Weaving Magic - Hannah Waldron

Hannah Waldron's woven artworks are not only fascinating visually but physically, with the tactile quality and intricate process that forms her vision. Triggering that human instinct to reach out, touch and understand it that little bit more. An incredible talent, Hannah works between Sweden and the UK, exploring textures, patterns, forms and structures of her surroundings. 

Asking what motivates Hannah, I was warmly welcomed with: 

"I guess I just feel a need to visualise and materialise certain thoughts, I find images build up in my mind and I don't feel satisfied until they are out of my head and worked through with my hands. It's a way of thinking and exploring the world that best makes sense for me."

Her latest piece, Cloud in Hand (below) is an intricate weaving based on the poem The Coral Sea by Patti Smith.

Hannah - "I believe that there is a need now in contemporary society for greater material knowledge. This work aims to put value into making and investigate interdisciplinary approaches to sharing material knowledge."

Hannah Waldron
Hannah Waldron
Hannah Waldron
Hannah Waldron
Hannah Waldron
Hannah Waldron

To see more of Hannah's work and get a glimpse behind the scenes, visit her website and blog

The Forest Man

Since the 1970's Majuli islander, Jadav Payeng has single handedly planted a forest larger than Central Park. This incredible film reveals his journey and passionate story, where he tirelessly plants tree by tree to transform what was once barren wasteland into a beautiful oasis. 

" If one person, at his own effort, can do this kind of plantation, then why not the others? "

It's people like Jadav Payeng that stop me in my internet clickety-click tracks. Shake me into pulling the computer plug and just, well, do more. A touching and humble film that certainly provides hope and reassurance that one's efforts, however small, can over time, make a significant dent. Or forest. 

Artichair - A Chair Made From Artichokes.

Spyros Kizis' beautiful Artichair was developed from a desire to create products holistically and resourcefully. By combining agricultural waste, specifically artichoke fibres, with a biological epoxy resin, Spyros returns to skilled craftsmanship to produce a purposeful and 100% biodegradable chair. Although they're not yet ready for sale, they are currently in development by Schaffenburg and to be released next year. One to watch!

Artichair - Spyros Kizis
Artichair - Spyros Kizis

Playful and Creative Duo, Chiaozza.

Playtime. A buzz of excitement and anticipation whilst looking at a table of coloured papers, paints, a head of ideas and no schedule, plopping your paintbrush into the neon paint and working your creative and intuitive magic. Yes! This is what comes to my mind when I peak into the fantastical world of Chiaozza. They appear to have never stopped playing. Or experimenting. Having fun, getting lost in the moment and others watching and wishing they could join in. 

Chiaozza is a Brooklyn based design studio of Terri Chiao and Adam Frezza, fascinated by their work and approach, I asked if they could share their story and creative magic with Plucky, and lucky for us they did. 

Chiaozza

Hello Terri and Adam, could you share your story? 

A: I always knew I liked art but I didn’t think of it as a job when I was a kid. It was just what I did. When I first went to college as an English major I failed out. I spent most of my time doodling on top of my notes. Later I realized I could go to college for art and I started taking my doodles seriously. I went from Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL for undergrad to Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia, PA for post-baccalaureate, to the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL for an MFA in Drawing & Painting. I came to New York in 2007 and met Terri in 2011. We have been working together ever since.

Our collaborations started in the kitchen cooking together. One accidental project was a stew we were making. We made way too much of it, and it was taking forever to cook. We joked that it was the Eternity Stew, which we saved a bit of in a container that still sits in our refrigerator 3 years later like a living sculpture (don’t worry, it is sealed pretty tightly;). After working on more projects together we wanted to get a shared website and decided eternitystew.com was a nice umbrella for our collaborative process. It is not really a name we call ourselves, more a philosophy we work by; the notion that our ideas and work can forever marinate with one another.

T: When Adam and I met, I had just started calling myself an artist. I was working mostly as an architectural designer for several years, and at some point I realized what I really wanted to do was just that — to do what I wanted to do and not what someone else wanted me to do. So our meeting was quite fortuitous even before we started collaborating because it encouraged me to embrace this new path. A Cabin in a Loft was one of my first independent projects, where I built two structures in the loft where I was living in order to divide one giant room into several different living spaces and bedrooms without sacrificing the openness of the loft apartment. Now Adam and I live there together. We’ve hosted many out-of-town guests and roommates in the last few years, and now we are discussing turning it into an extension of our studio.

