Saturday, September 1, 2012


Sometimes it just takes a little day dreaming for something to happen. It’s like something or someone sitting in the air and fishing the day dreams of people and if your thought is caught it only takes a blink of the eye for the happenings to acquire velocity.

This was the story of Cyprus. Developing a collaborative workshop with Irit Dulman the way we wanted and where we wanted, without anyone third in between us and the students.

It’s been more than a month since we all came back from Cyprus but I kept silent on my blog. But sure not silent at all inside myself. When some positive event happens in life you get caught my emotions so much that you barely touch the ground with the tips of your toes. And it takes time for the inner peace to settle and go much deeper into all what has happened.

Speaking about that “dream catcher”, I suppose the place for the workshop was already waiting for us, it only took a question to Tatiana and Gabi, two ladies assisting us in Cyprus; as well as the very special people who signed up for our workshops – I think that only the people we really had to meet and learn from each other (I do believe the human factor is most important in all this workshop thing, thus learning not just the techniques and textile, but also something from the human hearts, and that works both ways – from the teachers to students and from the students to teachers) have joined our “sisterhood”, how we called our group after all. In other words – there are no coincidences.





Even the note on the entrance to the place said: “Welcome Home”.


Plant materials for dyeing – some were picked locally on the way.


Preparing the space in a bit of hush before it all begins.


That’s how the journey began on the stone beach of Aphrodite – the goddess of beauty and creativity.


Two teachers – Vilte & Irit in eco print dresses listening to the story of Aphrodite, followed by prayer, drum music and more.


Famous witch pot.


Exploring plants and eco print.


Let the samples speak their own story.


Bundles with secrets inside. A moment before it all is revealed.


A moment of revelation.


The moment of hush and just the breeze, everyone in soaking in the sea of their own creativity.


Fabric manipulation dresses, the first moments of the dress and the person merging into one and bringing a soft smile on one’s lips.


Yes. The ladies in white.


13 new Aphrodites in white, being reborn on the island of Cyprus.


Happiness of the seduction.

Yes, seduction, and right here I feel I have to tell more as I know not all understood the meaning of the seduction when we called our collaborative work with Irit this word. The poetic explanation of the term seduction in the context of our work was described earlier on my blog. But what does it mean at the end? We took all the natural, pure, white fabrics and materials that we used in creating the dresses. It was something virgin and untouched. What we did with it at the end was seducing all the whiteness and purity with the fruits of the Earth, leaves, flowers, rusty metals, everything so earthy, thus merging the ethereal skies in white with the “bloody”, juicy “fruits” of the Earth. That is seduction.



Prints prints prints…leaving traces and telling stories everyone and each of us reads in our own language…


Here they are, all seduced. In the hour of sunset.


Merging with the surrounding of Cyprus.


Playing Goddesses…


And crazy teachers in the waters of Aphrodite, emerging from the sea.


On the rocks in the wild, seduced wild fibers. Happiness with a little taste of nostalgia on a tip on everyone’s tongues as this is the moment to realize it has all taken place and has come to an end. But no matter how we long for whatever has happened, the end is just the beginning of the new stories, actually so merged in one another that you can never feel a distinct difference between each of it.


There has been  much more than the pictures and words can reveal – special silks, connection with the materials, talks on the similarities to the characteristics of humans, hours and hours of creativity and exploration, strong warm hearted connections, all of it spiced with the pleasures of Mediterranean Sea – when you just dive into the warm and clear waters after long hours of work, relaxing all the body on the surface of the waves, soaking in the last rays of the sun going down and hiding under the rocks in the West, tastes of Cypriot cuisine and long long dinners together until all the lights are switched off and you find yourself - there’s nothing but night in between you and the stars above, also – the girls’ night out, songs and dances, feminine conversations and laughter, and the smell of jasmine in the air...And the wish tree… And…so much more… Actually I even don’t feel the need to tell the world all of it, or feel that it’s even possible to tell, something should always be left unspoken just for the hearts who have been there, have seen and felt, lived through the same things, and now having the same memories to cherish inside and keep them warm for a long long time ahead of now.

