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Behind The Stitches: Nom

"If I want something my first thought isn’t where can I buy it but how can I make it"

Sam: Where are you from and where are you currently based?

Nom: I was born in Swaziland and moved to the Netherlands when I was just three years old. I grew up in a small village along the coast. Which was great, but I always wanted to go to the big city. I still remember my first day in Amsterdam. It absolutely felt like a home- coming.

After living in Amsterdam  for twenty years we moved as a family to Alkmaar, where I’m currently based.

Alkmaar is one of Holland's oldest, most characteristic cities and still bubbling with fresh new initiatives.

Sam: What is your craft of choice?

Nom: I have been all over the place with my crafts, I just like to at least try it all. Next to my own collection of fibre art, I work as a freelance DIY stylist, which means I get to learn and do a lot of different crafts. I really do have a soft spot for crochet which I have done for years. But I have to say weaving is my craft of choice. I just love playing around with techniques and materials. The possibilities are endless.

Sam: Have you always been a fiber crafter? Where does your love of fiber come from?

Nom: I have always been a crafter, a maker.  As long as I can remember I have been making stuff. Coming from a big family, money wasn’t overflowing. So I started making my own clothes, fixing up old furniture, changing my room like every week. If I want something my first thought isn’t where can I buy it but how can I make it.

"I knew I had to make a change, but it wasn’t easy. It felt like a breakup and I wasn’t ready to let go"

Sam: When did you launch your business and how did you make the decision to make that leap?

Nom: I studied at AMFI -the  Amsterdam fashion institute and worked as a fashion designer for many years before I came to realize I wasn’t making anymore. I was just going from one deadline to another. I missed creating, actually having materials in my hands. I knew I had to make a change, but it wasn’t easy. It felt like a breakup and I wasn’t ready to let go. It took me a few more years before I finally did. And I have to say it was the best thing I ever did. I started really slowly in 2013 and it took me a while to find my place in the crafting world.

Sam: Where do you get your inspiration from?

Nom: For inspiration I often I turn to basic weaving patterns like a plain weave, twill, or a honeycomb weave. I’m especially interested in the part which normally would be repeated and take it from there. It's like looking at a weaving pattern through a magnifying glass. But I also love the geometric patterns you can find in diverse cultures and architecture from the Art Deco period. Inspiration is actually everywhere.

"There is always a piece of an idea in my mind. But I never know where it will end up"

Sam: When you’re setting up a project which comes to you first, the geometric design or the color palette?

Nom: I always look at the geometric pattern first. I’m drawn to the strength of simplicity and have a preference for natural materials. I love the contrast of off white and black as they amplify each other and I always try to keep contrast as I work with color too.

Sam: What’s your favorite part of your creative process?

Nom: I would say “the surprise” is  actually my favorite part. My creative process is all about not overthinking, just jumping in, and seeing what happens. There is always a piece of an idea in my mind. But I never know where it will end up. My best designs start to get shaped while making.

"It taught me to look to what I can do and not to what I can’t do"

Sam: How has your crafting practice impacted your life?

Nom: It gave me more confidence. It gave me a different perspective on life. It taught me to look to what I can do and not to what I can’t do, and to always look for solutions.

Sam: What has been the most rewarding part about teaching your workshops?

Nom: What I like the most is to see people come in, some experienced crafters, some without experience but excited, and some who just came along with their crafty friend. My goal is to give them all a great experience, show them there is not only one way, that its ok to make a mistake, and to be proud about what they are able to make themselves.

Sam: What do you like to binge watch or listen to while you craft?

Nom: OMG  I’m an absolute podcast junky!! I love Radiolab, How I Built This, Hidden Brain, TED Talks, Criminal, Planet Money, and so many more!


If you want to see more of Nom's work you can follow her on Instagram @studio.nom, visit her website, and shop her Etsy page.

Who should I talk to next? Leave your suggestions in the comments section along with any thoughts you have about Nom's interview. I’m always on the hunt for inspiring crafters. Also, don't forget to follow along on my Instagram account @bobbleclubhouse for your daily dose of all things fiber. Until next week, happy crafting!


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