Kerstin E.

Books and reading has always been important to me. My parents liked to read and our home was full of books. As the only child I have always had to rely on myself and do things on my own. Reading could give me imaginary friends all over the world. Besides reading I also liked to do things with my hands. My mother had married late and had not learnt housekeeping or handicraft. So when I wanted to learn to knit, crochet or embroider I had to learn it by myself. It was a good thing that I was so used to books and I learnt different crafts by reading books with instructions. 

I liked to go to school and got such grades that I could go to university. At university I studied economics and law. I met my husband early and we lived together when we went to university. Both of us were the first from our families that were able to get higher education. We had not much money to spend. For three years I got a small amount each year from a scholarship fund for women. The first year I used the money for paying our debts, the next year we could by a washing machine. The third year I wanted to spend some money on myself and I bought myself a weaving loom. I remember that my wish for a loom was very strong but I don´t know were it came from. I had never weaved and I didn´t know anyone who did. So once again I had to read books to take me through all the steps that was required. I enjoyed the hours spent with my loom. Mostly I made rugs and wall tapestries.

After university I was eager to get a job in the law field. I worked very hard and at the same time our only child, a daughter, was born. I got a job on one of the largest law firms in Sweden. I had to spend much time at my job and became the firms first female partner. During those year with a growing child and a heavy workload I didn't do anything creative. My loom was stuffed away.

When I was in my forties I felt that life should consist of something more. I quit my job at the big firm. We moved to a small farm in the countryside. My job is still important but to find balance in life I also have to give place to other things in my life.

During this new phase in my life I felt a need to express myself and my feelings in colour. I started to paint watercolour, took courses in calligraphy and drawing. Calligraphy and books are closely related so I also learnt how to bind books. I love working with paper, text and colour. My bookbinding skills have been very useful and I have done some books on commission to use for guest to write in at weddings or christenings.

And suddenly I got the chance to get a new loom. And once again I felt that strong wish to have it. So now it is in my barn waiting to come to use. And it feels very right to start weaving again on this farm because when we moved to the farm the former owner gave us a book about a woman who had lived on the farm until 1954. She was named Selma and was a famous weaver. Selma made tapestries in a very special technique that are unique for this part of Sweden. The pictures in the tapestries are built up by squares in a double binding. That is the next thing I am going to learn.

My creative journey have been taking a lot of different ways. Books, papers, pens and yarn have always been important. But I feel that the circle comes together with my new weaving possibilities and that all the other knowledge will be useful when I explore new ways to weave. It also connects me to the farms former inhabitant Selma and I strongly feel her approval of what I am doing. I will carry on binding books and make drawings but I feel that weaving will have a big part in the future.