More from Ukraine
The culture and history of Ukraine is rich and diverse. Each region has its own pattern tradition that collectively date to Ukraine’s Tripolye culture (mid-5th to 3rd century BCE). We are inspired by carpet historians and museums with traditionally patterned carpets. We also use the influence the Soviet period (1922-1991) had on the traditions of carpet weaving, replacing the era’s communist symbols with pop culture symbols. We take special inspiration from works of Modern artists: Mikhail Boychuk, Kazimir Malevich, Alexandra Exter, El Lissitzky.
The OLK workshop is aimed not so much at restoring the traditions of home workshops and carpet weaving (which still survive in some regions), but at creating a new type of rug based on the deep and incredibly rich Ukrainian culture. In particular, due to Ukraine’s geographical, historical and political peculiarities, it was and still is terra incognita for the world community. Our mission is to draw attention to Ukrainian culture and let its rich visual traditions live on.” Oksana Konstantinovskaya, founder of OLK
Left The OLK Manufactory display at Superstudio in Milan in April
Below Swimmers rug, Zv’yazani
We weave our carpets the way our ancestors did, in fact, our rug making process is no different than theirs; locally sourced wool, natural dyes, and hand woven in the Carpathian mountains. Essentially, we take a new perspective on the traditional Ukrainian carpet. We use traditional Ukrainian patterns and decorative elements, but change their colours and presentation. For example, to create our rug Swimmers we used a 200 year old geometric pattern as the background, but added some modern elements—the girls in the swimsuits who backstroke across the rug and new colours. We also work with the Ukrainian motifs in general using patterns from the different spheres of our ancestors’ life: utensils, clothes, jewellery. Thanks to this combination of traditional and modern design our unique rugs are a perfect fit for any style of interior.” Nataliia Osaulenko and Olga Karetnikova-Kotiahina, co-founders of Zv’yazani