11 Aug 2015

Interview with Nanna Salmi - part V


Nanna has a background as a textile artist, textile artesan and designer. 
Did that grow your interest in material? 


- Yes, for sure. For decades I have worked with textiles and yarn. I have made 
applications and quilt work, I have made rugs. I have designed knitwear, embroidery, 
clothing and interior decoration textiles etc. But that is not all. I have also designed 
and planned gardens, interiors for private houses and even small buildings. But horsehair; 
that really caught me...

inventing woven horsehair jewellery
Nanna Salmi in 1982
- The most natural way for me was to try to make a miniature textile with hair. I had seen 
jewellery made out of plaited or somehow twisted and twined hair, but I wanted to do 
something more lasting, sophisticated, configurable with patterns and colors.

But now, back to the birthday present. You had a ribbon ready, what was the next step? 

- I went to the goldsmith and gave him Nitte's olive bit and asked him to make it in a 
smaller scale. Then the tiny bit was attached to the ribbon and the first 
necklace was ready.

Nanna takes another cup of coffee, we are glancing through old photos.

- I will never forget the moment my friend got her birthday present. We were about 
a dozen of boarders celebrating her at the dinner table. At the dessert time 
she started to open her presents, looked at the necklace and said ”nice”, 
put the box away and started to open the next one. 
The lady beside her notified that the necklace ribbon is made of horsehair, 
she took another look and said ”really, wow”, and put the box away...

When she was told that the ribbon was actually made of her three mares' hair, 
tears started to well in her eyes. It was truely an emotional moment full of amazement, 
happiness and joy. And I thought ”great, she really likes it”.

nannasalmi has invented woven horsehair jewellery

Some minutes later another lady whispered to me ”I want that, too”, and when the fifth one 
asked if I could make something similar for her, too, I realized that I had invented 
something really special.

To be continued... Read also



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