Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Handmade Living tour stops at Lark today! Profile on Kate Ward

Hurrah, as promised I am hosting today's stop on the blog tour to launch the gorgeous new Aussie craft book Handmade Living. I have chosen to profile some of the designers in the book for my post, as working with designers is really important and inspiring to me. I chose three very talented girls whose work I think you will love. The first is the multi-talented Kate Ward. You can find Kate, and many more crafters and projects in the Handmade Living book. Hope you enjoy this little stop on the tour - you can continue following the blog tour here!

Name: Kate Ward
Business: Kate Ward Designs
Location: Queanbeyan NSW

When did you open ‘shop’: When Shop Handmade opened. April 2010.

What is your business background? I grew up in a very creative family and could knit by the age of four. My family owned a paint and decorator store which I’m sure reinforced my passion for colours, patterns and textures. I graduated from the Textiles Workshop at Canberra School of Art in 1998.

What is the essence of your business? My artwork is varied, but I'd say there is an ethical and environmental emphasis to all I do. I like to print on natural fabrics and recycle where possible. This has led to my recycled range. I also believe strongly in the unique and individual.

What is your secret to balancing business with family? I’m not sure I’ve figured that out yet! I work full time and teach screen printing part-time along with my art business which leaves very little time for anything else. I try to combine activities that I can do with friends or family. My passion and enthusiasm for my work gets passed on to those around me!

What is your greatest business achievement? My work was recently selected to be displayed at the Handmade in Britain Fair (London, October 2010) and the Eco Design Fair (London, December 2010) as part of an initiative to encourage people to consider what they consume and purchase over the festive period. Twenty designers were selected to be part of a book showing how to make and recycle Christmas decorations. It was exciting to be selected and I’m the only Australian featured in the book.

Name your favourite product. I’d have to say the Paris Heart Balcony cushions. They remind me of my adventures in Paris (the image was sketched in situ). I spent a whole day exploring and discovering the delights of Montmartre. The highlight was enjoying a creme brulée in the café which features in the French film Amélie (my favourite movie ever).

Why is handmade so important? I think handmade products mean more, as it demonstrates that someone has put time and energy into making something. The beautiful thing about handmade items is that every design is different - a bit of personality goes into it too!

How did it feel being part of a brand new craft book? I was delighted to be selected out of the hundreds of applications who submitted to be part of the brand new handmade living publication. It’s a wonderful opportunity to share my designs with others, and the best thing is that it also encourages others to recycle plastic bags which have a pesky habit of accumulating in kitchen cupboards.

What five words best sum you up? Quirky. Fun. Original. Vibrant. Expressive.

Where can we see more? At Shop Handmade in Canberra and the Handmade markets which are held quarterly. Online at www.madeit.com.au/kateward and Blue Caravan www.bluecaravan.net/kateward, which promotes ethically produced products.


Posie Patchwork said...

Kate's work is gorgeous, she's so obliging with her custom design screen prints of the sites around Canberra!! I'll be taking her teatowels home to my mummy for Christmas, love Posie

Thea said...

Great interviews Allison! Loved finding out more about these talented ladies. Am so enjoying this book. x

Market Girl said...

Oh my that is all insanely gorgeous, how divine!

Kate Ward said...

I am so flattered to be featured on Lark's blog - especially since she has such an eye for design and all things beautiful