Meet the Maker, Uncategorized

Meet the maker Martine Camillieri

Martine Camillieri is a French installation artist, author and teacher. Her own work takes precedence over all her other activities. It is based round waste and the fact we make, and own too much stuff.

use portrait

She lives with her Dutch husband in what was, at one time, their art gallery. It is a large industrial space with big windows metal beams and wide oak floorboards. It is built round a courtyard with a metal spiral staircase at its center. Everything is of an industrial scale.

spiral stair

When I went to interview her she was creating some very stylish lamps. Asked about them, she said they are made from very tacky old lamps that are taken apart and the components reassembled with other items such as bamboo steamers. The lamps are all ‘one offs’

lamps on

 

Did you go to art school and if so what did you study?

Yes I went to the decorative arts school in Nice and studied advertising. I was top of my year.

What did you do after art school?

I worked in advertising for twenty years but I always wanted to be an artist.

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What made you change direction ?

In the year 2000 I was 50. I wanted a life change. I left advertising and set up the gallery with my husband. We were victims of its success. It took over our lives so that neither of us had enough time to practice our own work.

whole room

My husband works with wood, creating bespoke pieces. Eventually we closed the gallery and I worked full time on what is my life’s passion. To stop waste and to stop filling the planet with objects.

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 Describe your work

 

My work is created out of found objects, rubbish,the flotsam and jetsam of everyday living. I hate waste of any kind. I take the tacky and put it with other items to make it pleasing. I use what is there and I do not change the final destination of the item. For example if I am using a bucket, in an installation, I will not put a hole in it. If I do that it can no longer be used as a bucket.

eiffle tower close ups
Eiffel Towers created from waste

I make installations that are exhibited all over the world. I had work in Expo 2004 and at Creative Lab in Milan. My work has been exhibited in shop windows such as Bon Marche.

floral lamp in kitchen
Lamp made from discarded bits and pieces

 

Tell me about your books

I have had over fifteen books published. I do all the work on them from original concept, photography, art direction lay out and typography. My first book was on making tables from ephemera. It was a huge success and so I wrote more books based round the same topic of not wasting and re-using resources.

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You also produce children’s books

Yes I take toys from childhood and mix and match them give them a new life. I have written and created a series of traditional fairy tales using found objects and old toys to make the pictures.ready to shoot 1

 

Do you run workshops?

I work with children in schools. I will work with a class for a whole year. One of the projects we are currently working on is taking the waste from vegetables. For example we grow the tops cut off carrots and create something new. For example the fronds from the carrot may become trees in a forest scene. We also use grow from pips and seeds.

 

Who or what inspires you?

I am militant about a no waste agenda and that we should stop filling the planet with objects. My motto : Do not waste, do not throw away, give new life to things and stop producing.

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What advice would you give to a designer or artist starting out today?

Make things. Don’t worry if you are copied. Just keep doing. If you are copied it doesn’t matter as if you are truly original you will come up with more and new ideas.

hands and her book 

You have written a book called ‘Never without my Van’ which is about Frugal traveling. Tell me about it.

Each year  we  leave France in September and travel in our van for about two months around various European countries. We have a particular fondness for Greek islands.

We live very frugally and simply, in a van we converted ourselves. The book gives inventive ideas of how to transform a van to live in as simply as possible. We eat food we find growing by the roadside and attempt to have as small a carbon footprint as is possible.

What are you working on next?

I have been asked to do a 3D project based on my children’s books. They are going to be a TV program and I am art directing it.

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Meet the Maker, Uncategorized

Meet the maker Tracy Kendall designer of extraordinary original wallpapers.

1Tracy-14yes

 

Wallpaper is barely an adequate word to describe the designs and constructions of Tracy Kendal. They range from paper manipulations, pleating and stitching  to the use of fringing, buttons, jig saw pieces to the reconfiguration of  everyday objects. She is always ahead of the pack with her ideas. She designed a fringed wallpaper in 2004. The design is  still  going strong particularly as fringing is this year’s interior must have. The giant cutlery design still sells twenty years after Tracy printed her first one.

Did you go to art school originally and if so where and what did you study?

I went to art school in Manchester – Manchester Polytechnic between 1977 -1980 graduating with a Fine Art Printmaking Degree. MA in mixed media textiles from the RCA 1997-2001

3 whole lace

When we first met, you were working in the print studio at the Royal college of Art and doing your own work as well. The print I remember was the giant knife fork and spoon, that you screen printed onto fabric as well as paper.No one was doing anything half as imaginative as you were.

