Sunday, 24 October 2010

Maker of the Week - Kate Wood

Kate Wood is a jewellery designer / maker and works from her studio in London. Kate will be exhibiting at MADE10 in November.

One favourite living craft maker.
Perhaps more of a designer than a maker, but Ted Muehling’s work is simple and perfect. I love the abstracted natural shapes.

What was the last art/craft/design thing you purchased or what one product/item do you really covet?
I bought a little unglazed bud vase with a spiky texture by Shan Valla at the Curiosity pop-up shop, round the corner from my studio. I wish I could buy more craft! I’m particularly drawn to ceramics at the moment.

At age 18 who influenced your style? Was there any individual who very much helped you on your way?
My 6th-form pottery teacher was quite inspiring and encouraged me to explore different textures in clay, which might have fed into my jewellery work later on. At 18 I was more focused on music and going to the pub, reading a lot and looking forward to going off to study French at university in London. Making jewellery was something I always did as a hobby and I hadn’t considered it as a career until later on, when I was working as a museum archivist.

What’s currently on your i-pod, cd player, tape recorder?
I go through phases. At the moment lots of miserable stuff like Elliott Smith, along with a bit of swing-era Billie Holliday. I work with big headphones on, plugged into my iPod, it helps me focus. I’ll listen to something to death and then abandon it for the next obsession.

Where and what is your studio?
I moved into a studio at Cockpit Arts in Holborn in January this year. It’s a large studio that I share with 3 others – Abigail Brown, Suzanne Goodwin and Soner Ozenc. I was working from home before that so it’s been wonderful to have somewhere to work on my jewellery without distractions like washing up and TV, and a bit of interaction with other creative people too. I don’t have a computer at the studio so I can just go in and make things, which is a real luxury. Another bonus is the location – a 25 minute cycle ride from my home in Dalston, and just round the corner from the Hatton Garden jewellery district which is very handy when I run out of silver wire at the last minute.

What is your favourite (art) website?
I read quite a few art and design and style blogs. Jewellery-wise the Golden Smith, Australian jeweller David Neale’s blog, is great.

Surprising activity/hobby?
Trampolining! I haven’t been for a while but it’s a lot of fun and keeps you fit too.

Do you have a good work/life balance? Are you able to switch off from art work?
Since moving into my studio my work life balance has really improved but it’s a work in progress! It’s great to be able to shut the door and leave my work behind but I still think about it a lot when I’m not there. I also work better in the afternoon and evening, which can be pretty anti-social. But compared to a 9-5 job it’s a breeze, I can’t complain.

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?

Do you think art and craft has any real importance?
Yes – of course I would say that! Objects designed by an individual and made by a human hand have a ‘soul’, for want of a better word. It’s good to feel connected to the objects around you. And rewarding to be able to make something from scratch.

What do think are crimes against good taste & decency in art/craft/design?
There are lots of things that I find absolutely hideous and I’m quite opinionated about it but I don’t want to name names! Things that have been carelessly thrown together for a fast buck offend me, and some things I just don’t like on an aesthetic level. But as long as something has been made with care and an individual point of view then it’s valid and has its own integrity.

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