DSC_0172 (2)

So…at the end, I think I can speak from Irit’s and mine part alike, we can only tell you – we will be back. Time will show if we will be coming back to our cradle – the island of Aphrodite or we will become nomads, wandering around the special places that we hear the call from, but another special workshop with just Irit and me, will be there for you in 2013.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Whiteness and purity in the white clouds, lightness of being, weightless flight of the angel’s wings. Ethereal being.



photo © Svetlana Batura

IMG_0823 as Smart Object-1


the feathers of the angel touch the soil of the Earth. And for the first time give in to the juices and fruits of the Earth, discover the taste of the soil and water that is running on this Earth, sense every note that the leaf or the fruit bear in itself and erupt on the whole whiteness from heavens. That’s when the angel gets seduced by the mother Earth and soak in its fruits, flowers and juices… Surrender. Feels it on the skin, inside the mouth, Earthy flowers tangling into the hair, mud, water, aroma’s of the Earth in bloom, and sweetness and bitterness of the fruits. There’s nothing about the sin. It’s all about the Earth. The moment the woman is born. SEDUCTION. From the Mother Earth.





more from SEDUCTION

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Animism. Design with the soul.

“The animal world will keep invading and transforming the life of humans represented in a more abstract and less narrative manner.
Fibre and plant are becoming dominant materials animated by organic form and skeleton structures”.


“Primitive matter and organic shapes will embody a need of man longing for a more meaningful and ritualistic relationship with earth and the elements.
Resulting in a revival of animism.
Therefore designers create brut and raw shapes that resemble totemic termite mounds, honeycomb shape, spider web laces and timber structures”.

“Can design have a soul and therefore be animated?”


I have mentioned Li Edelkoort some years ago in one of my posts here and now came across her words again when Irit shared it. There’s so much of the truth and purity in her words about trends (that we already see today!) which echo so well with my own inner feelings and believes.

And the whole trend report of her is so well worth reading:

“Post Fossil - excavating 21st century creation by Lee Edelkoort 2011
Time has come for extreme change
Society is ready to break away from last century for good.
To break with creative conventions, theoretic rules and stigmas that now are questioned, challenged and broken.
To break with a materialistic mentality replacing it with the crafted materialization of modest earth-bound and recomposed matter.
In the aftermath of the worst financial crisis in decades, a period of glamorous and streamlined design for design's sake come to an end.
A new generation of designers retrace their roots, refine their earth and research their history, sometimes going back to the beginning of time.
In this process, they form and formulate design around natural and sustainable materials, favoring timber, hide, pulp, fibre, earth and fire.
Like contemporary cavemen, they reinvent shelter, redesign tools and manmade machines, and conceptualize archaic rituals for a more modest, content and contained lifestyle.
Like a Fred Flintstone of the future.
The animal world will keep invading and transforming the life of humans represented in a more abstract and less narrative manner.
fibre and plant are becoming dominant materials animated by organic form and skeleton structures.
Our relationship with all living organisms is at stake. Therefore humans will share and care for each other.
Soon the world will discover that we are all family.
Ecology and sustainability will no longer be enough.
Primitive matter and organic shapes will embody a need of man longing for a more meaningful and ritualistic relationship with earth and the elements.
Resulting in a revival of animism.
Therefore designers create brut and raw shapes that resemble totemic termite mounds, honeycomb shape, spider web laces and timber structures; at times incorporating biotechnology into the making process to inspire design systems for the future.
Nature is a dominant ingredient in this movement, although no longer used in a naive and aspiring ecological language, but as a mature philosophy fit for newer age. Raising the questions that need to be raised.
Can we do with less to become more?
Can design have a soul and therefore be animated?
Can man find a more meaningful way to consume?
Can we break with the past and reinvent the future?
In general, materials will be matte and humble, however the earth and its hidden riches also invites this generation to employ minerals, alloys and crystals; adding lustre and sometimes even sheen to fossil-like concepts and constructions.
Laquered and polished surfaces are enhancing vegabond finds, unveiling their raw beauty while questioning the survival of the world's economy.
At times these designs will echo the essence of the arte povera movement which is bound to make a revival – soon”

