Conversations with the Makers

An array of questions to fibre/textile artists and their answers.

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Conversation with Igora Lucyna Opala, Australia

“Igora Lucyna Opala, the visionary and artist behind South Australia’s Igora label, attributes the admiration and success of her work to a lifelong passion for nature and fine arts. Much of what can be seen in Igora’s felt designs stems from her childhood living in Poland; folk colours, first loves and rich, unspoilt flora. Igora’s embrace of Australia also echoes in her unique pieces which capture the beauty of the outback, painted deserts and turquoise oceans teeming with underwater inhabitants. It is this cultural courtship that not only creates striking and wearable art, but places Igora on an artistic platform all on her own.” 

Igora will be teaching at Felt @ the Winter School in July 2014....go here for all the info and enrolment form...

Conversation with the Maker (CWTM) Did you always envision a life as an artist?

IGORA LUCYNA OPALA(ILO) Not really……..but always felt free to express my joy of life, as a child, as a mother, scientist and gardener. Felting is only the continuation of living my life.


CWTM What was your first experience with making art?

ILO         The very first, when I was called a “Little Artisan” was when I was 5-6 year old and was making passionately tiny ikebana’s, out of twigs, seed pods, grasses and feathers. 

CWTM Do you have a dedicated studio?

ILO     Yes and I am so happy and proud of having one but…..lots of my great pieces in the past were being created in the lounge room and kitchen.



CWTM Can you describe a typical day?

ILO     There is no typical day in my life – each day is so unique, so special, so very different as are my pieces.


CWTM Would you consider your art making to be more about the process than the outcome?

ILO     It is all about the process – outcome is just a condensed form of that process. 

CWTM Do you agree that a small element of uncertainty about the finished look is what makes the process of creating so enticing?

ILO     Of course! It is a very natural, expected and accepted, desired and awaited part of my creative work.


CWTM Any indispensable tools or equipment?

ILO     I don’t have any.


CWTM Do your pieces start with a planned course of action or are they more spontaneous?

ILO     There is a deep down plan, but the way to achieve it is spontaneous.


CWTM How do you know when to “stop” – when do you consider a piece actually finished?

ILO     It is in a sense never finished, keep living and changing. It is like a single movie picture frame….


CWTM Favourite quote?

ILO     Stay true to yourself. 

CWTM When do you do your best creative thinking?

ILO     On awakening, in solitude, in nature.


CWTM What do you enjoy most about your work?

ILO            Choosing the material, designing.


CWTM Best advice you’ve ever received?

ILO     There are many ways to achieve what you want.

 CWTM Worst advice you’ve ever received?

ILO     I have not been given any yet.


 CWTM  Best part of your day?

ILO     Starting a new day……waking up.


CWTM What inspires your creativity?

ILO     My dreams, other people’s dreams, experiences, stories, nature.

 CWTM What are you excited about right now in the world of textile art?

ILO            Unlimited fusion of techniques and styles.


CWTM You’d be lost without…

ILO     I would be lost without love.


 CWTM What would you do with a few extra hours each day? 

ILO     Spend in my garden.


CWTM Your favourite luxury in life?

ILO            Argentinean Tango – to dance! 


CWTM Has the advancement of computers and technology impacted your work?

ILO     Yes 

CWTM Is it important for us to be recognized by the art world and if so, how can we help affect that change?

ILO     It is important. Communication, exchange of experiences and exposure is the way to help the process.


CWTM What is next for you?

ILO     I really do not know. Having my heart open to learn and teach. To be a diligent student and passionate teacher in the same time.