KOEL Kid: Kathrin Oenbrink
Being a KOEL kid doesn’t necessarily mean doing what someone has never done before. Our kind of KOEL kids are those who develop, nurture and learn to accept and love their own special style and voice. This is what we saw in Kathrin Oenbrink, who accepted that she was not good with chaos and preferred her weaves in straight, immaculate and vibrant shapes. Find out more about Kathrin and her shop, wednesdayweaving (which was created on a Wednesday), in the interview below!
1. Tell us more about your background and what led you to choosing weaving as a craft?
I am 37, an art historian and currently working on my PhD. I started weaving back in 2015. A few months earlier I had visited my cousin in Melbourne, who at the time was busy renovating his new home. That’s how I came across an Australian interior design blog that featured some of Maryanne Moodie’s works. My first thought was: “I want to make something beautiful like that, too!”. It took a little while after coming across another blog article about weaving that prompted me to buy my first loom after twenty years. After weeks of practicing, I decided to give it a go and created wednesdayweaving. On a Wednesday, of course.
2. What makes you a KOEL Kid?
I think I am the opposite of a cool kid. But I may be a KOEL kid because I developed my own style, without even noticing it. I’ve always wanted to create something wilder, something that looked more chaotic and less “perfect” (by that I mean the straight edges and right angles). But this is ultimately who I am; I am not good with chaos and I like my edges straight and neat. I finally learned to accept – and love – that.
3. Share with us the creative process behind each of your projects.
Usually it all starts with an idea for a colour combination – I mostly get inspiration from art, architecture, interior and fashion magazines. Then, I start on creating the right design to fit these colours, constantly using repetitive shapes like rectangles and (semi) circles.
4. Pick one of your favourite designs and answer these quick questions:
The inspiration behind this design is… I wanted to make something more three-dimensional and tried to achieve that with lots of rya knot fringe. This piece was my second attempt. I went for a very simple design – a combination of squares and semi-circles. The golden “beam” seemed like a nice additional feature, especially in combination with the vibrant blue fringe.
The dream store in which I would like to stock this design is… Oh, I love LYS Vintage, an interior store in Hamburg/Germany. It would also be great to see this piece somewhere abroad, maybe in Melbourne or Portland.
Which celebrity house can you picture your design at… Jonathan Adler’s New York apartment seems to be a wonderful place, full of colour and art. I’d love to see this piece next to some of his designs!
If this design made it big, I would… Become a full time weaver. And spend more time in Paris eating croissants in nice littles cafés.
If this design could talk, it would say… I am sorry for having been such a pain in the ass.
5. Great things take time, so how much has changed since you first started weaving and where do you see it in the next five years?
A lot of things have changed in these past four years. I started something as a hobby, and somehow it turned into a business. It’s just crazy to know there are things I made with my own hands hanging on other people’s walls as far away as the United States and Australia! I met lots of wonderful fellow weavers and creators of other disciplines on Instagram. It’s great to be able to watch how they develop and become successful through doing something they love. They also taught me about the value of handmade things, about slow fashion and the importance of trying to live a more sustainable life.
As for the second part of the question: I hope I’ll finally have my own studio, a place just for weaving and everything related to my tiny business.
Photo Credits: Kathrin Oenbrink