De Menas

Behind the loom

Just recently I realized that the amount of followers on our webpage has been growing a lot. In the beginning I knew almost all of our very few followers in person, but this changed quite a bit within the last months. I strongly believe that people should be aware from whom they buy and for what values a company stands for. Therefore I thought it might be a good moment to introduce de menas and myself to all of you.

As there are quite a few issues, values and histories about de menas that I would like to share with you, I think it might be better to separate that into some more posts. Beginning today with a a bit about me and about how I started to weave.

My name is Melanie or Mel Steiner. I’m married to an architect and we have 2 beautiful children. I first studied architecture (guess where I met my husband😉) and I’m an agricultural engineer. For a very long period of my life sheep have always been a part of my life, in private and in a professional way.
Because of various private issues I got in touch with Uruguay, again in private and in a professional way. Since 2011 I’m working in the administration of a farm in Uruguay. When I first went to Uruguay in 2011- enforced by my passion for sheep – I took the chance to have a close look to uruguayan sheep breeding. Therefore I saw different breeds of sheep and I got deeply impressed by the finesse of the wool of the uruguayan merino sheep. Due to a lot of affords of the local breeders this had improved drastically within the last decades and had reached a level comparable to the finest wools worldwide.

It was more a moment of curiosity that made me do this, rather than a plan, but when heading back to Germany after my first stay in Uruguay, I took some wool with me. I hardly had a precise concept of what to do with the wool, but coincidentally a friend of mine was trying to learn to weave at this time. Although she was struggling with it, as she said it needs good instruction to learn this, I already got curious and was willing to give it a try.

Luckily it turned out that the last school of art craft weaving in Germany was a one hour drive by car away from where we lived ……and there we go. It just took a few hours and I got totally hooked on weaving. I got excited about the possibility to bring things, like my love for sheep, passion for design and my relation to Uruguay into one single piece of work. I finally learned to weave there for more than 2 years and I still feel very thankful about all the knowledge they shared with me there.

Now it is November 2019 and I’m still passionate about sheep, wool, farming and of course weaving. I feel very blessed that I’m able to do what I love.
I hope you enjoyed that close look on how and why I started to weave. If it catches your interest I will try to do some more post that take a closer look on some other parts of our work, our ethics, our ideas and much more.