Her beautiful needle-felted creations are truly a wonder to behold. Daria shared some interesting facts about herself and her artistic inspirations in the interview that follows.
Collette: Please tell us a little about yourself.
Daria: I'm forty years old and mom to three of the sweetest girls aged three, five, and eight years old:
I was born in Minsk, Belorussia and I spent a large part of my life there. I went to the University of Minsk and studied biology, and before I became a fiber artist my first profession I taught and did research in biology and ecology.
I later moved to a new country in which I decided to build my nest. During my first visit to Israel I fell in love with the country, people, colors, and the special energy of the place.
A bit later I fell in love with my tour guide, Sasha, who became my husband. I was pretty sure that I would keep working in science field but when I gave birth to my eldest everything changed.
While trying to find the best kindergarten for my child I encountered the Waldorf philosophy of education. When I began doing research about Waldorf it very soon became a self-analysis as though I were looking in a mirror. Looking at my reflection I had a dialogue with myself and I suddenly realized that I was not a scientist, but an artist. I realized then that all my life I was really an artist but only now am I breaking out the shell of my former life.
Collette: How did you become a fiber artist?
Daria: Before I changed my life direction I worked a bit in ceramics and clay sculpture, not as a professional but as an amateur. In an attempt to find the most expressive materials I have tried wood, ceramics, and even metal. The clay fascinated me, but the moment in which I felt wool in my hands it was like being reborn!
I first started making dolls for my daughters’ kindergarten, and continued by making characters for nature scenes, and finally began making animals to replace the stuffed and mounted taxidermy animals in so-called “natural” exhibitions.
Collette: Your animal figures are particularly beautiful as well as truly lifelike. Do you have a favorite piece or pieces? What inspires your work?
Daria: I love all of my creations and I realize that they’ve been growing with me. I'm not sure that I have favorites, just like any mother who hardly can say whom among all her children she loves most!
As for inspiration, sometimes my Etsy customers supply wonderful ideas when they ask me to create custom items like dolls and tapestries that have never been done before.
I have a very strong feeling that this kind of art has no limits and is kind of endless, like the ocean. I'm grateful to my faith which has opened this wide ocean in front of me.
As a special treat for Serendipity Handmade readers Daria has generously offered a beautiful one-of-a-kind needle-felted Shepherd, initialed by the artist, as a giveaway prize:
This giveaway is open worldwide and ends on July 10th, 11:59 PM EST. I'll announce the winner on July 11th. I'm using Rafflecopter to manage entries for the first time so entering the giveaway should be easy for everyone -- all you need is an email address!
a Rafflecopter giveaway