[RECESS] is when we get to hear the stories of the good people behind the pop-up. It's our favourite time and we share these conversations with you.
We first announced #OtherVancouver in this post earlier in the month. We're proud sponsors of this pop-up that's bringing together a talented bunch from across North America to introduce us to independent designers that we've likely never heard of before.
Looking ahead to their opening on Friday, we're featuring three of the independent designers with interviews by the organizers at #OtherVancouver. "With these conversations below, we want to the highlight the designer’s process and story just as much as the product. Mindful consumerism becomes possible when we re-connect buyers with their purchases. With this connection, we hope you create stories of your own through their unique pieces. " say OTHER Vancouver organizers Negin Izad and Sofia Fiorentino.
Meet Maude Nibelungen a Montreal & New-York City based knitwear designer behind her namesake label, Maude Nibelungen. Taught by her grandmother and role model, she started knitting when she was five. Her current collections are more personal; based around her passion for mythology and anthropology while also including a piece of her soul. She has been turning her demons into knitwear. Knitting allows Maude to combine her interests of experimenting with textures and the mathematics in pattern writing
Tell us about Maude Nibelungen.
MN:I officially started my label in February 2010. I had been knitting more and more in the months before and I was a bit insecure about myself out there... After a bit of thinking I started seeing more and more what I wanted to do. So I picked my name and started a blog where I'd post writings, music and inspiration but also my work.
What made you choose to start your own brand?
Maude Nibelungen: I went to school, had a few unrelated jobs and it just became so clear I couldn't work for anyone but myself. I felt the need to express myself artistically but I still wanted to do something concrete, more "accessible" ; knitting was perfect for that.
What is your creative process like?
MN: Ideas come to me at any time. I try not to think about what I should be designing. I feel like my path as a creator is just getting clearer with time and I have to let it happen naturally. I write down my ideas and sketches. I'll often draw a pieces differently many times in my sketchbook before deciding to start making it. I like to let my ideas mature on the back burner. Then I'll just get to work, start writing down the pattern. Knitting is all about maths, so I have to draw the proportions, then make swatches with different needle sizes and materials, then I calculate how many stitches/ rows/ increase/ decrease I have to do. Calculate different sizes... Writing down the pattern is definitely a big part of the design of a piece.
Biggest challenge & reward as a designer?
MN: Being satisfied with a piece is sometimes (often) very challenging on its own. Having to make custom pieces for people or other brands is also very challenging. But as nothing good comes for free I feel like when you worked and persisted and finally come up with something that pleases yourself and whoever you're working with it is so rewarding.
Future goals for Maude Nibelungen?
MN: I want to design pieces for children and more for men. I especially want to do home decor though. I'm moving in a very interesting new place and I feel like I'll be inspired to knit some home decor samples...