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Water series felt vessels zed handmade

Zed Handmade

Diane Zwickel 

Medium: Fibre Arts 
Location: Vancouver, BC 
Member since: 2020 

ABOUT

A resident of South Surrey, Diane was born and raised in Winnipeg, the daughter of a commercial artist. Watching her father turn a pencil line into a three-dimensional drawing inspired her to visualize a flat piece of fabric or a strand of yarn morphing into fashion. She learned that fine materials are worth the investment, and to this day appreciates the tactile beauty and colours of natural fibres. In 2012, Diane decided to combine her love of fashion and fibre with her business and retail skills, and “zed handmade” was born. 

Diane begins each year planning for the upcoming season, the process of adding a new design taking up the first two to three months. She then spends the entire year hand-knitting each piece of all current designs to produce enough for the winter marketplace. All zed pieces are hand knit with 100% natural fibres. Many colours are undyed, which makes them even more environmentally friendly.

ARTIST STATEMENT

The zed brand has become a strong statement of my design belief ─ simple is powerful.

I started by designing and hand knitting a line of pure wool and alpaca scarves and cowls, making them available in a local marketplace. My love of fibre led me to other forms of artistic expression.

My felt vessels embrace a love of texture and simplicity of design. Using natural fibers I create surfaces composed of subtle colours, textural elements, and organic feel. The “fulling” process starts with knitting a defined shape. Next, I agitate it by hand in very hot water, and, over time, as only pure wool will do, it shrinks and matts into felt. Once the piece is the desired size, I hand-shape it over a form to dry. Each vessel is one-of-a-kind, surprisingly useful on a nightstand for eyeglasses or by the door for keys, but also an art piece when alone and empty.

“Framed” is a collection of whimsical subjects and studies in colour, all created by hand with knitting needles. Fibers include Japanese cotton, fiqué, sisal, hemp, raw silk and mohair-wrapped silk. What they all have in common is texture, shape and flow. Each work is one of a kind, framed and ready to be hung.

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