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Irena Russman

Published:

My apartment is one of those places where there is a small altar at every corner, nothing religious, but a collection of things that I’ve encountered in the course of my life and that are important to me whether found, traded, given or acquired. I put these objects into a relationship with each other that gives them a new order or a new meaning.

I’m not a collector in excess. Everything has been carefully thought out and carefully arranged, and I want my home and studio to radiate something very casual and comfortable. Lots of colour, ethno, handmade, wool, fur, ceramics and things with patina and personal touch. And flowers—if I hadn’t ended up with wool, you could well imagine me in one of those Danish cafes, where you can buy freshly baked cakes, some well-assorted junk, ceramics and a small selection of special flowers.

These preferences are a part of me, my home, my workshop and my food. I enjoy seasonal and fresh ingredients, nothing complicated, just careful preparation, combining and rearranging and carefully testing what goes well together in terms of taste. And the guest then enjoys colourful, soothing taste compositions and then sinks into the equally comforting cushions from my workshop.

Irena’s Pear Crumble:

100 g fine oat flakes

100 g spelled flour

30 g buckwheat

60 g raw cane sugar

120 g butter

approx. 1 kg pears—core, cut into eighths 

50 g walnuts—roughly chopped

50 g pecans—roughly chopped

50 g almonds—roughly chopped

3 Tbs honey

50 g cocoa nibs

1. Process oat flakes, flour, buckwheat, raw cane sugar and butter into crumble. Mix remaining ingredients with honey, place in the baking dish (approx. 28 cm), cover with the crumble, sprinkle with cocoa nibs.

2. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C
(convection 160 degrees C) for about
60 minutes.

I vary the chopped nuts and sometimes use apples instead of pears, depending on what the market has to offer. In any case, there is always vanilla ice cream.

How I would love to prepare dinner for all my loved ones, at a long, long table under olive trees.

The intuitive process of cooking is reflected in my knitwear. The crayon scarves, for example, curled cashmere dreams, consist of 30 colours. The composition and sequence are carefully curated in stripes, one-by-one on my knitting machine. My knitted garments are things that people like to wear, casual, no business look, simple cuts that fit well and which I modify again and again.

My workshop is located on the first floor of a former machine factory from the 1920s, the most beautiful Art Deco building, which was converted into a house for art and crafts at the beginning of the 1980s and since then has served as a work and exhibition space for various artists.

For 20 years now I have been working in the high, light-flooded room. The shelves are filled with masses of colored yarn rolls and four knitting machines to produce sweaters, cardigans, scarves, cuffs, blankets and pillows, all mainly made of Mongolian cashmere from sustainable production.

Up to now, my work has only been available for purchse in my studio and in a small shop in Dresden, but an online shop is planned, especially for my different scarves and wrist warmers, which are the main business around Christmas time.

I enjoy traveling to Japan and browswing through the Japanese blue printed fabrics and Japanese ceramics or simply taking my dog, Yoko, for a walk. He fits perfectly into my colourful atmosphere.

My apartment is one of those places where there is a small altar at every corner, nothing religious, but a collection of things that I’ve encountered in the course of my life and that are important to me whether found, traded, given or acquired. I put these objects into a relationship with each other that gives them a new order or a new meaning.

I’m not a collector in excess. Everything has been carefully thought out and carefully arranged, and I want my home and studio to radiate something very casual and comfortable. Lots of colour, ethno, handmade, wool, fur, ceramics and things with patina and personal touch. And flowers—if I hadn’t ended up with wool, you could well imagine me in one of those Danish cafes, where you can buy freshly baked cakes, some well-assorted junk, ceramics and a small selection of special flowers.

These preferences are a part of me, my home, my workshop and my food. I enjoy seasonal and fresh ingredients, nothing complicated, just careful preparation, combining and rearranging and carefully testing what goes well together in terms of taste. And the guest then enjoys colourful, soothing taste compositions and then sinks into the equally comforting cushions from my workshop.

Irena’s Pear Crumble:

100 g fine oat flakes

100 g spelled flour

30 g buckwheat

60 g raw cane sugar

120 g butter

approx. 1 kg pears—core, cut into eighths 

50 g walnuts—roughly chopped

50 g pecans—roughly chopped

50 g almonds—roughly chopped

3 Tbs honey

50 g cocoa nibs

1. Process oat flakes, flour, buckwheat, raw cane sugar and butter into crumble. Mix remaining ingredients with honey, place in the baking dish (approx. 28 cm), cover with the crumble, sprinkle with cocoa nibs.

2. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C
(convection 160 degrees C) for about
60 minutes.

I vary the chopped nuts and sometimes use apples instead of pears, depending on what the market has to offer. In any case, there is always vanilla ice cream.

How I would love to prepare dinner for all my loved ones, at a long, long table under olive trees.

The intuitive process of cooking is reflected in my knitwear. The crayon scarves, for example, curled cashmere dreams, consist of 30 colours. The composition and sequence are carefully curated in stripes, one-by-one on my knitting machine. My knitted garments are things that people like to wear, casual, no business look, simple cuts that fit well and which I modify again and again.

My workshop is located on the first floor of a former machine factory from the 1920s, the most beautiful Art Deco building, which was converted into a house for art and crafts at the beginning of the 1980s and since then has served as a work and exhibition space for various artists.

For 20 years now I have been working in the high, light-flooded room. The shelves are filled with masses of colored yarn rolls and four knitting machines to produce sweaters, cardigans, scarves, cuffs, blankets and pillows, all mainly made of Mongolian cashmere from sustainable production.

Up to now, my work has only been available for purchse in my studio and in a small shop in Dresden, but an online shop is planned, especially for my different scarves and wrist warmers, which are the main business around Christmas time.

I enjoy traveling to Japan and browswing through the Japanese blue printed fabrics and Japanese ceramics or simply taking my dog, Yoko, for a walk. He fits perfectly into my colourful atmosphere.