Petra Bishai is a silversmith whose work is inspired by urban life reflecting her fascination with living in a large city. She recently showed her work as part of the Dialogue Collective at MADE LONDON.
Where did you train? What did training teach you and what do you wish it had taught you?Epsom School of Art. I always wanted to work for myself and the course gave me the basis to do so.
Is being a designer / maker your only job?
I teach occasionally but I recently gave up a part time post to concentrate on making.
One favourite living designer?
Helen Maurer glass designer. Her work transforms you to another place.
One favourite historical designer?I love the punk street style from the 70’s more a movement than a particular designer.
What is the most interesting / fun job you have had?
Any job where I have control and get to do what I want to do is good with me.
I love to use things and wear them slowly out. I try not to be too precious.
What item of design / craft do you covet most?
A ring that my mum owns designed by my dad and a Bahraini jeweller in the 60’s.
At age 16 who most influenced your style?
Bowie and punk
Last book / film that blew your mind?
I love my local library in Deptford but am terrible at remembering the names of books and worse on films.
What music are you currently listening to?
Punk rock legends Scrotum Clamp.
How many hours do you waste on the internet each day?
Far too many.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
I love being in London and it’s a big influence on my work but I’d love to do spend time in Beirut, New York or Paris and up until recently Damascus. Cities are definitely the draw.
Where and what is your studio?
I’m in a group studio in Deptford. I have my own space but am surrounded by other brilliant designers who keep me sane and happy.
Do you have a good work/life balance?
Most of the time….
What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?
When it’s good: ‘laughing’ but when it’s bad it’s ‘sickening’.