Meet The KOEL Kids: Alesia Hnatiuk
There’s something carefree and unpredictable about Alesia Hnatiuk’s wall hangings. Having tried her hands out at numerous crafts such as embroidery and carpentry, it was the relaxing and calming movements of weaving and macramé that stuck with Alesia most, leading her to the start of her own crafting business.
Small Wave Art reflects her mode of approach towards the creation of her designs, free-flowing and limitless, just like the waves of the ocean. You can tell her work apart through the distinctive details she incorporates into her pieces – metals, shells and crystals. Let’s find out more about Alesia’s creative process and her dreams for the future!
Your favorite design to date…
The inspiration behind this design is… Desert landscape.
The dream store in which I would like to stock this design is… Anthropologie and of course, in my own little ship with a small studio space where I can host my guests and customers.
If this design made it big, I would… Be happy for I was the one who created it, and do it again!
If this design could take, it would say… Hello! I’m a piece of art you can touch.
Tell us more about your background and what led you to choosing weaving as a craft?
Since my schooling years, I’ve always been a crafty person and had a strong passion for interior design. When it came the time to choose a university, for some reason, I went for law. After graduating, I found myself quite lost and downhearted with my new profession. The feeling that jurisprudence is not the path for me to walk down kept growing stronger. I didn’t become a lawyer, but I did meet my husband while I was studying, and it was thanks to his faith in me and ongoing support that prompted me to start searching for my self-identity as an artist.
My search process reflected the waves of the ocean hence the name of my company. I tried my hands out at drawing, I was fond of embroidery and even learned how to design and sew clothes. I ever made wooden shelves for a year, but understood that carpentry required lots of work and an out of home studio. It wasn’t after I saw Maryanne Moodie’s weavings on Pinterest that I thought to myself, “Wow! I like it. I’m definitely making this!”, and from that moment on I was captured by how meditative weaving was. Every time I start a new wall hanging, I physically feel my body and mind calming down when I touch the fibres and rovings.
Just two years ago, I tried my hands out at macrame and fell in love with knotting too! Today, I work with both techniques and adore combining them to see what kind of results I get. So, here I am, extremely happy to be able to make something with my own hands. It feels so significant and important to me, especially when my clients show their love and gratefulness for my work, I realise I’m in the right place.
What makes you a KOEL Kid?
There are so many amazing artists and I’m incredibly lucky to be a part of this wonderful community of creators. I believe what makes my style stand out from the rest is its distinctive combination of colors and textures – smooth color gradients, soft textures and shapes. I like to approach things in different directions, experimenting and discovering new colors and shades, and incorporating them into my weavings. I’m especially interested in adding new details such as metal, shells or crystals into my pieces. I’m quite a tactile person and it’s so meaningful for me to have this opportunity to share my feelings through my art pieces.
Share with us the creative process.
I’ll make notes and add pictures that inspire me into my mood board – illustrations, interior design, designer clothing, or art pieces. When I start on a new weaving, I can refer back to it for inspiration. But of course, ideas can come to me from many other sources. I could consider my weaving process organic and intuitional. I first determine the size of the panel, and every new weaving will start off with a specific color. Usually, I take a few ball of yarns and keep adding more for gradient, following my current mood. I hardly ever make a preliminary sketch and just let my hands move by instinct. Sometimes, I weave according to a sketch or photo given by a client.
How much has changed since you first started weaving? And where do you see it in the next five years?
I truly enjoy the creation process and love every piece I make. I’ve always wanted to create something with my own hands, to see the material embodiment of my effort. I like what I’m doing and hope that in the coming years, I still enjoy what I do and can still continue to share the weavings I create with love and care. As for my dreams, I’d like an opportunity to create large commissions. The longer I work on one piece, the more satisfaction as it feels like something truly remarkable is in the making.
Photo Credits: Alesia Hnatiuk