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Alice Nell
November 4, 2014

Meet Simone Meentzen

Her tapestries tell a story, her embroidery delicately charms your senses and her persona is absolutely delightful! Meet Simone Meentzen, artist, textile designer and a weaving master.

For starters could you tell us a bit how did you get into textile design? Was that something growing from your early childhood years?

I got into textiles via fine art and fashion. I spent hours drawing and crafting as a child. Dressing up and playing with fabrics was a way to escape into a fantasy world. I guess my interest in textiles and textile art is still partly informed by that early curiosity.

In your portfolio Burberry among other big Names in Fashion appear. Could you share a bit of your experience working on such projects?

I studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in London in the 90s, a very happening place for fashion at the time and I got great job opportunities straight after college. Due to my art & craft background, I then joined a textile studio in London to develop embroideries, prints and textile surface for international fashion companies. It was a very fast-paced and trend-oriented, yet artistic demanding environment. I like doing collaborations with other designers and enjoy creative teamwork.

As an artist you mainly identify with embroidery and art of weaving forms. Both of these crafts have roots in ancient civilisations and have transformed and reappeared in almost every culture up to today. If you would try to analyse your style, to which of these cultures do you think it suits the best and what is the thing that inspires you from them?

I look at ancient civilisations for artistic and sustainable inspiration. I like to study the meaning of certain patterns and textiles and their use in everyday lives. At the moment, I am very interested in vintage Navajo weavings. But I think artists should also try to go beyond the traditional inspiration, create something new. I am developing my own style, there is no formula - it is an on-going process.

You have done one piece based upon your favorite song. Could you share with us, how you transformed the features or feelings of a song into a weaving?

Handmade weaving or embroidery is a very slow, time- consuming and introspective process. Sometimes music, a particular song, serves as a catalyst - rather than working from a sketch, I develop the weaving completely intuitively, colours and pattern come to surface according to the contemplation of the music, being present in that moment.

You are also a tutor of Trend Analysis for Fashion MA at HTW Berlin University. What is your experience with teaching?

I am teaching since 2008, it is just a natural way for me to share my expertise, to have a discourse, to experience fashion and textiles in a social context, rather than just look at styles in a superficial way.

You have been featured in Heimtextile Trendforum, a trade fair showcase the latest developments in design, materials and colours worldwide.

I took part as an exhibitor in 2014, and 9 of my handmade designs were chosen for the Trend forum exhibition. Heimtextil is a platform to meet commercial clients from all over the world. I still take on freelance design projects but also develop my own collection and textile art now. My online shop will open soon.

Soon we will have a chance to learn Weaving from you right here in Betahaus, your Workshop Weaving for beginners, which we are very much excited to host. Could you explain more about it?

There is a growing young weaver community around the globe, handwoven art is one of the new trends in textiles and home decoration. The workshop is aimed at the curious beginner and crafter, it is very hands-on and will lead participants towards making their own first small weaving, also called tapestry. I will teach the technical basics for handloom weaving, discuss available materials and where to get them in Berlin, share some of my favourite styles. As an artist myself, I am more of a creative guide and hope to encourage free-style artistic expressions rather than following a rigid technical method.

Could you share your favorite quote and compare it to a drink that suits it the most?

“This was a valued rug…… Yeah man, it really tied the room together -...”  / White Russian

( quote from The Big Lebowski )

 

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Explore Simone's work and follow her posts!

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