My name is Claudia, and I am a textile artist who makes felt clothes, accessories, and more for my boutique, Texturable. I live in a seaside town called Punta Rubia on the east coast of Uruguay with my boyfriend and our nearly two-year-old son.
My desire to create began when I was a child. My mother was a talented woman and sewed very well. Apart from her normal work, she made wardrobes for TV commercials. She used to make our clothes, too, and she taught my sisters and me how to sew when we were young — how to put together a garment, and change the trouser-zippers in three simple seams. She told us that sewing was something we could always do to support ourselves.
After high school, I applied to study medicine, biology, and fine arts, but then one a friend told me about the Centro de Diseño. To get in, you have to pass a very long test, and only 20-30 people are accepted each year. I took the test and passed, so destiny has led me to what I was meant to be. Beyond learning about design, I discovered my love for fabrics, textures and creating different textured materials. In my third year, I first encountered felted fabrics, through an apprenticeship at Paylana (the only big textile factory in the country). I graduated with a collection called “Texturable”, which is from “texturas sustentables” meaning “sustainable textures” in Spanish. This is the origin of my brand, Texturable.
Everything starts with textures – I see the materials and my hands start to move, thoughts in my head create shapes and combine techniques. To make felt, I use two methods: using kneaded fleece mixed with recycled fabrics, and using knitting wool I modify by dyeing, embroidering or printing. I wash the wool with cold water until it’s the desired width, which is different than the process of boiling the wool, which can spoil some of its qualities. I always try to preserve the nature of the materials I use and respect their qualities. Due to the outdoor location of my dyeing area, I have to dye my designs when the weather is good. When it’s sunny I know it’s a dyeing day, and when it rains, it’s time for creativity.
My process of working and creating is continuous. When I’m working, a lot of ideas come to me and I immediately write them down to consider them later. I can’t wait to see ideas in my head materialized. When I create, I generally pick a theme to work with. Sometimes I choose it in advance, but other times I let my ideas flow and see the idea emerge when the work is complete. I rarely draw sketches; instead, I go straight to the pattern. Sometimes I even create directly on the mannequin.
All of my items are made with a lot of love, care, and dedication. I strongly believe that everything in this world has an energy, and the things we make take on the energy of their creators. Because of that, I work with happiness and enjoy every step of the process. Each of my designs is full of energy and meaning – I think that’s why the result is beautiful. When I make my products I try to transmit my surroundings — nature, calmness and simplicity. I wait until each product absorbs the warmth of the sun and the freshness of the sea to send it to its final user.
Creating with my own hands makes me happy. The day I can’t make my products myself anymore, I will lose an important part of what my business means to me. The human and personal touch in each product makes my line particular and relevant. Being able to create my ideas with my own hands and knowing they will bring other people joy is priceless.
Conscious consumerism is a way of living with respect and vision. It doesn’t take a big commitment or massive protest on the street – it is simply by being aware of what we buy. I always try to encourage the people close to me to question the origin of their possessions – what are they made of, who made them and how long are they going to last. I always choose local suppliers, and I will always prefer something I can treasure to some empty object with no energy at all.
Etsy means a lot to me. Since I discovered this community, my horizons have expanded and I have visualized many possibilities that I couldn’t see before. I learned that things made by hand are important and valued. We artisans really have a place in this world to defend and stimulate. I think that the Etsy community is both extraordinary and passionate. The community spirit makes me feel that we are going in the same direction, and that I am not alone in the fight. It makes me feel that we can create and live in a responsible way. This is the way forward!