Verena Schätzlein initially studied textile and surface pattern design at the Kunstakademie Stuttgart, before moving to Berlin where she established her own studio. In 2000 Verena was commissioned for a fair trade carpet project in India; a project which was to be the start of a long term relationship with the land, its people, and for all its craftsmen.
In the intervening decade+ Verena has undertake regular projects and commissions in India and makes at least one trip per year to the land. For all the variety of crafts techniques still being practised in the country is an constant source of wonder and inspiration for Verena.
“When you are there and spend all day working with the locals,” she enthuses, “you get completely different view of both life and your work”
And so it was perhaps not surprising that four years ago Verena decided to start developing and producing her own products in co-operation with a workers collective in India.
Salon Elfi was born.
All the wooden elements in the Salon Elfi range are turned and constructed in India and then hand-painted in Verena’s Berlin atelier.
In addition to the wooden objects, Verena also creates delightful screen printed paper and textile products. For us the Salon Elfi products have a certain child-like innocence, a certain timelessness. Is this deliberate?
“I suppose I tend to think about what impressed me as a child, and about what I used to like playing with. And I have never been someone who has paid much attention to fashions or trends, which has allowed me to develop my own style”
A style that, not surprisingly, isn’t just admired by younger consumers. “I’ve realised that many adults buy the products for themselves” the smile betraying her joy that it so is.
At Grassimesse 2010 Salon Elfi made its debut in Leipzig. But why the initial decision to apply? “A friend used to exhibit there and always enjoyed it, and so I visited and was impressed by the overall impression as well as the quality of the work on display”
And because it was so enjoyable and successful Verena is returning this year.
“I exhibit at numerous fairs, and what I especially like is the way the organisers organise the individual exhibitors so that they don’t distract from one another; but rather like a long chain of pearls where each pearl is allowed to shine. And that is something special”
At Grassimesse 2011 Verena Schätzlein, aka Salon Elfi, will be presenting a cross section of her wood, textile and paper products.
More information on Verena Schätzlein and Salon Elfi can be found at www.salonelfi.de