In the early 1990's, Galina Alexandrovna Khmeleva, a clothing designer
and surface design artist from St. Petersburg, Russia, began nurturing
both a personal and a working relationship with local textile artists
from the Orenburg region of Russia.
As a young
woman growing up in post-WWII Leningrad, she was no stranger to the
near mystical reputation of Orenburg knitted lace. Despite countless
obstacles, including armed robbery and death threats, Galina managed
to develop a reputation in Orenburg as a fair, honest and innovative
In a part
of the world where trust is not easily achieved, Galina earned the confidence
and respect of the local knitting establishment. She was able to learn
and perfect the closely guarded techniques of shawl design, learning
from masters like Olga Fedorova herself.
working knowledge of the intricacies of Orenburg knitted lace continued
to evolve, so too did her understanding of and appreciation for the
pivotal role played by this traditional art form in the everyday lives
of so many of the women in this region. Thus, when a growing sense of
desperation became apparent, she pledged her support to do whatever
was necessary to see that this unique textile tradition survived.
about the ORIGIN & MISSION
of Skaska Designs.