Making No. 2 / FAUNA Contributor Feature: Kristine Vejar
Enjoy an interview with Making No. 2 / FAUNA contributor and sponsor Kristine Vejar of A Verb for Keeping Warm. Kristine designed Rosa Sachets dyed using Cochineal.
Tell us how you got started in your craft.
I travelled to India to study Art History as part of my undergraduate degree. My research shifted from studying Indian miniature paintings to studying the textiles within those paintings and sure enough I was pulled into the vast world of Indian textiles. I ended up living in India for two years living in a region renowned for its long-standing tradition of creating textiles. I mainly studied with two groups of people: appliquéd and embroidered clothing and quilts by a group of semi-nomadic herders named Rabari, and a family of dyers who create block-printed and resist-dyed fabric. This is when I became completely captivated by natural dyes and began the process of learning about the history and process of natural dyeing.
What is unique about your designs?
When I travelled to India, I didn’t know the language and was very new to the customs. When my focus shifted to Textiles from Art History, I used my knowledge of sewing, given to me by my Grandmother, and was able to connect with people. I found that once people discovered I knew how to sew, I was accepted with excitement. In a place so far from home, this was very heart-warming and to this day has made a great impression upon my work. When designing, my inspiration mainly comes from textiles around the world. Within the description of my projects, I enjoy sharing a bit about the history and cultural significance. As a natural dyer, I like to create naturally dyed materials which work hand-in-hand with the design.
Tell us about a challenge in your making that you've had to overcome.
Perfectionism! Hands down. I have an expectation of myself which is “do it right the first time”. Well, this is absolutely unrealistic. I create and design because I am inspired and have a notion of how I would like to express that inspiration. What I have learned is, this notion, once it begins moving out of my head as an idea to a tangible object, is somewhat vague, malleable, and includes more moving parts than I had thought, in other words there is a lot of opportunity for what will be its final form. So instead of feeling overwhelmed and frustrated by this fact, I have adopted a practice introduced to me by my friend Stephen. I call it the Twelve Time Rule. It goes like this: do [the thing which you are trying to do] twelve times. Sure there are times, in larger natural dyeing and designing projects where I have to exercise all twelve times. Though mostly by the third or fourth time of working to express my idea, I have a pretty good sense of where I am headed, and in some cases, can complete the design. (And due to that fact, I’ve tricked my inner perfectionist, who is pleased because I didn’t have to get to all twelve times!) The Twelve Time Rule helps me to stay curious and optimistic during the process, has really helped curb my perfectionism, and allows me to explore within the design process instead of shutting down. I am able to find joy in creating and to land on a design I would have never conceived of if I had left the idea in my mind, or only on paper.
Thank you, Kristine!