Friday, 5 September 2008

Designer interview - Ne Vous Installez Pas - Veerle Maes

To finish our chaincreative Fashion Week we're going to chat to a crochet jewellery designer who uses such concentrated colours and techniques that no one project is the same. Ne Vous Installez Pas is a crochet blog with a difference. Unlike so many others, Veerle Maes takes us through the processes of her decisions with colour more than technique and how to achieve harmonious effects out of the choices we can make. It's going to be interesting to learn how she came to these methods and adapt them to our own.
Chain Creative Interview
Questions of creativity and inspiration

Hello Veerle! Please tell us about your crochet business and what the name means to us non-French speakers!!

Well, it’s not really a ‘business’ (I work full time in a public office). The name of my crafty passion is ‘ ne vous installez pas’.
I know you live in Belgium. Give us some idea of where.
I live in Gent, Belgium. Gent is a very nice historic city. Not really a metropolis, but big enough to have all the facilities an important city offers, and still small enough to feel really at home.
Tell us about the internet side of your work.
nevousinstallezpas is the website and
The blog is in Dutch (because I also really like the writing itself, and this works best in my mothertongue) but I add an English summary at the end of my posts.
Both the blog and the website are beautiful and so much thought goes into them. Tell us a little about your creative skills.

I’ve been interested in textiles since I was a child (sewing and knitting cloths for my dolls e.g.). I tried several techniques the previous years: weaving, knitting (for a shop), sewing colourful babycloths (also for a shop),calligraphy,… But from the autumn of 2004 onwards, I haven’t stopped crocheting jewellery.

Why crochet!?

It's so relaxing! While I’m busy crocheting, my thoughts go everywhere they want to go. Questions get answers and plans become reality.
And it is also nice that I can start a project immediately. Crochet does not demand big preparations.
And I also like the fact that it takes some time before my jewel is finished, but not too long. Just enough to enjoy the growth of my jewel.
Crochet brings me in a perfect equilibrium .

What is the inspiration behind the name of your website/blog? I've often wondered if it's an order not to do something!!!

Ne vous installez pas’ are words of Dom Helder Camara. It means : don’t settle, don’t fall asleep, react, … For me it also means : say YES to life! Sorry, if I give at first the impression that I’m not friendly, hope everyone now understands what this expression means to me.

What influences your style and output? What are your inspirations?
I’m always looking around (in real life and on the internet) for objects from al disciplines that I like. A detail from a fabric, a picture, jewellery in other materials, my mood… everything can be inspiration both for the form as for the colours of my new jewel.

What are the most important aspects of your work to you?
I consider it as very important to choose only very nice materials. I only work with silk (both threads and fabric).
And also that my crocheting is very fine (crochet hook nr. 1).
Also my combining different colours in one jewel is one of my strong points.
I myself consider my work as a fairly successful and comtemporary application of an old craft.

Which project or piece of work are you most proud of?
I’m especially proud that I started to do this and continued ! I’ve been trying so many crafts without becoming really good in it. It’s the first time that I have persevered in a technique. The satisfaction is equally high.

Describe the kind of customer you are appealing to.
Almost everybody likes my work. But not everybody dares to wear it. It has nothing to do with age (both younger and older women wear my jewellery).Maybe it demands some degree of self-consciousness?
Only people who really love it, buy it. I’m aware of the fact that for customers, it’s not always easy to spend money on jewellery that’s not made of precious metals.
But, it’s like in these words, not mine, but feeling affinity for :”jewellery is not so show what you have, but to show who you are”.

When are you most happy when you’re working?
When, while I’m crocheting something, I get at the same time lots of new ideas for following projects (I’ve always a small booklet in the neighbourhood, to make sketches of new jewels).

Thank you for chatting!

Love Bee
It's funny how the more you get into this creative process the more challenges you have to throw at yourself. The mixing and coordinating of colour and the moods it provides. The finer the hook the more satisfying and delicate the work can become. The more you change your stitches the more interest and texture your work takes on. Thank you, Veerle, it's really given me food for thought.


prairieknitter01 said...

Wonderful interview! I enjoyed it very much.

Andrea in Minnesota

jen said...

very cool and unique!

sara aires said...

Really nice and inspiring enterview! Veerle's work is undoubtfully fantastic. I cannot help feeling identifyed with her thoughts. Thank you Bee!

Bee Creative said...

I'm sure that Veerle will be really happy to hear from all her fans. I'll pass the messages on to her. She deserves all the appreciation!!!
Bee xx

Joana said...

Fantastic your blog.
Joana Brasil