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Fiber art

Fiber art is created with threads, yarn and fine fiber to make unique pieces full of color. I usually work with wool fiber in wool felting, wool yarn and cotton warp in tapestry, wool and tencel or silk in weaving. Natural fibers are soft and gentle to touch, they are warm and caring, bring you the feeling of comfort in any place and time.

Wearables

Kimono at the window
Kimono "Gentle Rose"
Kimono pattern
Kimono "Twisty Smoke"
Kimono pattern
Kimono "Easy River"
Kimono at the waterfall
Kimono "Blue star"
Kimono pattern
Kimono in the garden
Kimono "Red Road"
Kimono pattern
Kimono at the park
Kimono "Summer Sunset"
Kimono at the waterfall 2

"Kimono project" jackets made from recycled fabric. 2018-2020.
Cotton, linen, shibori dye

This line of summer jackets was created from recycled fabric, such as bed sheets and tablecloths I found in thrift stores. With the process of shibori dye (also known as "tie-dye") I created intricate patterns, turning abandoned fabric into a piece of art. More about this project can be found here: "It is never too late to start a new life, even if you are a tablecloth"

Blue Labyrinth
Blue Labyrinth
Blue Labyrinth
Blue Labyrinth
Blue Labyrinth

Felted vest "Blue Labyrinth”. 2018.
Merino wool, silk, viscose fibers, leather, copper.
Wet felting, nuno felting.

This vest was made for a Canadian Felt::Feutre exhibition "Shrine" and received an award for wearable piece of art. Thinking about sacred places and shrines I came to the idea, that a human body itself can be a shrine, as we all carry a piece of divine energy, we are all connected to the Universe power. Following this direction, I made a vest, resembling ancient armor piece, that warriors used to protect their bodies, as I want my shrine to be safe. Front piece is decorated with a pattern of labyrinth as a symbol of all travels our soul makes searching for knowledge and happiness. Back side represents past mistakes and delusions, but this chaotic mass is covered with another pattern of labyrinth, embroidered on the top, showing the harmony we can come to.

The vest is made from felt with leather straps connecting front and back and copper buckles on the shoulders. Rings on the straps and little buttons, representing travelers in the labyrinth,  are also made from copper. All copper pieces are made by jewelry artist Mary-Beth Piper. Hard and shiny metal added contrast to the soft felt and leather, creating structure.

Long Journey
Long Journey
Long Journey
Long Journey
Long Journey

Felted coat “Long Journey”. 2018.
Merino wool, aw fleece, silk, viscose fibers, silver beads, leather.
Wet felting, nuno felting.

This coat started as an experiment with raw fleece and came to life as a graduation piece, exhibited in Beaverbrook Art Gallery in summer 2018. The collar is decorated with silver beads and leather strips. Texture is created by layers of silk, merino wool, raw fleece and viscose fibers, combining shiny and matte.

Forest scarf
Forest scarf
Forest scarf

Felted scarf “Forest”. 2017.
82 cm H x 36 cm W x 4 cm D. Merino wool, silk, viscose fibers.
Wet felting, nuno felting.

"Forest" scarf was inspired by my long walks in the park, admiring trees and mushrooms, listening birds singing, smelling flowers and grass. I created various structures, resembling tree bark or fungus so the scarf will look like it grows itself from the tree.

East wind
East wind
East wind
East wind

Costume for the fairy tale "East Wind"”. 2018.
 Merino wool, silk, hand dyed.
Wet felting and needle felting.

East wind costume was made for the Norwegian fairy tale "East of the Sun and West of the Moon". The costume consisted of silk pants with felted waist band, a scarf and a head piece - a hat with felted "dreadlocks". Both wool and silk were hand painted to create the effect of a hot desert sand and blue sky.

Two rabbits from the greenery
Two rabbits from the greenery
Two rabbits from the greenery
Two rabbits from the greenery
Autumn colours
Autumn colours in work
Autumn colours

Vest “Autumn colors”. 104 cm H x 52 cm W x 3 cm D.
 Sheep wool, silk fabric. Wet felting, nuno-felting.

When I was thinking about making this vest I took the idea of tartan with interweaving different colours. I used the colours of autumn leaves: green, yellow, red and brown to show the ever changing beauty of nature. Stripes of silk were weaved with the stripes of wool roving to create elaborated lining while the surface is more simple and plain. The ends of the stripes moved loosely as the tree branches on the wind. The notch-shawl collar was different on the left and on the right, showing different appearance in this ever changing world.

Shoes Blue dwarf
Shoes Blue dwarf
Shoes Blue dwarf
Shoes curly orange
Shoes curly orange

Children boots “Blue dwarf”. 2013. Size 5, 18 cm high.