 

What made you want to produce your own wallpaper and was it difficult to find a manufacturer?

It’s a fairly typical answer to this, I wanted some wallpaper for myself at home in the kitchen and everything I saw that I liked I couldn’t afford so I made my own…the cutlery set. I had printed some wallpaper for myself again for my house a few years previous to this – the newsprint design. I silkscreen print myself so I am my own manufacturer. My fine art printmaking degree and a MA in mixed media textiles from the RCA and decades of teaching print in art schools gives me the skills to do this myself.

knife wallpaper

Why wall paper?

 

It is the perfect mix of all my training and interests and family background. My family on my father’s side are Russian Jewish cabinet makers so lots of hand skills and measuring, lots of measuring. I like that by limiting myself to wallpaper I can do anything with it, I can explore it fully rather than trying to put my designs on fabrics, plates, trays or whatever I fully embrace just one medium.

screen yes

Are any members of your family involved in running the business and if so what roles do they perform?

My partner works for me doing all of my administration. Without him we would not be paid or have such good communications between the interior designers and suppliers that we work with. My son does my website and some visual technical support.

sequins pleats

 

Your work looks very complex, labour intensive and expensive to produce. Is all your work bespoke?

All of my work is made to order and can be changed and adapted for the clients interior. Some is very simple and in the scheme of how things are made not that expensive. Other designs are expensive, complex and very time consuming but then true bespoke work is.

Feather wall paper

To whom do you mainly sell? How do you find your clients or do they find you?

I mainly sell to interior designers and a lot are from the US. I have shown there quite a lot and the Americans seem to understand and embrace modern design.

 

Are the papers produced in the UK?

All my production is in the UK.

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Are you there when the making process is taking place?

For most of the work yes, it happens in my studio so we over see it from start to finish. Some of the designs are produced by other manufacturers all of whom we have worked very closely with for a long time to ensure the quality is of the highest standard. Everything is checked in the studio before shipping to clients.

 

Do you have more conventional papers that you sell to wholesale or retail clients?

We do sell wholesale and retail and any of the designs can be made for those markets.more conventional

 

What is a typical working day like for you ?

I don’t have a typical working day but my day starts with clearing my thoughts walking the dog on the beach. Then its working on whatever project I need to. We usually have a number of projects going through the studio at any one time with varying deadlines and work requirements. At points in the day I check with my partner any suppliers issues or if we need to order in anything for a job. There is always a great deal of measuring with all the projects so I am often permanently attached to a ruler of one form or another!

 

You have moved from London to Margate what are the benefits and the drawback of this move?

The move to Margate has only had benefits no draw backs at all. It helps to give some sense of a work/life balance and also a indication of life after work.

 

Do you run creative workshops or give talks?

We are about to run some workshops after much nagging by friends who want to learn to screen print and yes I do give talks at some colleges and universities.

 

What is the best part of your work and what is the worst part?

I love a new challenge, when a designers wants to try something different or unexpected with my work. The worst doesn’t really happen for me, I get to do what I enjoy everyday as a living and that’s something most people want to do.

button wallpaper

Who or what inspires you?

My answer has been the same for many years to this question, Ingo Maurer the German lighting designer. He manages to combine beauty, technology and humour within his work so effortlessly.

 

How long have you been working as a professional designer?

15 years

What advice would you give to any designer starting out today?

Do whatever it is with passion, don’t copy, get your hands dirty and enjoy being outside your comfort zone.

What is next for your work?

Some more designing as I want to expand on some of the designs I already have either in scale or colour or via a different production technique or all of the above.

Tracy Kendall

http://tracykendall.com/shop/ Continue reading “Meet the maker Tracy Kendall designer of extraordinary original wallpapers.”

Meet the Maker, Uncategorized

Meet the Maker Jehane Boden-Spiers textile designer and Art licenser and consultant

Jehan-use this

I know you as a textile designer and maker, Can you tell us if you went to art school and if so what did you study?

I was born & bred in Brighton. I studied Textile Design at Winchester School of Art (1994 – BA Hons).

Jehane’s own hand drawn designs

How and when did you become an art consultant?

I have curated my fellow artists’ work since first opening my house for the Brighton Festival in 2002. I discovered that I am skilled at selling other artists work and enjoy talking about the creative process. I became a licensing agent in 2004 when my children were born. Through my work as an agent, I have received many submissions from artists that I have not been able to represent for one reason or another Being an art consultant means that my services can be offered more widely. I now offer one-to-one consultancy to emerging and established artists internationally.Jehan-2

You contributed a chapter to the very successful book ‘House of Cards’ did you enjoy the writing process and have you ever written a book of your own.

