Catherine Berka and NILI Slow Thread

Colour, sunlight, texture, the stunningly beautiful shawls of textile designer Catherine Berka, seated on the left amidst her wool felted 'family' describing the artistic process to my family friend, artist/sculptor Pixie Shaw. I'm taking the photo)  I met Catherine for the first time last year at the Upper Canada College holiday market in Toronto, an annual fundraiser for the school where she and I were both vendors.   Catherine's exhibit was across from mine.   Our first point of conversation was admiring each others work and then there was a discussion on wooden toggle buttons.  Call it show small talk.  She uses wooden buttons on her textile pieces and I as a casual fob closure on the BBB.  We both agreed sourcing them from China was absurd even embarassing!  Oh if we only knew someone who was an avid stick/button collector and we could make our own with a bit of ingenuity.  With that Catherine said y'know I should ask my neighbour, we often meet, I walking our dog in the ravine and she, an artist collecting interesting shaped branches wood. I did not miss a beat and promptly chirped with a rhetorical raised eyebrow: Pixie???? I had no idea she was Catherine's neighbour.  Talk about it's a small world story .....  Catherine said why yes!  So thanks to Pixie and the search for buttons we have all met.  And Pixie like myself, has had the wonderful experience of seeing Catherine's beautiful work.


Catherine's tradename is Nili slow thread - nili is Persian for purple and slow thread attests to the artisinal nature of each piece.  She is currently betwixt and between her own studio space in Toronto, so I included some  her work at my recent May Day sale at my lakehome last month which was a great success..  I also invited Catherine to show some of her Nili slow thread  shawls on our BBB website as a guest Bespoke designer.  Deciding which colours to show was near impossible.


The shawls are magnificent in the light...... but one should not take colour too seriously ...

Mostly a whole lot fun viewing and choosing the colours for our BBBespoke collection featuring her shawls.

Now trying to organize a model....   well we had fun there too!  I have this wooden mannequin which I set up in my sunroom and took the pics below.  My sister out for a stroll wondered who  this lady in the shawl was visiting me ?!!! Very funny that's Maxine Mannequin....

So a great way to welcome the summer with our Mini is Back sale and I would have to say the shawl is back too! 


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