Lidewij Edelkoort

Monday, April 30, 2012

EXPLORING NUNO FELT and ECO PRINT with Vilte Kazlauskaite & Irit Dulman

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! and more details coming your way! But...if you are interested in exploring nuno felt textures and natural eco print with me and Irit Dulman in the island of Aphrodite - Cyprus (can you believe it??? :) reserve the dates this July!

Course I
Beyond the surface. Fabric manipulation in nuno felt dresses + Eco print.
July 17-20

Course II
Wild fibers. Fiber manipulation and raw fleeces in nuno felt accessories + Eco print.
July 21-23

Based on inquiries we get, I have outlined main differences between 2 courses to make it easier for you to choose or just take both:

Beyond the surface - focuses on creating textures using fabric manipulation. We will also go deep into how to construct a garment, different wool lay out techniques, shrinkage, constructing of the pattern. Irit will teach eco printing and dyeing, and she will focus more on dyeing fabrics and nuno felt.
Second workshop - Wild fibers - focuses on creating textures using raw fleeces + fiber manipulation, which is different than fabric manipulation in the first course. We will create our own fabric from raw fibers and will learn how to give it dimension and combine with all texture from fleece. I will show how to make very light felt with fleeces, but will also cover how to make it thick if preferred. We will not go deep into pattern making and construction in this workshop, it's just for an accessory but completely different materials and techniques than the first one. Irit will also teach eco print and dyeing, but here she will also focus on dyeing raw fleece and fibers (fabrics and felt as well).


You can read some information about these courses in Russian here

Or take a peek to a space the workshop will be held at here

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Wool Lab–trends for Summer 2013

It was really an honor to collaborate with the Wool Lab company in their trends booklet for Spring Summer 2013, - a guide to the best wool fabrics and yarns in the world. My pieces were chosen for one of the trends named PURE.

One of the most important things is to bring inspiration to people’s hearts. Isn’t it?









Friday, April 13, 2012

Everything it takes. A moment of now

Felt is what brings me to different places of this world. And every journey brings not just the wonders of the nature, but brings me meetings. With many different people who give you a gift of communication. And no matter if there are negative or positive energies in the relation, it’s always one of the most interesting aspects of travelling. There’s always a message, a lesson, a point for your own evolvement in any human encounter and relation.
Though I am still giving classes in Australia, I wanted to mention some little things about one of these meetings, one person in particular. And that’s Wendy Bailye – feltmaker and organizer of my workshop in Queensland. I’ve received so many gifts of communication with her that it will take lot’s of time to go through that all in my mind and heart. One of the biggest gifts she gave me was not just making business of all this relation, but making it so human, so personal, so full of attention. Because…at the end…it’s all that matters.
Wendy is the person who is capable to accept people the way they are, and give the best of her to them. It seems to be such a simple philosophy to really live, feel and experience now and make that now pleasant and good, but actually it’s a very powerful tool in one’s mind that makes a big difference. And she applies it to all the things she does during her day – if it’s learning process – make it feel good, if it’s having lunch – have pleasure doing that, make it lovely, now, not later – and just because it is your life, now, at this moment, not later, you don’t stop from life, don’t make a break because you work or because you come to learn, this is your life – now. And when you think of it, it changes so much. And it empowers the strength of human being relationship…
It wasn’t just me who was blessed with such attention of Wendy and her wonderful family, I think the students in her studio felt the same and were surrounded by her attention and care. They did feel valued and important, it was not just business as it happens in this world quite often. It was human relation that was put above everything at all.
So if you ever happen to be in Queensland and start looking for felting classes, I think that Wendy’s studio is the best place you can actually find yourself in and experience this total focus on human connection while you do your exploration of felt.
Wendy’s studio
Through Wendy I also found a lot of wisdom from the poet she shared with me – David Whyte
“Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.”
― David Whyte

