Born in Moscow, Yamit has many talents and explored various artistic outlets including cake art and poetry, until she discovered quilling a few years ago. In her words: “I feel most alive when I’m quilling, and quilling is definitely a language of my soul”. Yamit resides in Pittsburgh with her husband and children.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I was born in Moscow and moved to the United States when I was 17. I have a degree in Biochemistry, and even though I’m not working in the field, I’m pretty well versed in the current research especially in the areas of health and epidemiology. We lived and worked in many places including Moscow and Tallinn until we settled in Pittsburgh 3.5 years ago. We have 8 children.
What inspired you to become an artist?
I was always artistically inclined and tried my hand in cake art for a few years until I discovered quilling almost accidently. I bought a beginners quilling set for my daughter, we tried it together, and I said, “Wow, this is ME!” The rest is history.
What is your specialty?
I do quilling. It is a type of paper art that uses strips of paper of different width that are curled into different shapes and glued to the paper.
How and where do you work?
What is the most indispensable item in your studio?
Quilling tools and paper strips.
Where do you take your inspiration? Are you pursuing any themes?
Chassidus gives me a lot of inspiration. We are Chabad and Chassidus is interwoven into our lives. I like to do quilled Hamsas, there is a lot of spiritual power in them, lots of possibilities to tap into it. I also love doing holiday themes Rosh Hashana, Succos, Shabbos. A while back, I was asked to do a piece on Pesach. It took a long time growing this idea but in the end, Miriam with a tambourine at the edge of the Red Sea came out. I don’t always know how my art will turn out in the end, but what I know is that I have to listen to the paper and follow its lead, I’m just the vessel, a passageway to express the art that is there.
What projects are you currently working on?
I’m working on perfecting my quilled scripting
What are your favourite items in your current collection?
My favorites change. I like my “Family Menorah” piece and one of the recent ones – “Mazal Tov” with chosson and kallah looking at each other. When I was working on it, I felt like I was peeking at something very special, I felt almost bashful.
How do you know when a piece is finished?
It feels right.
Do you do bespoke work?
What was the first artwork you ever sold?
It was a pink, brown and green floral hamsa for a bas mitzvah, matching the colors of the invitation.
Which project have you enjoyed working on the most so far?
Sometimes the idea is born and it can’t wait to get out! I love those projects!
What do you want to achieve with your work and what are your wishes for the future?
I think the art has a lot of power. I think it can bring the best in people. I hope more people will have access to my art.
Where can we find your work?