Elina Airikkala: When Weaving Becomes ArtJacquie Rosenbach
“When I find that the colours are in tune with the weaving draft I feel as though I am creating music or poetry.”
Elina Airikkala is a Finnish textile artist who started her career in the field when she was 18. She wasn’t sure what to do at that moment of her life, and so a friend of her suggested she should enrol in a course. Elina chose a weaving one. Since then a long-standing set of experiences make Elina not to separate herself from textiles anymore. She lived in Italy for many years, where she learned from the bests, but where she was also approached to become a professor, a role that she keeps on with.
In her job as a weaver, Elina Airikkala has a very definitive statement: she tries to create original woven fabrics while respecting thousands of years of weaving history around the world, but also honoring the Finnish decision of promoting and protecting handicrafts. And she does this very successfully: her fabrics, under the brand name of Elinaleoni, are woven according to ancient traditions of warp and weft but bringing a fresh and new approach. Beautiful blankets, shawls and accessories for wrapping yourself into and for covering up are imagined and produced by this committed artist.
Elina tries to create woven textiles which make anyone who sees them think “Elina definitely made this one”. And her treatment of colours is a very important aspect of her designs. “Colours can be very difficult – I speak to them, I reason with them, until I find the perfect place for each one ” she says. Sometime her textiles’ colours bring a solace like a deep forest and a bed of moss, and other times they provide joy and warmth like the rays of the sun. But moreover, they are all definitely unique pieces, which embody all the knowledge, passion and experience that Elina has.
Want to know more about her career and projects? Go grab the Autumn issue of No Serial Number Magazine 2016, where a beautiful article about her is presented.
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