Eleni Pavlou talks to us
On occasion of the activities of the 2nd Craft Festival organised on Poros in July, such as the opening of Poros lending and exchange library, we talked with Eleni Pavlou, a professional weaver and the festival’s “soul”. Eleni talked to us about her work and “Ergani” weaving workshop, about creativity and about how important it is for somebody to have a network of supporting persons besides them.
Tell us about your work.
“Ergani” weaving workshop was founded on Poros in 1998. In this space, we create unique handmade products by combining traditional techniques with materials friendly to the environment, modern aesthetics, and original design.
In our shop, apart from our own creations made of cloth and thread, we also host special works created by Greek designers. Moreover, we often organise creative workshops (seminars) aiming to introduce the participants to the art of weaving, spinning, felting, and other techniques, as well as educational programmes in collaboration with schools, museums, or other organisations.
What is your relationship with the local area?
I was born and raised on Poros. I lived in Athens, which is where I studied, for almost 7 years; then, my husband and I came back in order to create our family.
How has crisis affected your work and your life and how do you deal with it?
There are some objective obstacles any professional has to cope with these days. I believe, though, that crisis has also been beneficial to my job, because necessity has sometimes made me come up with new ways of doing things and new materials to use, and it takes art creation down to new roads.
Which of your knowledge and personality traits have been most useful to you in your professional life?
My university studies helped me in pursuing knowledge and trying to gain a deeper understanding of any field I get involved with. They were also helpful as far as the organisation of seminars and educational programmes is concerned. Lastly, weaving is an art that requires a lot of patience.
Is there an aspect of your personality or anything related to how you work that would like to improve? What are your weaknesses and how have they influenced you?
Due to the fact that many things catch my attention and make me feel excited at the same time, I cannot focus on just one of them.
Is there anything you would do differently? What do you consider as a right step in your career?
I feel that all of this is a process that is constantly evolving, getting a certain form by the environment around us. Many times, what I consider to be a mistake has led me to something I had never thought of before. However, what I believe to be the most important element are the people who stand next to me for all these years, my family, friends, and partners.
What piece of advice would you give to a young person who would like to do what you do?
To love what they do first and then to be motivated to learn and work hard.
What are your plans for the future, short-term and long-term ones?
I plan on keep on weaving, creating, and learning and on gaining joy and satisfaction.
Eleni Pavlou is the owner of “Ergani” weaving workshop, which is located on Poros, in Ermou Street. At the same time, Eleni Pavlou is involved in the activities organised by the Centre of Creative Activities (KDAP) of the Municipality of Poros and teaches weaving, while for the last two years she has been organising the Crafts Festival in Ermou Street in collaboration with other professionals and volunteers from the island.