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Yalanzhi Objects


I’m a designer, artist, and co-founder of the YALANZHI OBJECTS brand. I started my education when I was 16 and now for about 10 years I have been involved in interior and subject design, as well as traditional visual arts.  As a result of my creative research in sculpture, I started creating art objects and installations, which led to the creation of the YALANZHI OBJECTS brand in Kyiv, together with my colleague and husband Yevhen Melnychenko.  The main material of the YALANZHI OBJECTS brand is recycled papier-mâché paper. The main work is done by our own hands with very few implementations of standard regular tools for paper.  It is my desire to see my ideas come to life that drives me to create. In my opinion, this is exactly what drives the YALANZHI OBJECTS brand to grow and improve continuously.  YALANZHI OBJECTS brand started with the “Cellular Practice”, a large-scale sculptural installation that consists of thousands of spherical objects that are different in size and diameter. The balls that I created from cellulose for the art installation “Cellular Practice” inspired me to develop and create a line of lighting elements and sculptural panels.  In 2020 we presented a new collection of ceramic lamps that is just as environmentally friendly and close to Ukrainian consumer perception. The ceramic line is called the “Makosh” collection, and the number of its items is constantly growing. No matter what I create I am always guided by the idea of creating a product on the edge of art and design for customers who understand the art and are willing to invest in their real estate. The utilitarianism of these interior items was caused by the strength and lightness of the products, environmental friendliness of the material and the ability to transform the compositions through their modular designs.

Describe your profession, with details on products, services, expertise and know how.

I do love my profession. It´s where I can pursue pure creativity, designing and handling commercial issues. At one time, my private creative idea transformed from a tiny workshop into a real craft business. It´s such a good feeling to know that we are known in many countries.

We are still a small company, so I have to cover many areas. I´m in one person; a creative director, designer of new collections, modelling prototypes and samples, writing concepts, filming and drafting a proper content. That´s not all; there´s also communication and sometimes, if there´s enough time – I´m responsible for the PR strategy and promotion. It goes without saying that I´m the manufacturer of my objects, including sales, supply and logistics.

All of the above mentioned can hardly be called a profession. It´s rather a modern type of small business entrepreneurship under a constant economic crisis and war conditions.

What materials do you use? Where and how you purchase them?

Our main material in production is recycled paper. Cellulose is a wonderful and highly workable material – capricious, but if you make friends with it, it becomes nice and processible. A warm and pleasant material, pleasant to work with. I also work with ceramics and try to master bio plastic.

Describe the techniques, the tools and the materials you use in your work.

I do the main modelling work with my own hands, applying the paper mass on the mould. In my work, I use the simplest tools at hand: screwdrivers, pliers, drill, turbine, etc. For the paint job – sprayers, brushes, rollers. Temperature matters! In my workshop, I need humidity that needs constant adjustment for drying of the objects.

We have many production workshops in our neighbourhood, where I can turn to for cutting wood, metal, plastic, cardboard, etc.

What is your “ideal” client’s profile?

At what age and under what circumstances did you start this job?

My first education upon graduating from school was advanced technical education. It´s where I learned how to construct objects. My second education was the study of art. Subsequently, I learned how to run a business. Altogether allows me to advance in my profession.

I love creating beautiful objects, be it painting, sculpture, even a cake, or a new dress sewn by my own hands. Being able to do what you love is a blessing and highly inspiring. Throughout my life, I have mastered many different techniques and materials. It´s a pleasure to combine them, always discovering something new.

Where and how long have you been trained before you were ready to start your own business? In a training institute, with a craftsman or both? What do you think is the best way to learn your job today? Schools, training with craftsmen …?

3-5 years.

What role do “talent” and “creativity” play in your profession?

And what about innovation, what are the changes since you started? Do you use new materials, tools, or processes in manufacturing and marketing? What is the impact of innovation on your performance? How could your profession be even more innovative?

What is the best way to learn your profession?

What is your message to younger generations who might choose your profession?

It´s heart breaking for me to see how crafts suffer these days – we have a war going on. Now, we´re only busy with our own survival. Russia wants not only to kill our culture, but also our history, heritage, and us.

In the coming years, we need to put many efforts not only to evolve our craft, but also to revive out of the wreckage everything that we lost. It shall not be forgotten, nor shall it disappear.

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