Miniatures by Ludwina Mini Carpet
How did you first get started in miniatures?
I am originally from Belgium and studied textile art in Antwerp and Ghent. From a very young age, I loved to paint and craft. I wanted to try all kind of crafts. It was so bad that my mom used to say my hobby was changing hobbies. Until I discovered weaving. There are so many different techniques and possibilities that it never becomes boring for me.
After marrying my Turkish husband, we moved to Turkey, and I left my looms in Belgium. Once in Turkey, we opened a real size carpet shop, and I started knotting carpets in the shop, because that was the only loom I had. A carpet loom is different from the weaving looms I had before, but in my textile art training I had used a very similar loom.
I started with a medium size carpet but after working on it for several weeks, I decided to make it a square—to finish a bit faster—and after doing this, I learned to make the carpets smaller because it takes so long to finish a piece that it started to be boring. And also because customers asked for smaller sizes and nobody made these small sizes at the time. One of the first real small carpets I finished was sold to a Dutch customer for his dollhouse. And here the idea was born to make dollhouse carpets. It must have been around 1997.
It was a long way to make smaller, better and finer carpets, not only small carpets but real miniature sized works. In the beginning, I made wool carpets for 1:12 scale, but when I wanted to make finer and finer pieces I began also to use silk. Some of those smaller fine silk carpets work well in smaller scales.
After some time, when I started selling on eBay, I began making miniature crochet. And when I saw the possibilities with petit point embroidery when I was at the Chicago International Show, I wanted to try this. I really love to make pillows and now and then a carpet. The designs I make for my knotted carpets are perfect for petit point carpets in smaller scales.
What can’t you live without?
My crochet needle, a box of silk sewing threads, and needles is always close by. Often times, I will take a project in my bag if I go somewhere. It is easy to take with me, and here in Turkey, it is not strange to sit somewhere and do some handcrafting… although the younger generations are not as interested in crafts anymore.
What inspires you?
When I was working in our carpet shop, I was surrounded by carpets and had inspiration all day. Now that I am retired from the shop, I still have my books and I can find a lot of information and inspiration on the Internet. I am not weaving as much anymore but I’m creating more and more embroidery and crochet. I’m enjoying life, my cats and my garden.
Here in Turkey we do not have much dollhouse miniatures and surely not in the days I started. So I am happy I found miniature friends online. I am member of the Yahoo! group The CAMP where we share ideas, show our miniatures, and have a lot of miniature-related fun.
At the moment, I am not doing any shows. Making my carpets takes so much time that it is not possible to have new work every year. Maybe in some time, I will be back at a show again, because it is so nice to see all the beautiful work I can see there…. and to meet new friends!