Photos: Shawn Connell

Photos: Shawn Connell

  

  

A: CHIAOZZA is one project which is more like a studio-within-a-studio. We make painted geometric wooden wall sculptures and early on we saw their potential as functional aesthetic objects. However, we weren’t immediately comfortable calling them artworks, so we combined our names and treated them more like a design object. It was nice to create a little bit of space between our art practice and our design interests. Since that time we have embraced CHIAOZZA as an art project itself, allowing even more freedom for those works to grow with our art practice. We are currently working on large scale CHIAOZZA sculptures for a show at Vox Populi in Philadelphia for December 2014.  

CHIAOZZA
CHIAOZZA

What’s your bravest moment and funniest memory? 

T: My bravest moment may have been jumping in a volcanic lake when I was afraid of deep water. Or swimming in the ocean for the first time. I’m not a very good swimmer.

A: Bringing my Cabbage Patch Kid to school for Show & Tell in the first grade required both blind courage and spontaneous humility. The funny part is I did not think I was being ‘courageous’ and I had no idea so many people would make fun of me. The girl I had a crush on came up to me and asked me why I brought a doll to school. I thought it was cool. Add my sister’s pink frilly embroidered doll cradle and it was almost heroic.

What’s the core purpose and motivation behind what you do? And what project are you most proud of?

A: I think the guts of our work exist within a focused and rigorous dedication to PLAY. In this way, EVERYTHING we do are things we work at to make playful: cooking, cleaning, watering the plants, grocery shopping, going for a walk, making a sculpture, writing emails. A big question I always have in my mind is “How much fun can we have with this!?” And the most fun is generally had when we make something we really love. I don’t have a project that I’m most proud of yet. I’m still working and playing. I’m proud of that.  

T: For me, it’s very important to have a good life, where I can be present and enjoy what I do in my day-to-day life and in the bigger picture. I try not to have any regrets. We try to bring things into the world that we would like to see or experience, and we try not to produce anything that we are not proud of in some way. It’s been very inspiring to work together with Adam.   

Chiaozza
Frezza-Chiao_PaperPlants_Purple-Nighttime-Plant.jpg

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would this be and what impact would you hope to make?

A: Well, collaborating with Terri is pretty great ;) I also think collaborating with different craftspeople would be wonderful. I would love to meet and work with creative people across a variety of mediums: boat-builders, clothiers, printmakers, ceramicists, paper makers, etc.

T: Ditto! We like to learn from many different disciplines and people. Ultimately we feel like this enriches our own work.

What are your dreams/plans for the future?

T: Making a good life. Being able to sustain ourselves doing the things we love.

A: We are going to be building our first public art piece at The University of Florida this fall. It will be a large stack of brightly painted stones, known on a hiking/biking trail as a cairn. A dream of ours is to continue seeking out interesting public art opportunities around the world. The idea of creating playful, engaging, interactive large-scale public work makes a lot of sense to both of us right now. We’ll keep dreaming and see what happens.

CHIAOZZA

Tom Raffield - The Adventurous Craftsman

A local craftsman, Tom Raffield, is a furniture designer and sculptor who lives and works in the neighbouring county of Cornwall.

Tom's work is fascinating. With his experimental approach and traditional skill of steam bending, he is not only breaking new ground, he's producing products with a refreshing signature style. 

I admire Tom's philosophy and - sorry for the pun - going against the grain, not rolling with fashions or trends, yet standing firm. Producing sustainable goods with a story. Designs that spark conversation and gutsy enough to stand the test of time. 

To inspire you further, Tom shares his story and charming woodland studio in the video below.


The Putter ( A Putter-Togetherer of Scissors )

The Putter, is a film that observes the skill and attention-to-detail of master craftsman, Cliff Denton, who literally is a 'putter togetherer of scissors'.

Shaun Bloodworth, the film maker, has allowed us to see how this practical tool is in fact a reliable and exquisite work of art. Ernest Wright & Sons a family owned company founded in 1902 is one of the last remaining hand manufacturer of scissors in the UK. A video that not only makes you thankful for those who make, but also gets your hands itching to do the same.

Homeless Fonts

Every so often a special project pops up that changes things. Empathy, kindness and art coming together to create something incredibly powerful and heartwarming. Homeless Fonts is one of those projects. The Arrels Foundation took the hand-written letters from which the homeless make their signs and created fonts that can be used by brands for their advertising and corporate messages. With the sale of each font going to the author. If you watch one thing this week, make it this.

Everything You Buy is Rubbish

'Everything You Buy Is Rubbish' is a project by Charles Duffy, William Gubbins, and Billy Turvey who have made a hard-hitting statement with a poster featuring a pair of trainers made from waste washed up on British shores.  

"With the development of plastic came a utopian promise - that this revolutionary material would change our lives. It has now become so materially ingrained in our lives and environment that it’s becoming increasingly indistinguishable and inseparable from nature."

