KOEL Stories

Meet The KOEL Kids: Vera Jonkers

Meet The KOEL Kidsirene hoofs

Sometimes it takes dipping your toes in the waters of different crafts before you find the one that ignites a fire in you. For Netherlands based maker Vera Jonkers, her journey of creative discovery started with crochet, followed by painting, screen printing and finally weaving! We love her geometric approach in her woven pieces, which she sells on her etsy shop, StudioVerSie. Read further to find out what sparked her passion towards weaving.

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1. Tell us more about your background and what led you to choosing weaving as a craft?
I’ve been a crafter for as long as I can remember. As a child I was always drawing, painting and making things. When I was young, my grandmother owned a yarn store and she was and still is a very skilful knitter. But somehow knitting was not cool at that point of time and I didn’t spend much time doing it. When I finished with school, I moved to Delft to study Architecture. I learned a lot about the creative process, but it didn’t result in a creative job. It wasn’t until I got pregnant with my first child that I started gravitating towards yarn again.

Somehow the pregnancy sparked my creative hormones and I started knitting things for my baby. I also learned crochet, but it didn’t inspire me to make fun things. The creative spark however didn’t fade and I tried my hands at drawing and screen printing. When I get hooked to a new craft like that, I try to find everything there is to know about it from experimenting techniques to buying supplies. I really loved screen printing, but it was a lot of hassle with the darkroom and all. That’s when I discovered woven wall hangings in magazines, online and in stores, which sparked my interest towards weaving. It wasn’t until my husband coincidentally bought a loom for my daughter that I really started to pursue the idea of weaving. I started looking for tutorials online, stole my daughters loom and got started. It instantly got me addicted! I’ve been weaving almost every day for a year now and I love it. Finally, I have found something I am very passionate about.

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2. What makes you a KOEL Kid?
I find this question hard to answer. I mostly take a very geometric approach, which is quite clean. And I’m also not afraid to use colors.

3. Share with us the creative process behind each of your project.
Most of the time it starts with me seeing something inspiring, like a combination of colors or an interesting pattern. This usually gives me a visual idea of something I could make. Then I will sit on it for a while to let the idea grow and take form. When I feel it’s time, I make a little sketch and choose my yarns. The funny thing is that the end result is almost never as I envisioned it when I started, as I always change the design or colors along the way. 

4. Pick one of your favourite designs and answer these quick questions!

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The inspiration behind this design is... This design started out with me selecting a few yarns. I didn’t make a sketch. My intention was to make a more complicated geometric pattern, with a lot of textures and the design grew from that. A customer told me it made her think of mountains and I love that idea!

The dream store in which I would like to stock this design is…I’m a real interior junkie, so I would love it if my hangings would be sold in a store like Loods5.

Which celebrity house can you picture your design at? I wouldn’t be able to name a celebrity, but I do know which house I want it to end up in. My favorite Dutch interior magazine, vtwonen, organizes a fair each year all about interior and design. The center point of this fair is a house that is beautifully styled and decorated to showcase nice designs and trends in living. That is where I would love to see my designs.

If this design made it big, I would… make a collection out of it!

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5. Great things take time, so how much has changed since you first started weaving and where do you see it in the next five years?
I’ve been weaving for about a year now and my skill level has improved quite a bit. But I’m not there yet. There is still a lot more to learn. In the next years I see myself creating more weaves and expanding my range of products. I would love to make cushions and maybe even rugs. In a few months time, I’m going to be able to focus on my studio full-time, so that will hopefully bring me to a whole new level. I don’t know if I’ll always be a weaver as I love learning new skills. I really want to try my hand at ceramics next year. But one thing I do know, I will always be a crafter.

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Photo Credits: Vera Jonkers