Children boots "Curly orange". 2013. Size 4, 14 cm high.
 Sheep wool. Wet felting.

Soft and warm wool felted boots can be a perfect gift for a child. Bright colours of these boots and unusual and funny shapes attract attention and convert the usual footwear into a magical object. Even small children can easily put these shoes on and off as there are no laces or buttons. Wool is a natural material and it absorbs water so little feet will not sweat and also they will not get cold as wool is very warm.

Scarf Green birds
Scarf Green birds
Scarf Green birds
Scarf Violet splashes
Scarf Violet splashes
Scarf Violet splashes
Scarf Sunny moss
Scarf Sunny moss
Scarf Sunny moss
Scarf Starry night
Scarf Starry night
Scarf Starry night

Scarf “Green birds”. 2013. 154 cm L x 42 cm W.

Scarf “Violet splashes”. 2013. 162 cm L x 40 cm W.

Scarf “Sunny moss”. 2013. 156 cm L x 48 cm W.

Scarf “Starry night”. 2013. 152 cm L x 40 cm W.
 Sheep wool, silk fabric. Wet felting, nuno-felting.

This was a series of silk nuno-felted scarves I made in different colours to try various techniques. For the "Green birds" I used prefelted wool and cut out the birds to felt them on the silk. Violet splashes were made with long narrow pieces of wool that continued forming the fringe. Sunny moth was a combination of merino wool layed in thin layers and silk fiber to form a soft gentle texture on the surface of the silk. Starry night was consisting of twirls of wool on the background of dark blue silk. All these scarves were soft and good in draping, as I used just around 20 % of wool on the silk fabric, but they were warm enough to wear in cold weather because even tiny pieces of wool would protect you from cold.

Felted boots “Two rabbits from the greenery”. 2015.
28 cm H x 25 cm W x 30 cm D. Sheep wool, metal wire, glass beads.
Wet felting and needle felting.

While exploring the ancient tapestries I was fascinated with the lush greenery and cute animals inhabited old verdures. I decided to make a felted piece with a touch of French design used in 15th century. The idea how to represent verdures and tapestry in wool, came to me, when I was thinking of Russian traditional felted boots - valenki. These shoes were made of gray wool and were very warm and comfortable to wear in winter. I decided to take the form of a boot and modify it in medieval style. I added long curved toes and decorated the upper part with trees and leaves. Part of the trees were laid with wool while they were wet felted, part needle felted after they was dry, to make a relief. Also I used pre-felted wool, that I made from different shades of green, to cut out the leaves and place them using needle felting. I used traditional tapestry colors for the boots - green, brown, gray and yellow. But I decided to add something bright to make the work look more interesting. Two red rabbits, jumping out of the lush greenery, represented colorful life of the nature. As rabbits were considered as symbols of vitality and resurrection, they were used as Easter symbols in Christian countries. Red color was also popular, showing renewal of life in springtime. So, the idea of this work was not only to bring the tapestry scene into a felted piece, but also to show flourishing trees with funny creatures living there, as a piece of a marvelous garden, the garden of fairy tales, mystery and joy.

Sunny rays in water
Sunny rays in water
Sunny rays in water

Dress “Sunny rays in water”. 2016. 105 cm H x 70 cm W x 3 cm D.
Sheep wool, silk fabric. Wet felting, nuno-felting.

In designing this dress I worked with the idea of openness and inner light. Sometimes people are afraid to show themselves as kind and gentle in fear others might hurt their feelings or use them against their will, but we always know that under the thick skin there can be a loving and joyful person. The story of this dress is about confidence and friendship, as it is such a joy to show your inner light with the people you love. Like sunny rays will warm the water, so the smile of your friend will make you feel better. The blue surface is cracking to show the yellow light from within, you can not hide it, if you are happy.

 

Wall hangings

Labyrinth tapestry
Labyrinth tapestry
Labyrinth tapestry

Tapestry“Key to the Labyrinth”. 2018. 84 cm H x 42 cm W x 2 cm D.
Wool, cotton, linen, acrylic yarn. Hand woven.

This tapestry represents our life's journey as a labyrinth, where we need to go through various difficulties and solve riddles to find the truth. The key - is a solution, the pivot point of the travel, that can open what was hidden.

“Red apples”
“Red apples”
“Red apples”
“Red apples”
“Silky river”
“Silky river”
“Silky river”

Wall hanging “Silky river”. 2014. 88 cm H x 102 cn W x 1 cm D.
Sheep wool, silk fabric, cotton. Wet felting, nuno-felting.

“Moving up”
“Moving up”

Wall hanging “Moving up”. 2015. 108 cm H x 60 cm W x 1 cm D.
Sheep wool, silk fabric, viscose fiber, cotton. Wet felting.

