My name is Mariana Pinar and I am a textile artist, maker and designer from Granada (Spain). I make handwoven textiles, but I am also very interested in natural fibers and dyes, and how technology can make craft practice more sustainable.
I studied Fine Arts in my early 20s and later I specialized in textiles with an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in the USA. I also work as a professor ina a design school and I love sharing with my students everything I know about textile materials and craft.
What interested you in the iAtelier programme and did it meet with your expectations?
I signed up for the program because I wanted to learn more about the possibilities that digital manufacturing can offer to textile crafts and broaden my horizons about the many other possibilities that open up when a synergy between technology and crafts is created. But I specially was interested in having the chance to collaborate with other people with similar interests but professional experience in new technologies.
The program went above my expectations and I am really glad I took part in it. My project partner, Kyriakoula Begiazi, and me were able to create two finished products after being allowed and encouraged to experiment with every technique available to us. We had a lot of support from our tutor and the professionals involved. They helped us every step of the way, guided us when we have doubts, and motivated us to try and explore by ourselves.
How will participating in iAtelier influence your future practice?
My project partner, Kyriakoula Begiazi, and me have plans of working together again in the near future and create new products with the same techniques we have experimented (CNC woodwork and handwoven structures with rope). We are interested in creating a line of sustainable and affordable products that can also be adapted to the client needs in terms of colour, pattern or size.
I also want to keep inspiring my current and future students to appreciate textile crafts, learn manual techniques, and not being afraid of new technologies since they can improve our practice without compromising creativity or authenticity.
My 5 top tips that I have learnt on this journey:
1. I am used to create pieces that hang in the wall, made to be looked at but rarely touched. Textile materiales behave very differently when are part of an object that is made to be used everyday. This needs to be anticipated so design changes that improve durability are applied on time.
2. It’s great when artisans and designers work together in collaboration. It’s essential that they have a shared goal and know that both their knowledges and skills are equally necessary. There is no place for hyerarchies and egos!
3. It’s important to document with words, drawings, pictures and videos every step of the way so you can repeat the process again or find out exactly when something went wrong. Even discarded ideas, sketches or pieces can inspire future projects.
4. Be open to learn but also don’t be afraid to ask for help. You can’t be an expert in every field and you don’t need to. (I will never learn Rhino, but that’s ok)
5. Know your worth and your market, and learn how to price your work accordingly.
The project developed during iAtelier: Digital Threads
This is a project inspired in a loom as a creation tool. The knowledge of wood and 3D of the designer Kelly Begiazi has been combined with the textile craft skills of Mariana Piñar to design two beautiful pieces of furniture. They have used the CNC router together with the technique of wood bending called kerfing and the weaving of textile fibres. The combination of different techniques has resulted in two design chairs made of birch plywood.