Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Designer interview: Kia Hing Fay

Given my current stamp-carving obsession, it should come as no surprise that I'm very excited this month to bring you an interview with the extremely-talented stamp-maker, Kia Hing Fay! Kia has recently created some lovely new bookplate stamps that are now at Mr Sparrow (along with her other beautiful stamp sets, appliqué kits and crocheted rattles), and I really enjoyed finding out what goes on in the world of this very talented and interesting designer.

This interview will also appear in the Sparrowmail newsletter tomorrow (look out for your 20% off code if you're a subscriber...and if not, hurry and sign up now!).

Here's what Kia had to say...

How did your business come about?

Working in museums & galleries exposed me to a staggering array of objects and artwork first hand. From Old Master paintings to medieval tapestries, Scandinavian teapots to Lego towers. And it’s true that almost everyone working in a gallery is moonlighting as an artist, designer, writer or craftsperson. The combination of working so closely with both art & artists, sparked the inevitable question….can I make things too?

Encouraged by creative friends {architects, designers, artisans}, I set out to see what I could make. Crocheted toys, hand printed appliqué kits and embroidered goods began to emerge. I found that it made me really happy, so I persevered. Blogs and boutique shops have found me along the way, allowing the business to develop organically. I would describe it as an honest approach to work that reflects my personality & family life.

Where do you create your designs?

Wherever I can. I have two wee children, so sometimes I take a hook and yarn to the park, or sketch at a café. My studio is a tiny room in an old cottage near the Brisbane River....where I hand-carve stamps, work on my blog and drink lots of tea. A baby possum has made a nest outside my window, so I have a nice distraction late at night when I’m searching for inspiration (or just sorting invoices!).

What inspires you?

I love functional objects from the mid 20th, textiles, crockery & children’s books. I have a Norwegian butter dish with a simple geometric pattern that I use everyday. It embraces the Scandinavian design ethos: Affordable. Beautiful. Useful.  

I don’t travel as much as I used to, so now inspiration often comes from daily rituals. Scandinavians use the term Hygge, to describe a space, object or gathering that generates a sense of warmth and homeliness. Hygge is about taking pleasure in ordinary everyday things, like sharing a pot of tea with friends or picking flowers for your kitchen table. I love the idea of viewing daily life as a special kind of artform, and try to reflect this sentiment. 

What is your favourite material or medium to work with?

I spend a lot of time carving, and am totally besotted with Japanese rubber carving blocks. They have a similar feel to a new crisp-edged eraser…before it becomes all grey & worn.  I love the naturally quirky quality that comes from carving an illustration. Imperfections are important.

What's next?

Right now I’m giving my website a bit of a spring clean. Stamps sets will be featuring heavily, so I wanted to reflect this with a crisp new style and easy-to-use shopping cart. I have some new stamp designs & beautiful inks on the way. Sneak peaks & giveaways will be posted on my blog, so pop in and say hullo.

Plus, my husband is drawing up plans to extend our cottage so I’ll need to find another tiny studio room....and relocate my possum. 

Thanks so much, Kia!

PS If you missed last month's interview with Kasia Jacquot of Laikonik, you can check it out here.

1 comment:

  1. I have listened a lot about kia, its products and the quality of the products are very good. Now I am thinking to have a new kia brisbane.