The World of Felt
Interview with SAUNA HAT
The Sauna Hat provides high-quality and unique sauna accessories, made from 100% wool. The Sauna Hat ensure that each piece is handcrafted at the in-house studio using the finest materials and creativity. All of their products are original and individually made. Their main value is a great care and attention for every customer's wish.
- Hello, Saunahuete (Viktorija Bučelytė), how are you doing?
Hello. At the moment quite "wavy". Thought that everything in the world had stopped was wrong. It is a lot of work to do, almost as much as during the Christmas period.
A lot of new thoughts and ideas too, hard to choose where to start.
- Please share with us about your interests and lifestyle before Saunahuete?
I could keep answering this question for a long time.
The truth is that when I didn't know who I wanted to become when I "grow up", my attention was concentrated on the world of floristics. Later on I decided to study at the Police Academy and graduated with a bachelor's degree in law and police activities... Meanwhile I got married... Here my life changed fundamentally, because we were so much interested in an ecological natural lifestyle that after some time decided to move to live in nature. We builded up a round straw bale house, sauna, started gardening and during my free time I started felting. I had great pleasure! My first handmade products was felted wool slippers, with which i started to attend different fairs, markets. After some time, for diversification, I started to make sauna hats which in the markets were always redeemed, always, as much as I produce.
- Why was created Saunahuete?
In 2012, I decided to participate at the "Interbad" exhibition in Stuttgart. In fact, I had no idea where I was going and couldn't imagine either the scale of the exhibition or certain nuances. But it was a huge step forward, getting to know the market and finding my place "under the sun".
- How long does Saunahuete exist?
My connection with felt has been going on for 14 years. Company was founded 8 years ago.
- There is some exclusive story behind Saunahuete name or symbol?
Our name as well as our logo (the sauna hat) had to be chosen pretty quickly, that's why Saunahuete is more commercial, reflecting the direct essence of the name. This was the most appropriate option, as we are more focused on German-speaking countries, but always open to the whole world. For some time we worked on the idea for Saunahuete to grow and this gave an inspiration to take time, enjoy the process of creating new meaningful, thoughtful, filled up with imagination name. We will present it to you soon!
- What is so special and important about felt? What characteristic of felt fascinate you?
Endless creative possibilities. Felt surface texture every time becomes new and unrepeatable. It greatly stimulates creativity. Felt is a unique non-woven fabric, 100% natural material with excellent thermal insulation properties that are useful in cold and in heat. It is possible to make not only jewelry, brooches, hats, carpets, but also shoes, clothes, houses and SAUNAS. Let's imagine - it is possible to become completely independent from the outside world. From my personal experience I can say that you can produce everything you need by specializing in one technique and becoming a master of it.
- Saunahuete producing mainly sauna hats. Why hats are important?
In Northern Europe, Russia, the usage of sauna hats is common practice. The explanation is simple. Exist the statement that the distribution of water in the human body is uneven: in the head more - about 80%, in the rest of the body about 70%. In saunas, the heat stays in the ceiling, so the head heats up faster than the body when the legs usually do not heat up at all. So this is where you need a sauna hat that protects your head from overheating, prolongs the enjoyment of heat and protects your hair from the unpleasant effects of high temperatures.
- On the pages (Saunahuete, ViktorijaFilz, LITTAUdesign, Saunaworld, The Sauna hat) we can see many different felt works - shoes, accessories, hats, clothes. What do you like to create the most?
The implementation of new ideas is easy, as long as it does not become an obligation for money. This is what I like the most - freedom to create.
- As we know you are also facilitating workshops on felting. Do you have memories of your first event?
I did so many workshops that I don't remember the first one, but I do have memories of the most impressive one. I facilitated a felting workshop of sauna hats in Japan during the day of the sauna. To keep the rhythm of felting, I sang a children's folk song (there is a video - ikelti video). Japanese had some similar sound, so they joined me too and in the end it became a short international performance. The consequences are amazing! Perfect mood and a new sauna hat creator in Japan.
- The most challenging part in felting workshops?
Workshops require a lot of energy. It is not only about sharing of knowledge, but also a big responsibility to keep interest and attention of participants, to be able to transmit subtleties. It is a power of creating a journey that helps to get to know, experiment and finally fall in love with felt. It is a pleasure to watch the participants feeling creative fatigue and joy at the final result. Most of all the challenging part is the opportunities that I have, decision making and restriction of the process. It is very interesting to control the action during the course so that everyone leaves the workshop satisfied.
- Why is the sauna and all its culture important to you?
I was born in a country with very deep sauna traditions. In the past, saunas had a very important role. People would go to sauna not only for self care reasons, but to notice important life happenings: before and after childbirth, before the wedding, special wash rituals for the deceased.
From childhood I had privilege to experience different saunas: family, women, steam saunas, the ones where meat products have been smoked recently or to visit just newly built saunas. Sauna was always obligatory especially after haymaking, potato harvesting days. Several generations would gather in one place: grandmothers, mothers, aunts, daughters all with their experiences and wisdom. There was no fear of the body and old age, everything was simply natural. Such saunas had a magical aura. In the present world those rituals have almost disappeared.
Saunas have always been and are with me, so it naturally happened that I myself started to organise sauna procedures for women before the wedding, before giving birth. This is a very broad and sacred theme. A lot of energy in that. Would like to preserve it as a heritage. Unfortunately it is not possible to convey those sensations in public baths. This requires small, cozy sauna spaces. To do good procedures in sauna requires specific attributes: different whisks, the right steam, a pleasant temperature and peace of mind, and if you let yourself be treated you can experience gateway between the different worlds of the universe, through which you feel like a newborn, clean and open to the wonders of a new day.
I am also very interested in the sauna culture of different countries, especially archaic saunas.
- Where are you getting inspiration from?
It may sound strange, but inspiration comes from the felt colors itselves. Seems that they whispering to me what needs to be done. Also i have very strong moment of associations that leads me to crazy new decisions. Of course customers surprising me in good way by the wishes and visions that they have and share. At the same time the best thing to get inspiration is to renew my thoughts, change environment and relax by traveling, whether would it be long or short trips, with family or alone. It is pity, but i can not stay without doing nothing. I always think of something new to experience or to create.
- Your plans and dreams?
Business development and seeing happy customers !!!!
- Your wish!
Be strong, healthy and always pursue your dreams!