Sanna was born in Finland, and as a young child quickly became familiar with the vernacular of weaving in her home country. Sanna was already an accomplished weaver by the time she came to Halifax, Nova Scotia in the mid 1990’s.
It was there she met Douglas Drdul, a gifted stringed instrument maker, beginning a partnership that has led to an extraordinary collaboration of uniquely inspired pieces combining their individual mastery of medium into a singular artistic vision. After studying the virtuosity and subtlety of wool felting, Sanna developed a unique ability to ‘paint’ with fibre. At first glance it seems her images must have been rendered in pastel or paint, reflecting her astonishing abilities as a textile artist. After interpreting the carved wood elements Douglas has created for the piece, the process of creating her ‘felted canvas’ begins. Vividly colored and subtly rendered felt images are complimented by exquisitely carved panels from Black Walnut, Birch and Limewood. In a unique relationship between two artists and two media, a single story is told.
The felted and wood elements come together in a cohesive image that defy the limitations of fibre and wood, creating canvases that exude the nuance of sunlight through mist and the primeval power of the land.
Sanna has extensive teaching experience both in Canada and abroad, including: Artist in Residence Program, Central Finland Institute of Arts, Petajavesi, Finland. Sculptural Felt Making Workshop, Hants Shore Community Health Centre, Nova Scotia, Canada. Felt Making Course, Kasi Ja Taideteollisuusoppilaitos, Seinajoki, Finland.
Sanna and Douglas live in Walton, Nova Scotia, Canada with their son Olki.
Born in Canada, Douglas moved to Walton, Nova Scotia where he designed and built beautiful stringed musical instruments. His artistry as an instrument maker led to a collaboration with Sanna Rahola, a fibre artist originally from Finland.
Initially making frames that complimented her tapestries, Douglas now creates exquisitely carved hardwood panels that are an integral part of their combined felted and wood pieces.
Once a direction has been agreed upon, it is Douglas who begins the journey of realizing the work. Using Black Walnut, Birch and Limewood, he hand carves the elements, usually the central piece in a multi-paneled image. These often ornate and highly invested carved elements are completed before Sanna starts her journey of interpreting and completing the vision, complimenting it by incorporating her hand felted artwork. Together Douglas and Sanna work as a single artistic vision, creating artworks of astonishing beauty and subtlety.
Douglas Drdul studied and trained with Finnish master wood carver Oiva Kentte at the Seinajoki Kasi Ja Taideteollisuusoppilaitos, Jurva, Finland.
Douglas also shares his expertise through workshops and demonstrations such as ‘Decorative Carving’ at the Seinajoki Trade and Convention Center, Seinajoki, Finland.
Douglas and Sanna live with their son in rural Nova Scotia.