" We need to consume less. A lot less."  -  Stephen Emmott of 10 Billion

Everything You Buy Is Rubbish

Arhoj - The Art of Playfulness and Tradition

I am so curious to step into the playful and hands-on clay world of Studio Arhoj. Eyes peeking through sun beams, coloured glaze dripping down ceramic vessels, and little pots that seem to be standing in awe. Anders Arhoj, is a unique talent who not only works with clay and glazes, but illustration, graphics, packaging and interior design. Based in Copenhagen he explores the relationship between Scandinavian simplicity and traditional Japanese culture, keeping tradition and knowledge alive with old crafts such as wheel throwing and glaze construction. Just like that little clay guy, I am in awe!

Photo by Kristina Demant

Photo by Kristina Demant

pyramid_floor.jpg
Arhoj
Arhoj
Arhoj

Celebrate Summer Solstice With Satta

Back in January I featured the positive vibes and craftmanship of Joe from Satta Skates and I am happy to share that as of today whilst you're surfing the sidewalks, you can now also rock Satta cloth.

Maintaining his commitment to the natural world, Joe has produced a fresh collection of organic tees, hoodies and accessories, in his trademark earthy colour palette. He sure has smashed it with a beautiful range featuring hand-drawn graphics and embroidered patches such as his Woollen Sanskrit Cap and Deep Roots Tee, so you're ready to peacefully celebrate the moment of solstice. 

Satta Skates
Satta Skates
Satta Skates

If you wish to learn more or make a purchase, visit the Satta Shop

Can and Will - Gwyn Haslock

As a kid I loved bodyboarding in my home town of North Devon, yet in my late teens I moved inland and my surf days faded away. Yet at the ripe ol' age of 32, I rode my first, very small, Balinese wave and now on a mission to make up for lost time. Watching Gwyn, she has made me more determined than ever. Gwyn Haslock started surfing as a child and went on to become the UK's first female surf champion. 60 years later she has no intention of giving up her passion and is still surfing the beaches of her native Cornwall. An inspiration. 

"This is me in 1965, you’ll note there are no wetsuits. In a way it was lovely surfing without a wetsuit, it was freedom. People have got a bit mampy pampy now…"

Found via Cooler Magazine

Sia - Anti-Fame.

Saying "no" to fame has meant Sia's music video for Chandelier has been watched by millions. It takes guts to be different and saying no to what you don't want. Sia will not be showing her face in videos and does not wish to do tours of promotions. Would her work be as good or compelling if she had said yes as she 'should'? Here's the incredible video directed by Sia and Daniel Askill, featuring the dancer, Maddie Ziegler. 

Thanks to Jeff at Booooooom for sharing.

Anna Olsson

Anna Olsson charms her Instagram friends with beautiful paper cut characters and scenes from her home country of Sweden. Working professionally as a Graphic Designer in her spare time she works on personal illustrations. Aren't they wonderful? The simplicity, character and colour choice is fabulously unique. Anna Olsson is certainly one of those treasures you are incredibly happy to find. (And this blog post is clearly the big X on the internet map to help find her.)

Anna Olsson
Anna Olsson.jpg
Anna Olsson
Anna Olsson.png
Anna Olsson
Anna Olsson

The Plucky Ones | Q&A's: Sara Edhäll of Iris Hantverk

Iris Hantverk, is a traditional Swedish brush binding company and their foundations were laid more than a century ago.  In 1889 a group of visually impaired craftsmen founded an independent organisation whose purpose was to encourage the much isolated group of visually impaired, to actively participate in society as well as working towards equal access to employment. In 1906, a property was purchased which became an office, library, brush binding factory, warehouse for raw materials, sales of raw material and a shop. It was this accomplishment that continues to make Iris Hantverk successful today.

Due to a cut in funding, the long-standing owner decided to sell. Sara and Richard, existing Iris Hantverk employees, stepped up and are now the new co-owners. Today we learn more of Sara's story as well as an insight into a truly admirable company. 

Iris Hantverk

Hello Sara, could you share your story of how you became the co-owner of Iris Hantverk?

I have worked for the company for 15 years in various positions, my latest role was a buyer and manager for our stores. As the discussion of selling the company continued, so opened the possibility that the employees could take over. This meant a lot to us because our goal was to keep all craftsmen - we did not want to see the company and it's history disappear.

Iris Hantverk

It’s been approximately 2 years since you bought the company, what changes have you made?

One of the first actions was to rehire the dismissed craftsmen. Our focus has been to follow the path that had begun before we took over, so we have not made any major changes. But we have opened a web shop in Sweden and in connection with that, we have been more active on social media. 

Irish Hantverk
Irish Hantverk
Iris Hantverk

Iris Hantverk has a long history, founded by a team of visually impaired people who handmade brushes back in the late 1800’s, do you work in the same way today?

