We came across Melbourne fibre artist, Tammy Kanat recently on instagram and were instantly drawn in to her beautiful weavings. The mega-sized works are especially impressive and her choices of colours and textures make for a beautiful combination. We sent her an email about her work for a Q&A style post. Check it out below!
Q. We love finding out how people begin their craft. How did you start with fibre art? Did you take formal training?
My weaving journey started in 2011 after designing jewellery for 12 years I diverted my creative outlet to textile design, enrolling into the Australian Tapestry Workshop (ATW) to learn the complex skill of tapestry weaving.
I developed and refined my knowledge at the Australian Tapestry Workshop where they have an international reputation as a leader in contemporary tapestry. Here I discovered how this traditional medium could be used in so many different ways and I started to develop my own unique creative style.
In 2014 I had my first exhibition called “The Spirit” a collection of hand woven wall art, vessels and sculptures, establishing myself as a fiber artist. Through social media I have been so fortunate to receive international recognition and support, I have produced several pieces for local and international clients.
All my designs are bespoke and hand woven by me, to ensure that each piece is carefully constructed. I am a strong advocate of fellow artists of handmade designs. I believe weaving is a great way to share and express my surroundings it is a timeless art form that keeps evolving and is constantly working with different mediums.
My philosophy “I like my work to be unique and authentic. Weaving to me projects a mood. When it comes to designing or creating I just follow my instinct to produce something that feels right. I am very visual always taking note of my surroundings and I believe this is reflected in my work.”
I currently live in Melbourne, Australia and continue to design and create bespoke fiber art pieces for clients. My projects include wall hangings, floor rugs, woven hammocks, vessels and chunky throws. I am continually experimenting with new ideas and concepts working with different fibers and techniques, discovering weaving can be used in so many aspects of our lives, both decorative and practical.
Q. We love your large pieces. Can you explain a bit how you got to where you are, finding your style?
My love of nature has played a major role in defining my style. I like to surround myself with plants, trees and flowers. My design are never planned they just evolve, my style is organic. I enjoy working on a large scale. I love the weaving journey and when the piece is larger it just makes the experience longer and richer. The impact of large chunky wool also appeals to me. The texture and shapes that can be created on a large loom are extremely beautiful. A large tapestry weaving has an amazing energy!
Q. Let's talk about your tools a bit. We noticed you use a very large loom. Do you mind explaining how that came about, and is it easy to make?
A few years ago I was approached by a customer to create a large commission for their home. Prior to that I had only focused on creating smaller detailed weavings. It was a very exciting opportunity for me. My husband offered to create me a large loom – he researched different options and then created this large loom for me. It was a little challenging to make, however we got there and it is an art piece in itself and I love it!
Q. Do you mind explaining your process or the progression of? And how long does it take you to create one of your larger pieces
The process of creating a piece is very organic for me. I select a few colours to give me a very rough direction and then I just start weaving and the piece evolves. I never plan a design, I love the freedom and spontaneous feel of the design process and the colour selection. The time it takes to create a piece varies a lot depending on the complexity and size of the design.
Q. What designers/makers/firbre artists, etc do you look up to, are influenced by or inspire you?
I love Patricia Urquiola her stunning creative colour palettes and designs, Dianne Vreeland a fashion icon ahead of her time, Frank Lloyd Wright and his ideas of organic architecture and Axel Vervoordt is another of my favourite designers . I love his philosophy of linking lifestyle and home design.
Q. How do you create best (e.g. do you listen to music while you create and if so what?)
Sometimes listening to music but often just in silence I get into this weaving rhythm.
Q. What's happening for you in the near future, any exhibits, shows coming up? And where can one buy your work? Do you do commisions?
I am currently working on an exciting collaboration with two amazing Australian companies l Cadrys a rug company that has existed since 1952. The rugs I have designed will be launched in August 2016. I am also developing a range of artistic outdoor furniture for William Dangar for Robert Plumb also to be launched in August 2016. One of my favourite parts of my work is connecting with people and creating bespoke commissions for their spaces.
All communication for my commissions are through my email tlkanat.optusnet.com.au and to see my current work the best place is on my instagram - @tammykanat
Thank you Tammy!