitch show also.

See you then! 10:30am Knockmarroon Gate Studio. Phoenix Park.

Sunday Session 13th Oct 10:30am

october 19session

we hope to see many of you there… we will hear from participants of the recent workshop. Share ideas and cosy chat. Lets have a full house again. Tea/ Coffee and Buns as usual. Come along for an autumnal craft & chat.

Fibre sales available as usual and plenty of anticipation around the Knit & Stitch show also.

See you then! 10:30am Knockmarroon Gate Studio. Phoenix Park.

CIFD and GANS Collaboration.

Report by Breda Fay- GANS rep (edited by Tamzen Lundy)

Breda Fay/ Michelle Kearns
GANS & CIFD collaboration

Since the beginning of April, some members from Felt makers Ireland have been working with designers from the fashion world on a collaborative project linking craft persons and designers.

Today – August 29th– was the culmination of our work, when our projects were modeled as part of the CIFD Fashion Show/ Media Day. The fashion show itself was amazing and one could only be inspired by the address and commentary of Eddie Shanahan, chair of CIFD, a truly enthusiastic and inspiring speaker.

For the last few months, Carmen Garcia, Niki Collier and Breda Fay have been engaging with our partner designers from the council of Irish fashion design. We had been randomly matched to “accentuate learning and ensure innovative engagement”.

I worked with Michelle Kearns, a milliner from Tuam.

Michelle and I shared stories of our likes and dislikes, dreams and history to come up with a theme for the design. We also discussed different textures and shades of felt. Samples and photographs went back and forth until we finally decided on a very fine and feathery black Merino and Silk with embellishments of cerise Tussah silk that Michelle would incorporate into a wire structure. The finished work would illustrate overcoming adversity (thick and gnarled branches) growing into more open structure with birds and blooms of hope and resilience.

In all, 15 pairs brought their projects to completion and the resulting hats, baskets, dresses, scarves, etc were amazing. The crafts of calligraphy, metal smith, lace making, felt making, basket making, crochet, textile art and embroidery were all represented.

Carmen Garcia's collaborative work
GANS & CIFD collaboration

This is the second year of the collaboration and I would urge members to watch the GANS page of the website and read the blog posts for notice of next year’s event, when we will once again advertise this opportunity. For those that managed to get along this year and became involved it was certainly and enriching and lasting experience.

See a word from Eddie in thanks below.

www.irishfashiondesigners.com

The below was received from the Council of Irish Fashion Designers

Ladies & Gentlemen,

On behalf of all of us in CIFD I wish to express our gratitude to you for the skill, inspiration, dedication and creativity you brought to our collaboration project.

It is not often that one of Ireland’s most eminent journalists declares an event as ‘Triumphant and emotional’ – but those were her first words at the end of our presentation on Thursday.

My colleagues and I have enjoyed the process, our respect and admiration for your skills is difficult to put into words. Design and Craft came together last week in an engaging evocation of Irish culture, proving beyond doubt that our heritage crafts can be extremely engaging in a contemporary context.

I hope you too enjoyed the project and the presentation.

I know Mary has exciting plans to give the work further exposure and I will also be seeking extra opportunities in the coming months.

We can expect some newspaper and magazine publicity in the coming weeks. In the meantime I am sending you a hi res image of your contribution by WeTranfer. I hope to have some video clips of the pieces in the next short while and will also forward those in due course.

I look forward to the possibility of working with you again in the near future.

Best regards,

Eddie

Magazine Archive

agriculture-animal-animal-photography-459215

 

Hi Folks,

We have donated our copies of Feltmakers Ireland Magazines to Nival in NCAD yesterday. NIVAL is the “National Irish Visual Arts Library”.

www.nival.ie

Renata the archivist was delighted to add FI to their files – magazines should be a great resource to students and researchers.

We are missing some copies and it would really be lovely to be able to find these and complete the archive.

The issue numbers missing are

1-23, 26-33, 36, 45, 51, any after 54?
The feltmakers Ireland committee would love to find copies of these magazines.
If you have a copy at home and are willing to part with it for the NIVAL archive at NCAD, please contact hello@feltmakersireland.com