I am so ecstatic to have Paulina of Lemmikkiapina at LL&O today, a truly lovely anniversary treat. I am a little lost for words about Paulina’s work, the images really speak for themselves, better than a list of adjectives, where would I start: sublime, heartbreaking… you see what I mean! So, let’s meet Paulina and lose ourselves in her beautiful world.
Tell us a little about yourself, the media you work with and your creative process.
“My name is Paulina Temmes and I’ll be 34 years old this December. I live in a small village in Southern Finland with my partner and my old grey striped cat. I grew up in Helsinki and I studied textile art there at the University of Art and Design.”
“I started making dolls and writing and drawing little animal stories when I was about 20 years old. Most of my older dolls were made from modelling clay, but lately I have concentrated on sewing soft sculpture animals. I love loosely woven linen, paperlike organza and vintage fabrics with signs of their age. One of my favourite materials is little stones and pebbles found everywhere.”
“At the moment I’m working at home and sewing my animals full-time. I rarely draw any sketches before I start sewing. By the time the animal’s face and body are ready, I usually know his character and how he should be dressed. Usually my animals turn out to be quite melancholic and peaceful.”
From where do you draw your inspiration: music, books, people, nature etc?
“I always find inspiration from animals: my own cat, neighbour’s horses that graze just behind our garden fence, the rabbits that come to our garden at night, a patient dog waiting outside a grocery store.
Lately I have drawn inspiration from old mechanical toys and books about medieval embroidery and outsider art.”
If you could talk briefly about the background to one of your pieces which would you choose and why? Please tell us the story behind the piece.
“This monkey holding a garland of forget-me-nots is very dear to me. I made him for a small exhibition I had in Helsinki a few years ago. I think he looks very calm and quiet, a bit like a statue in an animal cemetery.”
Thank you so much for joining us Paulina, it has been so wonderful to learn some more about you and your creative process. It is my dream to give a home to a creature from Lemmikkiapina next year, keep your fingers crossed for me, they fly so fast! Do you have a favourite from Paulina’s shop? I would love to hear which you would choose, it was hard enough to select the images for this post, *everything* is so beautiful. Sigh!