I loved it! I would love to do a book of my own. It’s on my bucket list.

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Can you give us a brief history of how you started out.

I first licensed my own designs in 1992 as a student at Winchester School of Art. I worked as a textile designer in Vienna when I graduated. I set up as a freelance designer back in Brighton in 1996 under the name of Cloth of Gold.

Jehanes own work
Jehane’s own work cards and wrapping paper

I designed for industry (mainly paper products), made one-off embroidered pieces for private clients, and created hand-made items for small batch production sold to galleries and retail outlets nationally.My designs have sold for textiles, gift-wrap, greeting cards & more. Licensees of my designs include Stewo, Jung Design, Gallery Five, Sanderson Fabrics, Baumann, Penny Black, Collage, Medici, Zoewie, Boots Plc, and The Paper House Group.

My designs have featured on London Underground posters. My retail clients have included Liberty of London, English Heritage, the RSC, and Vienna & Sydney Opera Houses. My one-off embroideries have sold in galleries nationally. I have given many talks about her artwork including at the V & A.

I also had a variety of agents before I set up on my own as an Artists’ Agent.I was always very pro-active, exhibiting at trade fairs and contacting shops/ licensing clients directly.

Ken Eardley
Ken Eardley designs used on laundry bags plates and kitchen ware.

What is a typical day for you?

Everyday starts with catching up on my Instagram and planning the day’s social media. I will walk down to my workspace at Studio Eleven where I have been for 7 years. I have my own room in a shared studio space of creatives. It’s a great atmosphere and very focused. I currently spend all of my time at a computer although I have started planning a new range of products for my Open House in May. A typical day I would be designing and writing new marketing campaigns, liasing on existing licenses, contacting new clients, and giving creative direction to the artists that I work with.

Nancy Nicholson
Nancy Nicholson tins

What do you love most about what you do?

I love being immersed in another artists’ work. I enjoy the wide variety of client responses to artwork and the fun of trying to predict who might like what. Most of all I love combining my love of the visual world with conversations

What do you dislike most about what you do?

Being solely defined and seen as an agent. Being a designer is at the source of everything I do.

Cressida Bell
Cressida Bell

What made you want to start your own creative business?

I knew it would be the thing I would most regret not doing.

Your business seems to have really grown over the last few years how has this happened?

I have always worked hard. I have never taken time out. More recently, I have spent a lot of time asking myself difficult questions and challenging myself. What is really important to me? I realized that working in an inter-disciplinary manner is hugely important to me. It has guided me to expand my offer. I have been able to promote hard as a result because I am very sure of my vision. This has really helped me to grow my business.

Can you describe your creative process?

It always starts with a response to either pattern, colour, or words. I often need to make associations and connections between things.

What are your biggest challenges?

So much to do, so little time. I also find it hard to send short emails! Focusing on the bigger picture when there are so many details pulling me the other way. Speaking in public – I have lots to say but I get incredibly nervous.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in your field today?

Work hard. Ask questions, Don’t me scared to put yourself in front of people. Think about your own intent, what is important to you, really important to you? This will be invaluable in guiding your decision making. Present everything visually and beautifully. Attention to detail.

Compared with when you started, do you think it is easier for designers to set up on their own nowadays or more difficult? Why?

I think it is easier. There are more resources and the creative industries are booming. Even though they are marginalized in schools, they are more recognized by the government (and people at large) as being crucial to the economy. 35% of the UK’s income is from the creative industries. Websites and social media make it much easier to be seen and to connect with clients.

Have you exhibited? If so, where?

Yes – all over the country, mainly in group exhibitions but all over 15 years ago.

Liberty of London

Grace Barrand Design Centre

Ferrers Gallery

Manchester City Exchange

Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art etc

How do you find clients?

Trade fairs, social media, trade magazines, look at the underneath of products

Artists from open house
Artists from open house

What are you currently working on?

Planning new products with my designs for my open house

New newsletters for Jehane Ltd

A bespoke licensed range with British Airways i360 and Cressida Bell

A new licensed diary for Waterstones 2019

Talking to New artists for representation

Planning my open house; getting flyers ready to print

& more!

What is next?

An online shop on www.jehane.com

Has social media impacted on your business and if so in what way?

Yes, hugely. It has been the launching pad for my new business Jehane Ltd and has been the main reason that I have attracted the new artists I represent and the new clients I am talking to.

Open House instagram @jehane_openhouse