Maker Spotlight: Olha Ivchenko

This maker spotlight was brought to us through Maker Faire Rome.  You’ll be able to find them and many more creative and exciting makers at Maker Faire Rome: The European Edition on October 18-20. Get your tickets now!


Who are you?

My name is Olga or Olha (this may be strange, but in Ukraine we can use some latin spelling versions). I`m a self-educated artist. In 2017 I opened my Etsy shop and named my project IvOlga. It is the beginning of my surname and my name. “Ivolga” sounds like the name of a bird Oricle in Ukraine. That`s why you can see this bird on my logo.

Where are you located? 

Kharkiv, Ukraine.

How did you get started making stuff?

From times I remember myself, I was always creating something by hands. When I was about 4 years old, I was so inspired by the embroidery on my dress that I immediately cut a hole in it with scissors and began to sew it up. At that moment, I was sure that you could embroider on fabric only if there was a hole in it. It was my first embroidery experience. My mother wasn`t impressed by my talent, but it did not stop me. All my childhood I used every opportunity to make something beautiful for my dolls – from clothes to furniture. Later I started to make macrame home decor. When I was 11, I started to knit and sew clothes for myself.

I knitted my first sweater for money when I was twenty. When I saw new interesting pattern or technique I tried to make it in my way. I literally can`t sleep until I understand how to make a thing I want to make. Now I`m advanced in knitting, crocheting, embroidery, needle felting, wet felting etc and I constantly keep trying something new. Sometimes I use polymer clay to make some details for my felt toys or jewelry.

What kinds of stuff do you make?

I make jewelry, bags, accessories, collectible toys, home decor etc. I`m a vegetarian and I mostly use non-violent materials. I prefer wool in my work because it gives me freedom of artistic creativity. And almost everything could be made from it. I also really like the fact that wool can be reused many times, without losing it’s beauty and functionality. And of course, I love the warmth of natural material. I often combine several techniques to make a unique texture. And sometimes I upcycle woolen second hand clothes by wool painting.

Any advice for people reading this?

As a mother, I believe that giving an example of creativity is very important when you raise a child. When my son was a toddler I avoided buying a lot of realistic-detailed toys for him, because a blank sheet encourages child to imagine and to start creating something.

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