Tina Sharapova was born in Moscow, Russia. She grew up in a big family where everybody was able to make something with his or her own hands — embroider, carve wood, knit or sew. She tried different handicrafts as a child and decided to become an artist and an artisan to make beautiful things. Her formal art training took place at the Moscow College of Arts and Crafts with majors in carpets and tapestry making. After graduating she worked several years as a designer in a carpet company, then she took part in organizing a small workshop studio "Donegal". This studio cooperated with a carpet factory in Ireland, founded by Voycey, a friend and colleague of a famous British designer William Morris. "Donegal" studio mostly worked on unique pieces of art — hand-made tapestries based on the paintings of modern artists, one of kind pieces for interior design.
In 2006 Tina moved to China with her family. She was impressed with the bright ornamentation, rich culture and vast diversity of Chinese art. She tried calligraphy and Chinese ink-painting, that brought her new experience she tried to use in her art. After a period of searching for a new vision, when she tried doll-making, paper clay, patchwork, she came to felt-making, which was close to the carpets for its soft texture and great many usages. For number of years she was running classes for children and grown-ups where students learned how to make things with there own hands. It was not only a handicraft, but also a way to express inner feelings through colours and forms, the way to decorate the house with unique items.
In 2016 Tina decided to continue her education in Canada and came to Fredericton, New Brunswick, to get a diploma in Textile Design in New Brunswick College of Craft and Design. She learned weaving and pattern design that can enrich her art and bring her new possibilities in the textile area.
Member of New Brunswick Crafts Council
Member of Fiber Arts Network, Fredericton, NB
During last several years Tina took part in several online and live exhibitions:
2020 “Craft 2020: Reflections”, Fiber Arts Network exhibition, Fredericton, NB, Canada
2020 “Sunbury Shores Arts & Nature Centre Exhibition “, St. Andrews, NB, Canada
2019 “Hers” exhibition with Created Here magazine, Fredericton, NB, Canada
2018 "Shrine" exhibition with Felt::Feutre Canada, award for the best wearable piece, Canada
2017 150 Canada Fiber Arts Network Exhibition, Fredericton, NB, Canada
2016 World of Threads Exhibiton, Oakville, ON, Canada
2015 Beijing to Lausanne Textile Biennale, Nantong, China
2015 European Days of Felting, Felleten, France
2015 FeltFest, 3d International Felting Festival, Sankt-Petersburg, Russia
2014 Warm palette group exhibition, Beijing, China
2014 9-th International Beijing Exhibition of Art and Creativity, Beijing, China
2013 8-th International Beijing Exhibition of Art and Creativity, Beijing, China
I mostly work with wool in wet felting and needle felting, but also like to use watercolour or digital images to create unique pieces of art that can enchant the viewers and bring them to a new level of understanding of art and its connection to their lives. My favourite media is wool, as it gives me endless possibilities to create shapes and forms. I make small pieces, such as bags and toys, as well as bigger items, such as dresses and wall hangings. Wool is soft and warm, it brings me the feeling of a cosy lodge, where you can stay safe wrapping in a wooly cocoon.
While working with wool I use traditional techniques of wet felting with hot water and soap. The process itself is quite a labour-consuming as it needs a lot of muscle and energy to rub and roll woollen pieces, pour hot or cold water, knead, throw and wrap to get a high-quality felted fabric that will last for years, will not shrink or fade. It is a very satisfying process to turn a pile of soft wool into a real piece of art you can use in everyday life — such as a pillow or a dress. The felted wool comes into the life in the splashes of soapy water, in hot steam and smell of warm sunny field where sheep are grazing. I help it with my hands, I pat and press the fibres to transform them into a shape.
Most of my works are narrative, my own universe is inhabited with smart hares, toothy fishes, magical heroes and other fairy-tale creatures that can lead you away to their magic forest. Tales and legends play an important role in my work. I use ancient symbols and archetypes to fill modern time and to liven the usual routine of a city life. These traditional characters such as hares, horsemen, birds and fishes appeal to our inner feelings, our subconscious and help us to understand ourselves better.
My works mostly respond to the feelings and I use dreams and stories as a starting point. Rather than presenting an illustration to the fairy-tale, an image is created to inspire the spectators and give them food for meditation.