|Pliers, Screwdriver, & Scissors Pillows|
Kasia Urban Rybska designs and creates needlepoint like no other.
Contemporary, quirky, and fun!
I'm quite sure you'll be enthralled by her story.
Enjoy our interview and these examples of her whimsical, upbeat works of art!
Tell us a little about yourself!
I live in Krakow, Poland and I'm a mother of two beautiful girls. In university, I studied Arabic culture and language. At that time, this was an easier way to visit another country, as Poland was still under strong communist rule.
|Japanese Manga / Polish Folk ART Dolls|
How did you learn to do needlepoint?
During my 5 year study, I went to London for a year. It was still a hard time in Poland; our world wasn't as rich and colorful. I remember my first visit to a bookstore on Oxford Street. There I found a beautiful book called "Glorious Needlepoint" by Kaffe Fassett. I had never seen anything like it! I couldn't stop thinking about it, so with the first money I earned, I bought that fantastic book! And it's still with me! It has a place of pride on my bookshelf. So, I have to say that it all started from that book!
Have you done other forms of stitchery?
Yes, all sorts! It was my grandma who first showed me what you can do with needles - crochet needle and knitting needles. I was about 4 or 5 years old. From that time on, I constantly tried to create something. With varied results, I must say!
|Geisha in Necklace|
What was it that led you to create your own designs, instead of using pre-made patterns?
Needlepoint designs are usually very refined, elegant, and quite serious. Why is that so? When you devote a lot of time to something, (and needlepoint is a very time-consuming technique), you take your work seriously and it is quite natural to choose rather serious motifs and themes such as running horses, William Morris' flower garden, or Mona Lisa's smile.
I am definitely more fascinated by the possibility of making this extremely labor-intensive process more fun! That is why I cover my canvases with everyday objects such as pliers, screwdrivers, or my "Lady in the Bath" with her rich red curls and naked knees showing flirtatiously above the surface of the water...
...and why not? The most amusing and inspiring thing to me is combining needlepoint -this exquisite, refined style of embroidery that dates back to Medieval times- with a little irony and indulgence.
I have a smile on my face throughout the whole process, from creating the design to the slow and patient stitching on the canvas.
I believe that smiles and laughter are perfect remedies to cure everyday sorrows and I secretly hope that my projects will bring a smile to your face!
What was the first design you created?
Oh, it was some pattern inspired by Missoni designs. I took a notebook, borrowed some crayons from my small daughters, and started to draw by hand, square by square. At first it wasn't perfect, but it was a necessary step in my development.
Now I use a special graphics program. While planning my design, I think about it constantly. Simplicity is my first aim, but then I tweak my ideas and make them funkier.
|Hung On Pouch|
Do you have special types of yarn, needles or fabric that you use?
I use natural yarns and fabric, mostly wool, flax and cotton. The colors and their different shades are especially important to me. After all these years of stitching, I've found the one needle that fits me and feels the best in my fingers. I keep a spare, so that if one breaks, I always have another one exactly like it. I just use the basic needlepoint stitch which is perfect enough with nothing to change.
|On the Blanket|
Your work has been featured in several exhibitions. What has that been like?
Even though I wasn't involved in person, they were all hugely exciting experiences. Obviously, my first one, which was at New York City's Chelsea Art Museum, sent me up to the stars as I never expected any of my work to be in an exhibition!
SCOPE Art Show - Art Takes
Miami , FL Dec. 2012 Miami
International Contemporary Furniture Fair NYC, NY May 2012
NY International Gift Fair, section "Accent on Design" NYC, NY Jan. 2012
World Leisure Expo
China 2011 Hangzhou
What is your design inspiration?
Lines, pure form, and minimalism are the things that inspire me the most. I try very hard to include these in my works. Less is more. One day I will achieve perfection...
Here's where you can follow Kasia:
Thank you, my friend!
I enjoyed this time getting to know you.
My best wishes for continued success & happiness!
All images were used with direct permission from Kasia Urban Rybska.