OSTRAVA, CZECH REPUBLIC
As part of the original Around the World in 80 Skeins tour, Czech Republic was our 34th and final stop for 2014, to visit crochet designer Vendula Maderska.
Hi, Vendulka – welcome to the tour! Let’s start with where are you from?
I was born in Czech Republic. I am living here for all my life. It is a small but very nice country in the heart of the Europe. In my veins circulates Czech, Estonian and Polish aristocratic blood. So I am multicultural. 🙂
What’s the best thing about where you live?
Well, even our country is quite small, we have rich culture past. I am living in Ostrava, third largest town. I am living in northeast part of the country. In the past it was known as a steel heart of Czechoslovakia, because of heavy industry here. Czechoslovakia changed and divided on Czech republic and Slovakia. We have still friendly relationship between both countries. Ostrava changed in time also, but the typical industrial architecture remained. Now it is used as venue for cultural events eg. Music festival Colours of Ostrava. Great tradition has International athletic meeting Golden Spike, which is held in Ostrava since 1961. Me and my family are living near beautiful city forest, so we have always great opportunity for nice walk in the nature. Most known from our country is our capital Prague, where you could find many historical sights and cultural activities. But there is many other wonderful places in our country such as: South Moravia and Lednice-Valtice area, with it’s beautiful countryside, historical sights and vast vineyards. Our Mountains – Krkonoše National park, Český ráj (Czech paradise), Jeseníky, Beskydy, Šumava National Park. We have many beautiful spa towns and romantic cities such as Czech Krumlov which has monuments of UNESCO and many others.
How did you get started crocheting and how did it turn into designing?
My mom taught me the basics of the crocheting when I was a child. But I liked the knitting more. I knitted my first colorful sweater when I was 12 years old. And when I looked at the picture not long ago, I laughed, because I used the beads there, like I am using in my work nowadays. I almost forget it, but it was always hidden inside of me 🙂 Before I became a crochet designer I made many hats fitting directly to clothes as a custom orders. I remember every hat I made. It was great opportunity for practicing and improving not only my crocheting, but designing also. And one of the request was: to make a hat fitting to the patchwork tunic. I love patchwork. But I can’t sewing in past. And I told myself : “If they can sew it, why I can not crochet it?”. It is more then 6 years ago and I still remember the beautiful little girl, I was making the hat for. And I think, that something changed inside of me after I made this hat. I began thinking about my crocheting by different way. I really desired to find my own way…. This hat changed everything. 🙂 Sometimes to find the right way took a little time, but I think, that I found my way already and I’ve fallen in love with crocheting and designing!
What inspires your designs?
My main inspiration is Life, but the Life perceived by children’s eyes. The children are more courageous then the adults. I feel that with the age, the people are more serious, wearing stronger masks and suppressing their own personality because of the conventions. I would really wish there still remains something of a children’s playfulness in my work – regardless of the age.
Where is your favorite place to work?
I have no special place. I crochet, where my family allows to me, with my girls around me. But when I am designing new creation I am rather alone in the silence, with a nice look to the nature and with my beloved honey girl (my dog) beside me.
What is your design process like? Do you plan it all out before you pick up your hook, or do you let the yarn show you where to go?
How I would describe the typical process of my creating – but it is not. Some creations arises according of the mood accidentally. Sometimes I am working on the creation over a year, until I hear my inside voice whispering – that is it! Some creations are born quietly in the silence of the night. But at the beginning it is always the desire to create something original, with it’s own story. And yes, at the beginning I am always thinking about the material and colors. Because the colors are very important for me.
Do you have a favorite local yarn store?
There is one small yarns shop in my neighborhood, where I like to spend some time. But most of all I am buying the yarn via Internet.
What is your favorite working snack/beverage?
My routine is only mug of coffee or tea in the right corner of my table 🙂
Is there a big fiber arts culture where you live?
I think that people in our country are very skillful. In the past, many women were crocheting and knitting, because there was a small selection of fashion in the stores. Over time, the situation has changed, there are many goods in the fashion stores. But I think that there are still many women dedicated to handicrafts as their hobby, because they love it!
Do you have a favorite design in your portfolio?
My inspiration came from colorful children’s world. My most beloved creations have the colors of the rainbow. I need to see all these colors around me 🙂
My most beloved creations are the owls. I admire these wonderful animals.
Thank you so much for joining our tour and for bringing such beautiful and cheerful designs to the last day of 2014!