P.S. There were photos for this post as well, but due to extremely bad internet connection here in Tasmania, I can not upload anything now... So this post is going to be updated.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A view from above



my landscape


“I still can’t find any better definition for the word Art, than this. Nature, Reality, Truth, but with a significance, a conception, and a character which the artist brings out in it and to which he gives expression, which he disentangles and makes free”. (Vincent van Gogh)


P.S. I found this quotation in a book “Abstract Earth. A View from Above” by Richard Woldendorp – a collection of photographs of Australian landscapes. The book was a gift from a wonderful feltmakers’ group FeltWest in Perth where I was giving workshops. I was doing a slide show on the first night there and shared my passion for landscapes that I create in felt, and they were good listeners – gave me a most wonderful book of landscapes that will be my big inspiration when I return.

Friday, February 24, 2012

To dye for

It’s been really a busy time preparing for my trip to Australia this March to give workshops. In a meantime I managed to give 2 more workshops in Moscow and had real pleasure seeing the students create wonderful things from the wild fibers.

I also opened a real herbal lab in our apartment with lot’s of natural dyeing taking place. And found a beautiful quotation about natural dyes to continue the theme of the natural over the synthetic colours:

“One of the key reasons why natural colors look better than chemical colors because they are not 'pure' color: a natural red, for example, will include blue and yellow, whereas a chemical red will only contain red pigment. The impurities of natural dyes, which may comprise from five to 25 percent of the dye, consist of other hues that are similar to the main one, and it is these mixtures that make natural dyes so beautiful and create their harmony with neighboring natural colors. Where one person will see some purple in a hank of gray yarn, another may see some blue in it. To be able to see the difference is partly genetic, like the ability to curl one's tongue lengthwise, and partly a matter of experience. On the other hand, evenness of a synthetically dyed carpet is flat and uninteresting. Natural dye, precisely because of its unevenness, makes color vibrate or sparkle. And for some people this "imperfection," a sign of the artist's hand working natural substances from the garden or fields, has spiritual overtones.” (AzerbaijanRugs)



Some of my natural colours drying and waiting to be felted in. A real burst of colours, longing for Spring?.. Smile

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Project: Repurpose

Almost two years ago one of my clients was so excited contacting me, and she had an idea… She wanted me to repurpose her wedding dress that was sitting in the box for years. I think her excitement simply infected me and I said yes to her, let’s try this.

So the dress made its way to me over Atlantic. When I opened the big box, I had ambiguous feelings – fear to take the dress apart, excitement to repurpose it and…worry when I saw it was all synthetic and not silk as my client thought of it.


I don’t usually use anything synthetic in my pieces or projects, I don’t feel connected with the synthetics. And especially having to combine it with the natural materials… The other problem was that most of the fabric of the dress was not suitable for felting at all.

As the excitement and enthusiasm of the first moments faded away, I understood I could do nothing unless I build a connection with this fabric. I needed it to speak to me. There were dozen of times when I took it to my hands and then put it away. I took it apart, carded some fabric into fibers, and removed the embellishments to be felted on something I still didn’t know what. I was lucky to have such a wonderful client who understood my creative process and was ready to wait even for a year or more.

Concentrating my thoughts on my client, opened up my mind. Though the fabric was synthetic, it was a part of my clients image some years ago – I was sure this dress was soaking in most positive feelings, love and adoration during those times when my client was marrying a man she loved. It wasn’t just a piece of polyester to her. This was the point where the fabric could speak to me and I could listen. My work began.

It wasn’t all about felting, just a few pieces, it was more of interpretation in textiles. I applied several techniques and thought a lot about colors. I was sure the colors should be softening the feeling of synthetics and should be something that would look worth of a woman whatever her age would be. As the woman who decided to repurpose her wedding dress wants to cherish the things made of it for years or maybe a lifetime.









And…the best reward for this “communication” with the dress was my clients reaction – she loved every single piece. And I hope she is going to cherish it for years.


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