12 Years And 4 Countries Later… My Flowers Bloomed On Silk

Posted by Weronika Rosa on

I grew up in Warsaw, a city with many flamboyant parks. Since I can remember, I was fascinated by plants. Flowers were always at home and our balcony was full of geraniums every summer. I was intrigued by the movements of stems in search of light, the fantastic shapes of tulips while getting wilt, peonies stamen forms, the variety of wild flowers’ colours… As a child, I was collecting pieces of plants to study shapes, textures and every single detail of my organic “treasures” (so do I until now). My grandfather taught me all the latin names and the development cycle of each plant from my “collection”. I was already trying to capture these ephemeral beauties in my drawings. Unconsciously, the flora became my infinite repertoire of inspirations and the reason for my second passion - painting and textile designing

Later on, from a big city, I moved to a very picturesque French village surrounded by nature. I started to work with silk and created my first textile designs for scarves. Back then, I couldn't imagine that it would become one of the most important turning point of my life. I was amazed by the intensity of colours on this precious fabric and the way silk diffuses light. From the beginning, I had an appetite for large, organic compositions. In a small atelier in Perros Guirec by La Manche channel, I created my very first scarves entirely by hand.

After Brittany, I moved to Marseille, and later on I came back to Warsaw. While it felt good to be at home, I couldn’t find the right conditions to continue my artistic research with silk. I knew I wanted to create more, but I was not convinced by the final result of hand-painted scarves. As it is often in life, I had to go through different iterations before I started to work with silk for real… It took me 12 years.

In the meantime, I adapted silk painting techniques to Kraft paper, commonly used in packaging as a resistant and biodegradable material. Kraft paper is easy to find in rolls, like a fabric, and is incredibly thin and soft. Strongly inspired by Art Nouveau, Arts & Crafts movement and Les Nabis, my decorative panels were characterised by flat surfaces of vibrant colours, sinuous, organic lines and visibly marked outlines to highlight a pure harmony of assembled shapes and colours. I replaced the gutta (a resin liner used to separate colours) with golden Japanese ink and dyes with gouaches. The subject of my creations was always the same - FLOWERS. But the idea of giving life to my organic inspirations through silk never left my mind and became an obsession. I needed to translate my hand-painted projects into living matter.

In 2016, I landed in Lisbon through a scholarship program in Art History. Portugal having one of the strongest textile industries in Europe, I naturally started to explore the different printing techniques. During my research, I become not only conscious about printing possibilities and limitations, but also aware about their impact on the environment. 

The textile industry ranks as the third most water consuming sector worldwide, while printing and dying are a big part of the problem. The digital printing technique was introduced into the fashion industry in the late ‘80s and caused a real revolution. Today, it’s the most sustainable printing technique. 

Compared to the widely used ink and water consuming screen or rotary printing, digital printing only needs the required amount of ink and saves up to 60% of water. Indeed, in analogue, each colour is printed separately. The more diversified the colours are, the more numerous screens must be prepared to become wastes later on. The digital textile printing technique doesn’t require nickel screens, neither transfer paper, as the design is made directly onto the fabric. This is why digital printing gives the opportunity to manufacture short runs and helps avoiding overproduction, while having the liberty to reproduce as many colours and shades as in the original project.

This technique was an obvious choice to give life to my organic creations. Indeed, it preserves the artistic freedom of my hand-painted patterns with all the details while being able to produce exclusive limited series. I finally selected the North of Italy instead of Portugal to manufacture our silk scarves. Como being the cradle of artistic textile printing, it is, as well, known for its fabric quality and traditional manufacturing reliability. After over a decade, my vision became a reality. I could give birth to my first collection of seasonless silk scarves with floral patterns, while respecting the source of my inspiration: our beautiful blooming nature.

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