Estonian Textile Artists


Textile Artist of the Year 2023: Aet Ollisaar. Photo by Lisette Laanoja

On March 21, 2024, a jury composed of representatives from the creative field gathered at the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design to acknowledge the professional endeavors of textile artists in 2023. Textile artists were recognized in three categories: Textile Artist of the Year, Young Textile Artist of the Year, and Textile Achievement of the Year.

Photo by Lisette Laanoja


Aet Ollisaar

Textile artist Aet Ollisaar was recognized for an undeniably powerful and fruitful year of creativity. According to the jury, Ollisaar's work is characterized by its poeticism, uniqueness, and activity. In 2023, the artist participated in a total of 12 exhibitions, including three solo exhibitions, and showcased her work on three international platforms.

Aet Ollisaar's distinctly unique artistic signature is defined by vibrant contrasts and an abstracted visual language, where connections to the surrounding world are conveyed to the viewer through subtle yet precise references.

Beyond her creative pursuits, Aet Ollisaar is renowned for her role as an enthusiastic organizer and facilitator. She is a versatile educator who closely monitors the development of her students, acknowledges their progress, and effectively supports them. Ollisaar has cultivated an inspiring learning environment that fosters creativity and broadens students' horizons.

Aet Ollisaar's works are crafted in the Studio 100 workspace at the Aparaaditehas in Tartu.

Photo by Iris Kivisalu


Maria Kristiin

The laureate for Young Textile Artist of the Year 2023 Award is a promising talent who garnered recognition for their master's thesis titled "The Role of Designers in Post-Consumer Textile Waste Recycling: A Case Study of Yarn Development and Knitwear Collection." The work adeptly integrates material selection and design solutions. According to the jury, this represents a significant contribution to the scientific advancement of the field, thereby showcasing Estonian design on the international stage.

Peterson gained attention with their master's thesis as a finalist in the 2023 New York Textile Month International Textile Student Competition for the Dorothy Waxman Textile Design Prize, thus demonstrating their creative potential and professional skill set.

Photo by Francesco Rosso


The community project "Who Remembers Last? Who Remembers Better?" by Maryliis Teinfeldt-Grins. ”

The jury found that Maryliis Teinfeldt-Grins's ambitious community-engaging creative initiative has both an immediate and long-lasting impact. The jury highly appreciated the artist's significant contribution to popularizing textile art and design among young people, bringing the field closer to them, introducing her innovative technique to a wide audience, and providing them with new and exciting outlets.

The five-meter-long carpet created as part of the community project "Who Remembers Last? Who Remembers Better?" is an inspiring example of how an artist can merge the local community and art for creative expression.

Read more:  'Who Remembers Last, Who Remembers Better?' by Maryliis Teinfeldt-Grins at the Tütar gallery

Photo by Marilyn Piirsalu


Kadi Pajupuu's Presentation at an International Professional Forum and Publication of a Research Article

The jury recognized Kadi Pajupuu with a Special Award as an indefatigable actor and innovator in the field of textiles. Pajupuu received the special award for her long-standing and consistent research work and advancement of textile art. Her continuous development and promotion of innovative weaving technologies have reached a new level, as evidenced by her recent presentation at an international professional forum and the publication of a research article.

On November 23, Kadi Pajupuu participated with a presentation on the topic of "MultiWeave" at the Algorithmic Pattern Salon event, focusing on algorithmic patterns in creative arts, crafts, and code.

Pajupuu's article, "The Story of Inventing an Adjustable Density Fabric: A Tale of Creating a Tool," was published in the 2023 edition of the journal Studia Vernacula. The article delves into the process of invention, the attitude of do-it-yourself, and the activities and image-building necessary for the production of a craft invention. It presents a case study of one textile craft tool, the invention journey of an adjustable density fabric shuttle, from the initial idea to the prototype, useful model, and final product.

The article provides an overview of previous shuttle variants enabling changes in warp density and describes the process of invention, considering the stages perceived by the inventor. Special attention is given to the inventor's personal experience, highlighting both the factors fostering and hindering product development.

The inventor's choices throughout the process have been influenced by self-identification as a user and entrepreneur.

Research project "Warp and Weft Manipulations on Handlooms"  :


At the exhibition "Tekstiks ja tagasi" held at the Pallas Gallery in 2023, Marilyn Piirsalu also interpreted Kadi Pajupuu's invented technique.

The Estonian Textile Artists' Association (ETAA) has been recognizing dedicated colleagues since 1996.

The jury for the ETeKL 2023 Annual Awards included:
Helen Adamson (Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design)
Elna Kaasik (Textile Artist of the Year 2022)
Elin Kard (Estonian Artists' Association)
Erle Loonurm (Journalist, ERR)
Stella Mõttus (Art Historian)
Stella Runnel (Estonian Association of Designers)
Liisa Torsus (Young Textile Artist of the Year 2022)

Supporters of the 2023 Textile Awards: