|“Art you can wear knit in nature’s palette”|
One afternoon in Rīga we took a walk down Avotu iela to Inese’s studio. The creative force behind “Wrapture by Inese,” I know her from days spent in scout camp, both of us working with lielgaidas. There are family connections too, sister’s godfather’s wife’s sister or something like that. I remember one Lielā nometne she handed out art like it was trail mix, a playful shot glass coming home with me – a rather unlikely souvenir from time spent in the woods. In speaking with my mother other nature-inspired compositions were mentioned: the mirror framed with acorns hanging in my grandmother’s house, the macramé with paper birch bark on my mother’s bedroom door, both from nometnes long since passed.
Latvians have for centuries taken inspiration from nature, not only in materials but also in colors. The Latvian folk costumes feature the reds, browns, greens and oranges that are spring through fall and the white and black that is winter. This heritage shines through in Inese’s current line of knits, with color combinations named Alsungas vamzis and Nīca. In her blog Inese writes “I get the colors for my knitwear from nature. I rarely look at a photo and say I want to knit exactly this. I just soak it up and then when I knit the colors just make sense, I use color memories subconsciously.” The names of her café wraps reflect their roots in nature: the “Kelp Forest,” “Muir Woods” and “Mossy Ridge”.
Graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a BFA, Inese continued her studies and her career in California. Ten years ago she took the leap and moved to Latvia, where she was immediately noticed by the press and has been creating and knitting her way into homes worldwide ever since – 30 countries at latest count.
Inese’s current best seller is the mobius wrap, which came about after much experimenting with width and length. Similar to infinity scarves, the wraps can be worn as stoles, scarves or in various other combinations, with a choice of thickness, weight and of course colors to choose from. With color mixing skills from the years working textile design Inese says she comes up with color combinations that even she can't duplicate. “I started with wraps only, but I am evolving. A few years back a master chef asked me if I could make something for his diners to wear on chilly evenings at his outdoor cafe so my infinity scarves got longer, wider, chunkier and turned into the perfect 'cafe wraps'. During a summer photo shoot when the clouds came in I gave all the girls cafe wraps to stay warm. The kids tucked in their arms and feet and looked like turtles on the porch swing. The moms had both arms free to help where needed. Grandma insisted on wearing a wrap, and I saw that this style will easily work for 4 generations, everyone 'gets it'...”
|These guys 'get it' too - especially while playing with handmade finger puppets|
Inese’s wraps can be found in the Wrapture shop at http://shop.wrapturebyinese.com/. She blogs at https://wrapturebyinese.wordpress.com/ and can be found on facebook here.
Get Out of the Box, Latvia: Inese Iris Liepina at TEDxRiga 2013
As a special surprise from me, one lucky reader will win a gift from Inese’s line daba deva. The banana bird market tote is designed and sewn in Latvia, the bird (the form of the bag when zipped and not in use) having been especially created for the Song and Dance Festival. The washable, reusable bag has three compartments to keep crushables safe from heavier objects, and features bright colors, sturdy seams and Latvian folk symbols. To enter this giveaway, please visit Inese’s website and comment here or email me with your favorite wrap color combination! The deadline for entries is Monday, August 31st (2015) , and one winner will be selected at random. I have received no compensation for this post, and the winner will be contacted for their mailing address soon after the giveaway closes.
|Colors may vary|
“I am adamant about having the absolutely best quality, buying yarn by touch. It costs more, but why would anyone want to buy or wear something that doesn't feel and look exquisite?
“My greatest accomplishment is to get you to smile when you see and wear the knit that is yours and yours alone. It is all one of a kind and unique. I can't even discipline myself to knit both sleeves or front and back the same, so I don't even try. My work is for the individuals out there who can truly appreciate that!” –Inese Liepiņa