Atelier Visit with a Belgian Textile Artist
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"Weaving is all about surprises," says Belgian textile artist Hermine van Dijck. "Sometimes just one Lurex wire can make all the difference." Van Dijck first began her studies at the School of the Arts in Ghent, Belgium, in 2009 with a class in textile design. She began weaving on the loom and hasn't stopped since, using a mixture of soft-hued natural fibers and the occasional metallic thread. Her small chambre de bonne is a harmonious clutter of thread, wires, houseplants, and flea market finds. A self-proclaimed collector, van Dijck, who has a masters in textile design, cultivates an anarchic mix of well-loved objects and furniture in her work and living spaces ("every piece needs to have a soul," she says). Van Dijck spends her days in Ghent, rising at dawn to breakfast on soft boiled eggs and soldaatjes (pieces of bread for dipping), followed by a bike ride through town and an afternoon of weaving, crocheting, and sewing. She documents her day on her blog, aptly named Dagboek van Dagen . A devoted gardener as well, van Dijck grows plants at a nearby community nursery and sprouts her own avocados; see An Artist's Avocado Project on Gardenista. Above: A cushion cover by van Dijck. Above: A sewing table and inspiration wall, where, as van Dijck says, she "collects images, colors, things that remind me what I'm working on at that moment." Above: Detail of two embroidered pieces tacked on the wall. Above: An antique wooden desk and chair sourced at a local flea market and an orange ombré seat cushion. Above: Three wooden picks with colored circle accents hold the avocado pits at the surface of the water; read more about van Dijck's project at An Artist's Avocado Project in Belgium. Above: The experiment begins to germinate. Above: Hand-crocheted pot holders that inspired seat cushions. Above: Crocheted seat cushions covers, before the cotton pillow stuffing is added. Above: A woven wall hanging. Above: A piece from the Textile Letter project that van Dijck sent to UK-based artist Louise Mills . Above: The reflection of a weaving set against towering apartment buildings. Soon, van Dijck is moving to Paris for five months to intern with Malhia Kent, after which she plans to open a collective atelier in Antwerp.