Katri Haahti

“In my work I am guided by longing of beauty, sensitivity and harmony. My aim is to create enchanting experiences. I work with my hands using techniques that I have developed myself. I feel strongly that my work is part of the millennia-old tradition of handicraft. I have discovered silk as my material because it can be transformed to whatever forms and colors I desire. I feel that silk is a substance that I can sculpt and paint. It is a living material, which can be formed into surfaces and three-dimensional objects. I can use it to construct colored layered surfaces that are both translucent and shining like a tempera painting. Silk can be sculpted like stone or wood. It bends in my hands into compositions resembling noble metals or small dense diamonds, emeralds or rubies.

Using techniques of my own creation, I make my gems from dozens and dozens of yards of cut, shredded and re-stitched fabric. The process is a time consuming, meticulous and finger burning toil whose outcome is a metamorphosis from the organic world to the inorganic one. I find gems fascinating and the power of the colors of silk enchanting and miraculous. I have always been interested in rocks and minerals. They remind me about the origins of our world. I take inspiration and strength from nature. I am endlessly interested in observing the world around us. In my gems I have recorded my enchantment of nature and its phenomena.”

Katri Haahti lives and works in Helsinki, Finland. Since graduating in 1986 from the University of Applied Arts in Helsinki, she has worked as an independent artist. In addition to her solo exhibitions in Finland and Sweden, she has taken part in joint exhibitions with Finnish and foreign artists in Finland as well as in Canada, Europe, Japan, South Korea, and the United States. In 2001 her work, La Lune de Miel, earned a special honorable mention of the jury at the 10th International Triennial of Tapestry in Lodz, Poland. In year 2009 she was awarded the Finland State Prize for her career in “renovating Finnish textile art and especially the Rya-rug tradition” and for her innovative use of materials such as silk exemplified in her work, Precious Stones.