"I treat this activity as my artistic expression, not manufacturing a product." Interview with Oliwia Skorowska, creator of DIYwany

27 of November '23

What is tufting? It is a technique of creating rugs by hand using a special gun. This art has been perfectly mastered by Oliwia Skorowska, who creates unique rugs of various shapes, colors and patterns in her DIYwany company.

Photo by Oliwia Skorowska

Oliwia Skorowska (oliwiaska) - an architect and artist, founder and creator of DIYwany.pl. She specializes in handmade rugs, which are her main creations. Her passion for art is expressed through the process of creating rugs. It is multi-step process and requires not only advanced skills, but also creativity and precision. She draws inspiration from a wide variety of patterns and colors, and her works get recognized for their originality and ingenuity. She actively shares her work on social media platforms, especially on TikTok, where she presents the process of creating carpets and the daily behind-the-scenes of her work.

Katarzyna Szostak: Why exactly carpets?

Oliwia Skorowska: The answer may be a bit disappointing, because it's: I don't know. I have always been a very creative person and have repeatedly tried to express myself through various artistic forms. I did some drawing and a little painting, but I didn't find the satisfaction I expected in them. Once I got involved in collage and this fascination continues. Playing with words gave me not only a certain reassurance, but also the interest of the public. I even had the pleasure of exhibiting my work in a dedicated exhibition. Then came a creative slump of several years, which made it difficult for me to do any artistic activity. One day I came across the art of tufting on the Internet. I immediately fell in love with it and knew it was what I wanted to do.

Photo by Oliwia Skorowska

However, I am a person who quickly gets involved in new things and tends to burn out. So I decided to give myself time. Buying the equipment and all the necessary materials is a considerable expense. So I didn't want to do it too fast, just to create just one or two rugs and then get rid of everything. After a year of waiting and intense analysis, I decided to approach the subject seriously. It turned out to be a much better decision than I expected.

Katarzyna: Do you have a degree in this field, or is it simply a passion and an additional source of income?

Oliwia: I don't think there is any institution where I could receive traditional education in this art. On the other hand, I graduated with a degree in landscape architecture, so in addition to my love of creating, I also have an education in creative direction. DIYwany are not my side job, but my main mission in life, from which I currently make a living.

Photo by Oliwia Skorowska

Katarzyna: What is the process of creating such a rug?

Oliwia: It's a multi-hour and multi-step process. It starts with creating a design idea and determining the color scheme. Then, using an overhead projector, I transfer the previously prepared design to a special frame, on which the embroidery material is stretched. This is the beginning of the creative process. Using a special gun, I transfer the design from the computer to the real world. The embroidery process itself takes a few to several hours for small formats. With larger rugs, much more time is needed. The pattern is also important, as the amount of work depends on it. Then comes the gluing of the carpet with a special carpet glue, so that it is durable. Every carpet must have a backing. I usually use soft felt or non-slip fabric on my carpets. At the very end comes the shearing process, which is the most difficult, but also the most significant moment for the final appearance of the carpet. Using a special shaver, I give the right shape and length to the hair.

Photo: Oliwia Skorowska

Katarzyna: Has there been any idea from a client that surprised you a lot?

Oliwia: Over the past year of business, there have been many requests to make a variety of designs. It's hard for me to choose a particular message that was memorable, but the creativity of clients often surprises me. Mostly dogs and cats appear on my frames, but original ideas like a rug in the shape of beer or other alcohol, a marijuana leaf or joints have also happened. I am open to all ideas, while I refuse to do some of them. Nonetheless, I treat this occupation as my artistic expression, and not manufacturing of a product.

Photo by Oliwia Skorowska

Katarzyna: What role does social media play in your work?

Oliwia: A huge one. Thanks to TikTok, I've gained a sizable audience who eagerly follow my activities. On my profile I share videos of the process of creating specific rugs, but viewers also appreciate vlogs where I show what my day in the studio looks like. I try to show the broader context of my work. However, I believe that I still devote too little time to this platform, despite its huge potential. Running the company and fulfilling orders absorb my days. I often don't have time to shoot and edit videos. Once the Christmas orders are done, starting in the new year, I would like to devote much more attention to my online presence, as I see how important a role it plays in business.

Katarzyna: What are your plans for the future? In what direction do you want to develop DIYwany? Or maybe you wish to pursue something completely different?

Oliwia: Starting my own business and getting involved in carpets gives me the fulfillment and freedom I've always dreamed of. I want to develop both DIYwany and myself as an artist. I want to pay more attention to social media and cut down on taking orders to do more of my own projects. The art of tufting is gaining popularity, so I feel that I have a chance to do something special. I also plan to start a workshop business and hold classes where anyone willing could try to make a rug on their own, learning more about this type of art.

Interviewed by:KATARZYNA SZOSTAK

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