Kristina Rääk

Image used with permission by Kristina Raak

Image used with permission by Kristina Raak

I came across the work of Kristina Rääk through Felicity's blog All Things Bright and Beautiful

and totally fell in love. A romantic at heart, I do harbor a sweet spot for items such as these, because they are so extremely feminine, delicate and just pretty. Now combine all this with a beautiful art image and I am so hooked!

Image used with permission by Kristina Raak

Image used with permission by Kristina Raak

handcuff_black.jpg handbag_black.jpg

About this talented designer...

I started making embellished handbags some years ago (about in 2001), because could not find a purse suitable to my evening wear. After that I made a few bags as a gift to my friends, then a few more. .Ideas and materials gathered and since I didn't want to leave them uncreated I began to offer bags for sale at local boutiques.
I' ve never made any bags exactly alike, so every work is always unique and exiting.
As a former jeweller, I could not resist the idea of making jewellery out of those brocade, silk and lace scraps - bag making leftovers. Soon I was looking around to find interesting vintage materials to use them in my fabric jewellery as well. I have been collecting vintage lace, buttons, ribbons and fancy, decorated dresses about 10 years. Many of them are "hunted" from second- hand boutiques, washed, cut into pieces, sorted by color and material and preserved in tagged boxes and closets in my studio.
At textile jewelry making I started from brooch designs- one of my client wanted a couple brooches to suit her bag and jackets. I use mostly customized ribbon embroidery and millinery techniques at the embellishments of the bags and jewellery, combined with hand embroidery and hand beading. I love to try out and mix different materials and techniques - lately I included needle felting to complement some designs.
All chokers, brooches, cuffs and necklaces I have made are also one-of- a- kind - it keeps creativity and imagination alive to start with new ideas, colors and combinations every time.
How long does it take to finish a bag?
Usually when I start with a new idea it takes 3- 5 days to complete a middle size bag, bigger bags sometimes take about a week or even more.
I prefer to dye and/or hand paint materials for decorations myself, because it is sometimes hard to find right colors for delicate nuances.
What inspires me?
I am inspired from different vintage materials and of course - colors! I love all colors. I am exited about creating different color harmonies.
It usually begins with a new idea or continuing the recent work when I´m in the right mood and feel inspired.
I often start with "playing" with piles of lace and silk- combining them to catch that " Yes! I love it! " feeling.
It is important to me that things I do are made in a playful and happy mood, feeling alive and exited every moment.
I think my designs are more instinctive than intellectual- sometimes when I begin to create a piece I even do not know how the result exactly has to look like. I have a vision of color combinations in my mind and then I just let the feeling carry me on.
Sometimes it is easy to sit and stitch until late night, sometimes a couple of days pass, without a touch to a single thread.
I get lots of ideas from historical costumes- ball gowns and accessories of past centuries, especially Victorian Era (1840-1890) and Art Nouveau (1890-1911) rich decorated dresses. Sometimes I watch movies over and over to see beautiful vintage dresses exposed there :) Flowers- especially roses in all-kind-compositions I never get tired of them. Old mansion interiors, antique costume jewellery and vintage millinery techniques are an endless source of inspiration.
Krista Rääk

Oh, almost forgot... I will be painting Krisitna's beautiful daughter soon wearing one of her pretty designs!

All images used with Permission by Kristina Raak

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