Monday, September 8, 2014

Meet the Maker - Kristina Pusakowa - Needlefruit

Welcome to another edition of 'meet the maker' this week we're getting to know Kristina from Needlefruit

Were you creative as a child/do you come from a creative family?
Hmm, I don't think I was overly creative as a child. My mother and grandmother were both very good at sewing. I remember a few childhood princess costumes and flared pants in my teens that they have made for me.

My dad used to wood carve little scary masks when he was young and there are still a few in my parents home. I like them even though they are scary :)

I never thought I had any creative talent throughout most of my adult life. Then I started getting into sewing and hand embroidery and slowly noticed there might be something creative bubbling to the surface ;)

How would you describe your work?
I make hand embroidered wall hangings, some would call them hoop art I think, and cushions.

How has your work evolved since you started?
It started as a hobby as for most handmade micro business owners. And then I had the amazing opportunity to teach sewing for beginners for a lovely sewing studio in Paddington and absolutely loved it! I was working full time in the “real world” job and was teaching at nights and the weekends.

The business had to go on a break and I soon started missing the laughs and stories and the proud faces of the students. So I decided to start teaching hand embroidery.
Long story short, I started Needlefruit in June this year (2014) and cannot wait to start the next round of classes!

How did you start selling online/ Etsy (if applicable)?
I have not started selling online yet. I am still working on making wall hangings and cushions for my first market with you guys (BrisStyle) in September.

I have sold embroidery classes on my website in July and am planning more classes for September as well. Uh, I can't wait I love teaching embroidery!

Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by Russian folk art and their amazing use of colours and I think there is a bit of English rose garden, mixed media and our beautiful nature in the pot as well.

Do you reduce, reuse, recycle as part of your creative process?  If yes, how is your art/craft eco-friendly?
Yes, I sometimes do use fabric scraps that I have left over from sewing dresses and just bought a pile of fabric from Reverse Garbage. I am hoarding even the tiniest leftover scraps, just in case they come in handy one day haha!

Describe your studio/workspace?
I am very lucky to have my own little sewing/ workshop room at home. It's small and packed with stuff but I love it!

What is your favourite thing to make?
I love making my wall hangings, especially the more complicated ones. They can take a couple of days to finish, but I am a little proud of every single one of them.

How did your business/shop name come about (if applicable)?
I like the idea of something growing out of my needles, like fruit from a tree. It takes some rain, sunshine and time to grow fruit but when they are ripe they are delicious. Hahaha! Is that too cheesy?

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?
I will be running regular classes at Knitch (a beautiful yarn shop in Paddington with an amazing studio space underneath).

I am also planning to get involved in regular markets and meet some of the amazing creative people out there. I would sell a few things as well :).
An online shop would be neat too, but I have not made my mind up where to set up shop.

What’s your top tip to others wanting to break into the handmade/creative market?
Gosh... I have only been doing this full time for a couple of months and it still feels a little weird.
I would say try to get involved in social media groups and meet like-minded people at markets. It definitely helps me a lot to talk to people who are doing it, you know?

Describe your typical creative day?
I try to get up early. I have just started running again (well it's more walk walk run walk walk...) so that's the first thing I do in the morning.

Then I am off into my room and start stitching or create a new design for the next wall hanging. In between I am still working on my website, branding and class structures.

Music or movie while creating?
Depending on my mood, I like to listen to very different music. I might go with relaxing spa music or Rock and PunkRock ;)

What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?
It's a beautiful turned and hand sawn wooden wall/window decoration from Germany. It's traditionally a Christmas decoration, but I have it hanging out all year. It's a winter woodland scene with deer, birds and squirrels and it has a built in light. When you switch in on the little wooden creatures look magical.  It reminds me of home and of cold snowy winters and warm houses.

Where can we find you online/stockists (links etc)?

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