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Kaija Rautiainen

Kaija Rautiainen

Medium: Fibre Arts
Location: Vancouver, BC
Member Since: 1993

Kaija Rautiainen was born in Finland where she acquired a teaching degree in Textile Education from the University of Helsinki. She taught textile arts in Finland before moving to Brazil, where she formally studied painting. In 1985 she moved to Vancouver and established a studio on Granville Island.

Kaija’s practice is grounded in portraying the natural world. She currently uses a digital Jacquard loom to combine the very ancient medium of weaving with cutting edge technology, producing images of west coast nature. The computer helps to build the image according to her programming, while the physical act of weaving is done by hand, one thread at a time.

Using a digital photograph as the foundation for her piece, Kaija creates a computer file which translates the image into various weave structures. The digital loom reads the file and chooses the sequence of warp (vertical) threads. By pressing a pedal she tells the loom to advance to the next line on the draft and then throws the shuttle containing the weft (horizontal) thread by hand.

Kaija has given numerous talks and workshops on tapestry and weaving, and has also taught at Capilano University. She is also a recipient of the City of Seattle Arts Award. Her work can be found in corporate and private collections worldwide.

“From my early tapestries to present Jacquard weavings, I portray scenes that I have encountered sailing on the west coast or hiking in the mountains. I use contemporary weaving combined with painterly techniques in order to explore and reveal moments and encounters which I have experienced both spiritually and aesthetically.”

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