KOEL Stories

The Woven Path: Ksenia Guseva

KOEL Stories
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Combining her love for architecture, drawing and embroidery, Ksenia Guseva creates pieces that captures amazing landscapes of cities not through a camera, but her trusty ol’ needle and thread. She started out wanting to translate the architecture she saw during her travel to the Baltic countries onto fabric and the rest is history. Now she sells her patterns and artwork on her Etsy shop, Faimyxstitch, and even has your own YouTube Channel to teach people stitching techniques. Read on to learn about Ksenia’s embroidery journey, her favourite works and more.

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5 Things About Ksenia Guseva…

Early riser or night owl… Definitely an early riser. I love the feeling of having the whole day ahead of me!

A song to get you into the creative groove… It differs every one or two weeks. For now, it's ‘Gotta Get Up’ by Harry Nilsson!

What did you aspire to be when you were 5… I wanted to be a janitor and sprinkle sand on snow, so that no one would fall and break their bones! Few months later, I wanted to be a singer and actress. 

3 essentials we can find in your bag… Phone, keys and documents.. Yes, boring. But they are essentials :)

If you weren't a embroider, you would most probably be doing… I would try to open an online store (which I already tried, but the experience was rather unsuccessful)

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1. Tell us about your background and what led to you choosing embroidery as a craft.
I'm a self taught maker. I learnt how to crochet and cross stitch at the age of 6. I was then exposed to embroidery basics in school and forget almost all of it for 17 years. Besides my desire to become a singer, I was always into the arts and drawing. In 2015, I left my full-time job due to the anxiety it gave me. That's when I went back to embroidery and it really helped me deal with my emotions. I started to share the designs I make on Instagram and found out that there are many crafters who share the same interest as me.. Eventually my skills in cross stitch developed into hand embroidery. After a short travel to the Baltic countries (Sweden and Finland), I wanted to embroider the architecture I saw there. My first attempts weren't the best, but it slowly developed into something bigger. Embroidery allowed me to combine my love for architecture and drawing, which I’m not able to in other crafts.

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2. What made you want to take your passion to the next level?
I just decided to try. I loved the idea of creating something from scratch and teaching people how to make it. Through it, I found out that no matter where I live, I can communicate with people all over the world with the pieces I create. I started with just selling patterns, so I wouldn't need to deal with post office and shipping. It was more of a hobby than work in the first year, but it helped me to develop my skills which later paid off with time.

3. Tell us more about Faimyxstitch. 
The name, Faimyxstitch, was completely random and a temporarily chosen name. Faimy was a word I usually use in my other draft projects. I wanted to choose a word that is warm and sounds nice. Over time, I completely forgot to change it and kept it till now.

I love how embroidery gives me so much positive emotions and I want to share it with other people through Faimyxstitch and grow the community.

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4. What kind of materials do you like to work with?
I love to use cotton fabric and cotton threads. However, I' m open to experiment and try new materials once in a while.

5. What is your favourite piece of finished product and what inspired you to create it?
My favorite piece is Kebab embroidery. It’s about the changes in life –not just people, but buildings too. Some buildings become bigger, they have additional floors added. Some of them become smaller, parts of them are demolished. Some of them changes inside, just like this one. In the city I live, a lot of historical buildings are constantly changing and I wanted to capture this. This piece is inspired by impressions. It’s a building that doesn't exist, while it looks like a lot of existing buildings.

6. How is the yarn scene like in the Russia? 
I live in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. When I just started as an embroider, there wasn’t a lot of other artists. Now, the community is growing and more and more people wants to learn or become full-time artists. Knitting and crochet are very popular here, but not so for macrame and hand embroidery. But, there is a pretty big assortment of yarn and threads sold here.

7. Is there any interesting or particularly memorable/interesting moment in your career as a professional maker? 
It's probably the moment when I realised I have a career as a professional maker. That I actually can do this!

8. Advice for those wanting to make the switch into crafting full time?
Don't rush into it, you can leave your day job any time. Make sure that you're ready to do it and save some money for the first few months. Try to ease this transition as much as possible as your income will be quite unstable, especially when you are just starting out. And don't be afraid to ask for advise or help from other artists – the craft community is amazing and very supportive!

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Photo Credits: Ksenia Guseva