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Featured Artist of the Month – Kirke Raava

1) How would you describe your current practice (e.g. materials, techniques, themes, key questions, approach)?

I am currently investigating crochet and my special interests lies in granny squares and doilies. There is a lot of skill and tradition in crochet – I am finding myself going through my grandmas chest and finding these intricate work of art that’s all forgotten. I enjoy changing them and making the
observer to question the new object or print. I work with very fine silk yarns and super chunky recycled cotton yarns and leather. I find that I have quite a few projects going on at the same time, I am always making something.

2) What are you working on at the moment (forthcoming exhibitions, events, workshops etc)?

Earlier this year I started to make crochet vessels, incorporating leather with the chunky yarn, it’s quite commercial but I do enjoy the therapy of crochet. I also love the chunky textures I can create adding the metal jump rings to create armour like textures. Planning new crochet vessels making workshops in spring at The Forge. Festive Needle Felting and Bunting making workshops at The Forge in Digswell coming up before the Christmas. I have also been busy helping to develop product called Phanyard and have been busy making them https://www.phanyard.co.uk

Vessels 2018, leather, recycled cotton yarn

3) What are your plans for the coming year?

I want to find a balance with my own practice and workshops. I really enjoy the teaching part, sharing skills and motivating. Same time I feel that I
haven’t found a balance on my own practice, I am trying out new things, using the amazing print room facilities at The Forge.

First series of study in textures- work in progress, 2018

4) What is the question you get asked most about your work and how do you answer it?

When people visit me in my Studio, they are very curious about my industrial machines, most of the time I end up doing some sort of special demo. I also get questions about the textures I create with my crochet.

Vessels-work in progress, 2018

5) What or who inspired you to be an artist and why?

I have been always intrigued how things are made. This is how I got into sewing and later into the fashion industry. I have been always interested in
textile art, my grandmother was a huge influence. She was the person who had the biggest impact on my life. She was so skilled, she dyed her wool, knitted, crochet, used the looms to create rugs and fabric. So when I finished my Jewellery and accessories degree I have been able to mix my mediums and use the skills I have gained to make a mark and ask questions about the objects.

6) Which artist do you most admire and why?

David Clarke is a highly innovative silversmith. He is producing intelligent, engaging and challenging domestic objects. His experimental spoons were my biggest inspiration with my own work Shadowdancers. Lin Cheung is an inspirational contemporary jewellery designer. I had a very lucky chance to work with her in one of her workshops. Her series of brooches named “Delayed Reactions” are her response to the events since the EU Referendum. I agree with her view of the jewellery being powerful and it’s something we should not ignore.

Shadowdancer 2016, crochet, silk silver coated spoon

7) How has your relationship with Digswell Arts Trust strengthened your practice as an artist?

Digswell Art has given me the opportunity to explore my own practice, trial new things, make mistakes and then try different things. You are surrounded by like-minded creative people. It’s nice to be part of something. As a local to Welwyn Garden City I feel such a pride to be part of the charity which started 61 years ago supporting emerging artists in Welwyn Garden City. I also like the chance to open our studios to the local people, to show to the community what we do, I love organising the Open Studio weekends every year.

Bunting workshop samples – Kirke Raava

Next Workshops where you can make things with Kirke are:

Festive Bunting Sewing Workshop
24th November and 15th of December 6-8.30pm

Christmas themed Needle Felting and Embellishing workshop
17th November and 8th December 6-8.30pm

More info https://digswellarts.org/sewing-workshops/
Kirke will be taking part of the Mill House Hertford Makers Market, 18th November 11-4pm
https://www.themillhousehertford.com

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