The craft is the same as it was in the late 1800s. The work and the organization has changed over the years, but what is different today is that we do not have craftsmen working from home - all of our employees work here in the our Enskede workshop. And we still supply independent craftsman with materials.

Iris Hantverk
Iris Hantverk
Iris Hantverk

What do you enjoy most about working at Iris Hantverk?

An important factor for me and why I have worked at the same company for so many years are all of my nice colleagues and our former CEO who contributed to a warm and welcoming workplace. As the company is small, the work varies a lot and you have to dig in where it´s needed, which means that you are constantly challenged.

What’s your design process? Do you have an in-house design team or do you work with independent designers?

We work with independent designers, but during the years we have established a good relationship with a few that we work with on a regular basis.

Iris Hantverk
Iris Hantverk

Your products are used and enjoyed by many, what plans or dreams do you have for Iris Hantverk in the future?

Our dream is to grow, so that we can train and hire more visual impaired craftsmen. And we would like more people in the world to appreciate the genuine craft of our products.

Iris Hantverk

Which creative plucky person/people do you admire and why?

Nirvan Richter of Norrgavel, because he shares the same values we do. ( You can read Nirvan's Blog here - with the help of Google translate.) 

Iris Hantverk
Iris Hantverk

Sending warm wishes and thanks to Sara in Sweden. If you would like to learn more of Iris Hantverk, you can find them here: Website, Facebook and Instagram.

Folklore

An Egg Pendant; a charming little fella that guided me to the earthy and practical world of Folklore, a beautiful shop based in London town. With quirky squid-ink painted stools, paper pulp lampshades, along with the classics, such as Iris Hantverk and Falcon Enamel, it's a shop that clearly values design, quality and craftsmanship. I caught up with the owners Rob and Danielle Reid, to learn a little more of their story. 

Egg pendant - Folklore

Could you tell us about your shop, and what inspired you to open it? 

Folklore is a home and lifestyle store based on a simple idea that better living is possible through design. We value integrity, simplicity and craftsmanship. We are drawn to functional goods that are created with care and made to last. We believe the best products are the ones that age well and stand the test of time - goods that will exist long after we’re gone.

Folklore Shop

What are your backgrounds and did this inform Folklore or was it a new direction for you both?

Danielle’s background is interior design. She used to run a design consultancy in Dublin for 10 years before moving to London to set up Folklore. Rob’s background is in advertising.

We are both passionate about finding better ways of living for a sustainable future, so it was about seeking the best way to bring our ideas together. When we had the idea for Folklore, it really made sense and we had to go for it.  We opened a few months later in June 2012.  

Folklore Shop

Your shelves host the most beautiful and unique products, could you share your favourite stories behind some of the items found?

We have a strong ethos that informs all of our buying choices. We look for items that are created with care and are made to last. We place importance on craftsmanship, simplicity, quality and durability. 

There is a story behind all our products. Here are some of our favourites below - Click images to learn more.

You speak of having a role to play when tackling some of today’s environmental and social challenges, can you give us a few examples of what actions you’ve taken?

We believe in the power of business to create lasting change.

We try to make a difference through our products by focusing on materials, process and source. We are only a small business and we’re certainly not perfect, but hopefully we demonstrate how retail can be responsible and in some small way influence and inspire lasting change.

Folklore

Who do you admire for their courageousness and creative spirit?

We are highly motivated by other independent and emerging brands that are pushing the boundaries to do things differently. We admire companies like Aesop and Albam.  

Isabelle Bonte

"Iron is my thread" - Isabelle Bonte, a french sculptor uses brown iron and tarlatan to make intricate, ethereal and wonderfully poetic worlds that appear to drift up into space. My only wish is to shrink in size, tiptoe from boat, to platform, to balcony, to chill and sway whilst listening to the sound of rolling waves. Simply, magical. 

Isabelle Bronte
Isabelle Bronte
Isabelle Bronte
Isabelle Bronte

Juniper Ridge

Thanks to the brilliant folk over at Future Positive, I learned of the fragrance company Juniper Ridge. Hall Newbegin crafts fragrances from plants, trees, moss and herbs, that vary from year to year and harvest to harvest, based on rainfall, temperature, and exact harvesting location. 
Many years ago all perfumes were made the Juniper Ridge way, slowly and naturally, yet today they're the only wild fragrance company in the world. The creators are hikers and wilderness enthusiasts based in the West Coast, making their fragrances on dirt roads, trails, around campfires and back home in their Californian workshop. With scents such as Winter Redwood, Cascade Glacier, Sweet Grass and Yuba River, my nose is a twitchin' to experience Mountains in a Bottle. 

Juniper Ridge
Juniper Ridge
Juniper Ridge
Juniper Ridge
Juniper Ridge