“Russian North. Grey house”
“Russian North. Grey house”

Wall hanging “Russian North. Grey house”. 2014. 92 cm H x 64 cm W x 1 cm D.

Sheep wool, viscose fiber, cotton. Wet felting, machine embroidery

In this piece I combined similar colours in natural tones: light and dark greens, various browns, greys and beige to create a soft and serene Northern landscape with a humble house standing on an island. Viscose fibers were added to make the sky look lighter with some luster as if muted Northern sun was shining from behind the clouds. I used machine free embroidery to add patterns and textures on the trees, walls and grass to make the surface more rich and interesting.

Wall hanging “Blue vase”
Wall hanging “Blue vase”
Wall hanging “Blue vase”

Wall hanging “Blue vase”. 2014. 98 cm H x 66 cm W x 1 cm D.

Sheep wool, viscose fiber, cotton. Wet felting.

This soft and colourful still life was inspired by the Chinese traditional paintings - bright and neat with clear-cut silhouettes. In transferring this technique to wool felting I added viscose fiber to emphasize the details: crackles on the vase,  branches of the tree and gentle petals. 

"Beginning of life"
"Beginning of life"
"Beginning of life"
"Lady and unicorn"

Tapestry "Beginning of life”. 1997. 84 cm H x 87 cm W.

Tapestry "Lady and unicorn". 1998. 120 cm H x 62 cm W.
 Linen warp, wool yarn. Hand weaving.

"Beginning of life" is describing how do elements like fire, earth, water and air gather in a center to form a new life that is manifesting as a fern-like plant with butterfly flowers around it. Celestial bodies can be seen in the space around - the sun, the moon and the stars representing the whole Universe as a magical place for the new-born life.

The tapestry with unicorn was inspired by the series of tapestries in the French museum in Cluni. This 15-th century masterpiece was created as a wedding gift to show the purity of a bride as by the legend unicorns showed themselves only to young virgins. I used traditional colors to represent this old tale with a new way.

Russian traditional painting gave me the inspiration for this picture. Here, the red ornament is forming the hypothetical landscape of flowers and trees. 3D elements --  apples -- protrude from the flat surface of the picture. The subject for the picture was inspired by the Russian fairy tale about the traveling for the apples of eternal youth. Such an idea was popular in all times and it contains the everlasting desire to remain forever young. The hero should overcome lots of difficulties -- mountains, streams, beasts and foes to get the treasure. It is the metaphor of life and achievements, when people fight for money and career in hope to become happy. The question we should ask ourselves is: are these “apples” we are looking for real or fake? Will they bring us happiness or we must leave them behind and go on?

 

Wall hanging “Red apples”. 2014. 72cm H x 110 cm W x 2 cm D.
Sheep wool, cotton, cotton thread. Wet felting, hand stitched.

As the salmons overcome rapids and rivers for hundreds kilometers during the spawning run, they are giving the example of persistence in pursuing the goal. It is not only about heading forward, but also about leaving something behind. Obstacles and wrong decisions are slowing us up, while the desire to achieve the goal, to fulfill the wish will move us forward. The lower part of the picture is covered with pieces of silk organza, dark colors show the deep sea of hardships one need to overcome to reach the light.

The idea to use wool felting in a Chinese style came to me after exploring the Chinese traditional painting. It uses only white paper and black ink for creating landscapes and I decided to use black, grey and white wool to represent the idea of the “mountain and water” picture. It is a traditional Chinese landscape with the boat and a blooming tree on the river bank. The reflections in the water are also as important, as the landscape itself. The wool is laid in small "brush strokes”, imitating a traditional Chinese "guohua" painting, and the picture itself, if look from the distance, resembles an ink painting. I used white silk in addition to the wool, the silk works as an extension of the river, flowing "out of the frame". Thus, the image is transferring into 3D, filling the interior. The silk piece hangs freely from the frame and it can be assembled in different ways to give a new appearance.

Toys and accessories

Little boats
Little boats
Little boats
Little boats
Little boats

Soft sculpture “Little boats”. 2017. 22 to 24 cm long.
 Merino wool, silk and viscose fiber. Wet felting, needle felting.

These boats are presenting the idea of life as ever-changing flow, growing and tender. They are living pieces themselves: fern-like paddles are hanging from sides of the last boat, developing from the soft petals of the first one. They carry seeds of life, tiny buds, growing into a baby sprout wrapped in a blanket. I used white merino wool and silk fibers for these objects as it can show the pure idea of life unfolding in a cycle of born, growing and decay in clear shapes.Felted wool with its pillowy gentle texture is a wonderful material to show big and small details, while silk fibers add some shine to the matte surface of wool.

salmon1
salmon2
okun-1
Alevtina_Sharapova_fish
barracuda-1

Pencil cases “Fishes”. 2016. 18 to 24 cm long.
 Merino wool, silk and viscose fiber. Wet felting, embroidery.

