Lizzy Medynskyj (formerly known as ABOVE THE CANOPY) creates unique, hand-crafted knitted jewellery which is inspired by many things, including her natural surroundings and extensive travels. Her journeys through Borneo, Peru, Puerto Rico, North India, Morocco, North America and Europe, the people with whom she has connected, their culture, their aesthetics and their stories have inspired Lizzy greatly. Lizzy's work through her creations and her workshops aims to bridge the gap between people from all walks of life. A percentage from her work goes directly to non-profit organisations she has visited on her travels. In keeping with her global vision, Lizzy's work is created using the highest quality, ethically-sourced yarns.
Lizzy's eye for detail and colour were fine-tuned during many years working as a graphic designer and photographer and possesses a unique aesthetic which informs her jewellery creations.
Image: Lizzy Medynskyj, Knitted Necklace. Photo: Lizzy Medynskyj; Lizzy Medynskyj, Portrait. Photo courtesy of the artist
OBJECT SHOP MAKER Q&A
What is your 'origin story'?! Where did it all start?
Several women in my family are knitters including my Aunty Dulcie from Rochdale, England, who knits exceptional winter woolies for our family members. I always felt a certain warmth when adorned with a unique piece made by my Aunty, who imbued me with a love for this way of creation. I have loved knitting ever since. I particularly love how the highest quality yarn feels to touch, and the knowledge that it has been produced in the most ethical fashion; I love the rich colours and the potential for wild colour combinations. And I love that I have the freedom to create unique and wearable art like neck pieces and wrist cuffs. The neck pieces began completely by accident: like an intuitive cook who sees recipes as simply a starting point, I have never been one to follow patterns. I was practicing making a beanie and measuring the base band over my head. It turned out it was too big. However it was just the right size to sit snug around my neck! From there I decided to add a decorative element by including pompoms in the design. I made several of these neck pieces just for myself and simply loved the comfort and confidence they gave me when I wore them. Others noticed too and I began getting requests - no, demands! - from friends, family and colleagues to create pieces for them. Now, every made-to-order piece is inspired by my travels including the colours and the people I've met along the way. Each piece takes many hours to create but I find myself in a state of meditation as I knit, purl and pompom. Every-so-often, as I'm creating, I think of Aunty Dulcie. I am forever grateful that she gifted me with my first ever knitting book which I still hold dear to my heart.
Describe the last thing you made?
A recently completed commission piece for a beautiful tattoo artist, Olivia Brumen, in Melbourne: an all pale pink hand knitted Shrug covered in 343 pompoms! It took 50 hours in total over a span of 10 months to complete, which was personally hand delivered to her.
Who should we be following on Instagram? Who are your favourite local makers?
I just love Cath's work from @printscharmingoriginalfabrics who also owns and runs The Happenstore in Annandale @thehappenstore. I love Cath's use of colour through her creative hand stitching on upcycled French vests and workwear. Cath is also such a genuine ray of sunshine which you can feel through her work and instantly in person.
Tell us about your dream project ambitions?!
To keep connecting with people from all walks of life across the globe using my art as the language that brings us together.
What is your favourite spot in Sydney and why?
Sydney is truly blessed to be a highly bustling city that has a close connection to it's beautiful natural surroundings. It is the natural element to Sydney that I love the most including it's stunning coastline that flows right into the heart of the city itself through the Harbour. Not to forget the surrounding mountains and it's many Royal National Parks.