A RICH TA­PES­TRY

Balanc­ing CRE­ATIV­ITY and BUSINESS can make or break many artists. But this CRAFTER seems to have weaved to­gether a de­sign for SUC­CESS.

Collective Hub - - ART - WORDS ANGIE FOX

Ithink I might have been a ta­pes­try weaver in a past life,” says Tammy Kanat, as she stands be­fore her loom in her pic­turesque home stu­dio in Mel­bourne’s east. So deep is Tammy’s pas­sion for this old tra­di­tion, that she can of­ten be found sur­rounded by threads of wool and silk as early as 5am.

“It’s my happy place. If I’m stressed about any­thing, I can just go and weave and it’s like a med­i­ta­tion. Thoughts go in and out of my head. It soothes me and there’s a rhythm to it,” she says.

While it’s no­to­ri­ously chal­leng­ing to make a liv­ing as an artist, Tammy, 46, found crit­i­cal ac­claim, plus a strong cus­tomer base, al­most im­me­di­ately upon com­ple­tion of her first work. As soon as she launched, she had com­mis­sions com­ing from around the globe. Which is no small feat con­sid­er­ing Tammy was ini­tially self-taught.

After strug­gling to find the per­fect wall art for her new home ren­o­va­tion, she took her­self off to Mel­bourne in­sti­tu­tion Won­d­oflex Yarn Craft Centre to cre­ate her own piece. When she re­turned to Won­d­oflex to show off her work, the staff con­firmed she was do­ing “some­thing spe­cial”, and she en­rolled in a se­ries of classes at the Aus­tralian Ta­pes­try Work­shop.

“I wanted to learn the traditional ta­pes­try weav­ing tech­niques, and re­ally un­der­stand them, to then be able to be­come re­ally free with us­ing dif­fer­ent wools and tex­tures,” she ex­plains.

“I can be in­spired by any­thing. It can be tiles on the floor. It can be the colours of the land, the water, the greens of the trees or the red earth,” she says, cit­ing US in­te­rior de­signer Kelly Wearstler, Ger­man tex­tile artist Gunta Stolzl and US artist Josef Al­bers as be­ing among some of her big­gest in­spi­ra­tions for her craft.

Tammy’s works range in price from a few hun­dred to a few thou­sand dol­lars, de­pend­ing on the size and the ma­te­ri­als she uses, from silk to wool, rope, hes­sian and hemp. No two pieces are alike.

“I love play­ing with new ideas. I like ex­per­i­ment­ing. I do get a buzz out of cre­at­ing some­thing that just doesn’t ex­ist,” she says.

Since launch­ing, Tammy has ex­hib­ited her works lo­cally and, more re­cently, along­side de­signer-maker Katha­rina Eisenkoeck and glass and ce­ramic artist Pia Wüsten­berg at 2017 Milan De­sign Week. She also col­lab­o­rated with local rug man­u­fac­turer Cadrys and with New York-based ar­chi­tect Peter Marino, who’s renowned for de­sign­ing high­fash­ion bou­tiques for clients in­clud­ing Dior, Louis Vuit­ton and Bul­gari. Marino dis­cov­ered Tammy on In­sta­gram. >

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