Portrait of the month: Ioana, weaver in Popești (April 2019)

In 2017 we opened in our community of Popești a weaving workshop, following the lead of Anne-Lise, a volunteer from Switzerland (you can find her portrait from December 2017 here). With her help and her advices, the companions have been weaving fabrics to create bags, scarves, pillowcases and carpets.

Since the opening of the workshop, weaving became the main activity of some companions form Popești. Let’s meet Ioana, “full-time” weaver.

Hello! Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Ioana and I joined Emmaüs in 2013. I came here because I had nowhere to sleep. Then I met the people. First Gelu (director and co-supervisor, ed), then Laurentiu (former co-supervisor, ed) and finally Florin (co-supervisor, ed). At first, I was very shy and didn’t talk a lot. I already knew Monica and Ciprian (two other companions, ed). Then came Ioana, that I knew from Pascani (they went to school together, ed). I moved to Popesti in 2016.

What do you do in Popesti? What’s your main occupation?

Usually, I’m weaving. I like it because I never get bored. Time flies differently. Anne-Lise taught me how to weave. She is like a mother to me.

Since when do you weave? Was it hard at first? What did you weave already?

I weave since last year. The first steps were hard, but I learnt and I got used to it. Now I like it. I started by doing pouches, then scarves. Now I am doing pillowcases.

Do you chose the colours, pattern by yourself?

Yes, I choose with the help of Anne-Lise.

Do you put the weaving loom together?

No, Anne-Lise does that, I don’t know how to do it. She puts it up, with the threads, and then it’s my turn to work on it.

When you weave, do you need Anne-Lise’s help or you can work by yourself? After she put up the weaving loom?

I work by myself without her help.

You worked on two different looms. What are the differences?.

I first worked on the little one. Then on the big one. They are different. The little one is easier for me to work on. On the big one, it’s harder to pull one of the part… I forgot what it is called.

Now you don’t have a lot left to weave. What are you going to do after? What is on your schedule?

It doesn’t really matter… I might work in the kitchen, or in the garden, we shall see.

Do you have plans for the future?

I would like to be part of the exchange program with Switzerland.

Would you like to leave Emmaüs for good? What kind of job would you like to find?

If I had a place where to live, yes, I would like to leave Emmaüs. If Ioana had her own house, she would host me because she trusts me. As for a job … Weaving, because I like it. Now I know how to do it, I just don’t know how to assemble the weaving loom, it is hard for me.