Eija Koski – The Skymaker
The Finnish word "himmeli", which is a form of straw art, originates from the sky. People also often ask if there is something holy in himmelis. Certainly there is something in it.
The rye field waves in the summer wind, and the soft light through the leaves above makes the yard feel like a cosy nest. Only a lone swallow breaks the silence, drawing lines on the canvaslike blue sky. This very place, in the midst of Ostrobothnian plains, is an artist's dream come true.
Is there anything more beautiful than a reflection on an old shed's chalk wall? Himmelist Eija Koski's world-famous artwork hangs here; straw yellow, graphic black, even colourful. Almost three meters long, the largest one hangs noble, while the smallest one fits in a tiny box. People around the world are mad about this artwork – in Japan, Finland, the young and the old. Himmeli is not something old any more, it's trendy in modern homes, public spaces and galleries.
Passion and Purity
Also the modern, yet traditional textiles of Lapuan Kankurit feel at home here, says Eija Koski.
– There is a unique spirit in Lapuan Kankurit textiles, just as in my artwork. They embrace something very Finnish, but at the same time they are modern and express passion. I appreciate the fact that the linen textiles are made nearby, from natural ingredients.
The wool and linen products are in use also in the artist's summer cottage.
– There we sit on the porch, enjoying the sea breeze, all cuddled up in bath gowns. Natural materials feel so soft and warm.
Eija Koski has always loved the nature, woods and its offerings. In her atelier, she also arranges courses on wild herbs and mushrooms. Organic flour from the surrounding fields is sold in brown paper bags. – We also run an organic farm, and it is just fabulous to follow the seasons: how the nature awakens in the spring and how the sprouts turn into crop. When the dusk falls, all kinds of wild animals visit our yard – even moose. I often ride my bike to pick mushrooms in the woods. The wild nature is so wonderful; the universal laws of beauty are still visible.
Why is it that himmeli touches people around the world?
– First I thought that it is the material, rye, which is considered the king of grain.
– For me, beauty equals harmony. I found Plato's idea that there is eternal beauty, which consists of lines and mathematical patterns. And there it was: himmeli actually is an octahedron, one of the five basic solids. Now I understand why himmeli is so widely considered beautiful.
– I often think how lucky I am having the privilege of working with nature and creating pure beauty, touching souls. I have turned my passion into a profession.