These pencil cases are useful and funny. Your pencils (or cosmetic, jewelry, fish hooks, etc) will be safe inside this firm purse secured with zipper. 

Toy “Toothy fish”
Toy “Toothy fish”
Toy “Toothy fish”
Toy “Toothy fish”

Toy “Toothy fish”. 2013. 10 cm H x 8 cm W x 13 cm L.
 Sheep wool, glass and ceramic beads. Wet felting, embroidery.

This toothy fish is not just a toy but also a multi-purpose holder, it can hold the keys, mobile phones or remote controls. This wonderful creature is fun and little bit spooky that makes it a perfect gift for a child or a good-humored adult. As people think that fishes are cold and gooey, and not pleasant to touch, I created a soft and warm fish that can be a good companion and a special decoration for a modern interior.

“Touching pad”
“Touching pad”
“Touching pad”

“Touching pad”. 2014. 45 cm L x 48 cm W .
 Sheep wool, glass and silver beads. Wet felting, embroidery.

This piece was made for the online contest "Healing power of art". I was so enchanted with the soft wool and I decided to make a small rug (or mat, or cushion, you name it) with different textures on it - wool and glass beads, and silver beads. This mat presents an idea of using art as a healing item. Its irregular pattern resembles mandala – an ancient symbol of  Universe. Glass beads and silver stars on the felted surface stimulate nerve endings; give a feeling of tactile meditation.

Pillow cover“Hoopoe bird”
Pillow cover“Hoopoe bird”
Pillow cover“Hoopoe bird”

Pillow cover “Hoopoe bird”. 2013. 45 cm H x 48 cm W.
 Sheep wool. Wet felting.

This soft and colorful pillow cover can take an important place in your interior. This orange bird accompanied with natural browns and greens will fit perfectly in a modern design showing your love to nature.

“Scholar hedgehog and his wife”
“Scholar hedgehog and his wife”
Puppet toys
Puppet toys
Puppet toys
Puppet toys
Puppet toys
Puppet toys

Toys “Scholar hedgehog and his wife”. 2014. 16 cm H x 8 cm W x 10 cm D.

Toys "Pappet theater. frog, mouse, hare, fox, wolf". 2013. 24 cm H x 12 cm W x 8 cm D.
 Sheep wool, glass beads. Wet felting, needle felting.

Wool felting is great for making toys as you can make these toys very realistic and colorful. Usually I use mix of wet felting to make a shape and needle felting to add small details like eyes, noses and ears. 

Toys “Rainbow hares”
Toys “Rainbow hares”
Toys “Rainbow hares”
Toys “Rainbow hares”
Toys “Rainbow hares”

Toys “Rainbow hares”. 2013. 18 cm H x 12 cm W x 8 cm D.
 Sheep wool, glass beads. Wet felting.

These rainbow hares or rabbits can be good friends for any child or adult. I used very simple shapes to show the idea of a toy adding bright eyes so you can say that these little creatures are looking at you.

Small rug “Fly with the fire bird”
Small rug “Fly with the fire bird”

Small rug “Fly with the fire bird”. 2013. 54 cm H x 72 cm W.
 Sheep wool, cotton. Wet felting, embroidery.

 This idea came to me when I heard about the online exhibition "Tradition". What is tradition for me? Is it an old-fashioned dress too strange to wear in modern society? Or is it a precious jewel we need to keep forever? As for me, traditions were like dreams our ancestors had long ago. And they sent us these dreams reminding of all the beauty of the world. As we were not able to express these awesome dreams in words, we had to make them visible through art - embroidery, wood-carving or weaving and many more. And now when we look at the traditional ornaments, we can follow this secret language and read this coded message, and the meaning is always the same: "life is beautiful, life is fabulous, life is magic".

Purse “Jumping hare”
Purse “Jumping hare”
Purse “Jumping hare”

Purse “Jumping hare”. 2013. 18 cm H x 12 cm W.
 Sheep wool, cotton. Wet felting, embroidery.

This small purse is soft and white like a real rabbit, you can store your precious cosmetic inside to keep it safe.

Bag "Rainbow"
Bag "Rainbow"
Bag "Rainbow"
 

Messenger bag“Rainbow”. 2013. 45 cm H x 48 cm W  x 10 cm D.
 Sheep wool, metal decorations. Wet felting.

Rainbow messenger bag was created as an answer to cold and rainy autumn, just to remind people that there will be a rainbow after the rain.