Combed Thunder is the art name of Natalie Novak. A visual artist from Portland in Oregon. She couldn’t have chosen a more fitting name, as it reminds us of the Native Americans, that right there in Oregon - ouragan/uragano from the French – where they organized themselves into lots of different tribes.
You can really pick up on the connection with that incredibly magical and sadly lost world in the textile works by Combed Thunder. Totems, talismans, shamanism and folklore are all elements found in Natalie’s style, who seems to ooze deep spirituality herself. For her, weaving is a meditative art that creates Beauty that brings your imagination to life and can even harmonize our soul.
For her, weaving is like coming back home, it’s tactile and incredibly welcoming and so much more. Working with the loom makes her feel connected to all the weavers, past and present all over the planet and like this she feels like an active part ongoing history where new chapters are continuously being written.
Her rugs, tapestries and jewellery are woven using ancient and contemporary techniques and are inspired by nature and the supernatural and illustrate erupting volcanoes, dances with wolves, bright thunderbolts, majestic trees, rainbows and wide eyes. You can’t help feeling overwhelmed by all these things that have such a strong symbolic power which make you stop, take a breath and get in touch with your most ancestral self. They remind us that it’s our duty to live in harmony with Mother Nature.
Folklore and mythology are some of Natalie’s favourite studies. In her work there are some stories that have already been written but also her own stories that are expressed through a strong symbolic meaning. But just what is her favourite symbol? Colour. Colour that allows her to tell stories in much greater detail thanks to an extensive colour palette.
Combed Thunder has created some necklaces and earrings for us by mixing two of our summertime yarns: Lincoln and Cleopatra. Geometric patterns inspired by textile designs by the Native American and dashingly unique contrasting colours. There are two purposes of this little collection. One to enhance the vibrant shininess of Lincoln and the slight opaqueness of Cleopatra. The other to create jewellery that convey integrity and courage, in that hope that whoever ends up wearing them, will have these same qualities.
The latest textile craze of Combed Thunder is really unique and very imaginative. Natalie collects bones from the desert to then bring them back to life by weaving around them. Like this, the bones are turned into unique pieces, a lucky charm or magic wands that help to channel positive energy. I think they’re awesome.
Thanks, Natalie, for using your vital creativity on our products.
If you liked this article you may also be interested in this one too. Vanessa Barragao and a really special coral reef.
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