I'm back again with my new series At First Site. Once a month I'll be sharing about sites/artists that inspire me. I hope in the process you'll discover something new and get inspired too.
Inspiring me this month is designer Mariela Dias who writes the blog Mariela Dias. Mariela designs, makes and sells felt accessories. Her bold colors and creative use with felt instantly attracted my attention. Usually when I think of felt crafts, I picture felt food and softies but Mariela is creating so much more with the medium.
How and when did you start working with felt?
I studied Design at the University of Aveiro and during my training I did some work on design/crafts. From that moment, I understood that the design and craftsmanship could result in a perfect marriage. I started working with felt six years ago, first as a secondary activity. Four years ago it became a full time job.
My work aims to recreate the essence of Portuguese craftsmanship: based on floral and geometric motifs present in the pottery and embroidery ("lencos dos namorados") and in general, Portuguese traditional crafts and feminine details that coexist in harmony with today's trends.
Do you sew all your pieces?
It's all done by me. To make a bag, for example, I start by drawing and then the shape is all set. I make the bag template out of cardboard. Using scissors or a scalpel, I cut the felt in accordance with the drawing. Then I baste the pieces and finish the sewing bag.
What inspires your artwork?
I find inspiration in traditional Portuguese handicraft but also I do daily walks around town.
If you have a minute or two, stop by her site to see what she's creating . The photos above are just a small sample of her work.