5 posts tagged interview
of BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
Sarah Dudzinsinky is the creator and designer behind the otherworldy jewelry line Better Late Than Never.
Gia Bahm founded her jewelry line, Unearthen, in 2007. With her enchanting creations, she seems to effortlessly transform raw and organic materials into otherworldly objects. Her final designs have a luxuriously mysterious quality that truly sets them apart. Gia took some time out of her week to talk to Wiseling about her work and inspiration.
When did your interest in jewelry design begin?
It all started when I was a kid. Jewelry was so fantastical and mysterious to me, it was (and still is) easy to get lost dreaming about the origins of a special ring or necklace. I’ve always loved looking at jewelry. The mysteriousness of heirlooms and what inspires designers to choose the imagery and styles that become a little wearable treasure is so fascinating to me. I took a few classes as a kid, then got back into it when I was doing a lot of wardrobe styling when I moved to New York in my early 20s.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
Music has always been my biggest influence. I don’t design collections around songs or musicians or anything, but when I find myself lost in a song, it puts me at peace and all sorts of ideas come to me.
What materials do you use in your work? Why are you drawn to these?
I use silver, gold, bronze, and a variety of raw and specially cut precious and semi-precious gems and crystals. I’m drawn to the natural raw crystals because - man - how mind blowing and genius is nature at creating beauty?! The cut stones are always fun and exiting to see how you can add an extra sparkle, or shape that takes a little gem to an elevated level.
What is your favorite thing about being a jewelry designer?
I have a few favorite things about being a jewelry designer. The first being creative and working with my hands. There is something about my nature - the only way I can feel complete and find happiness in my life, is by working with my hands. This sounds extreme, but it’s true!
Another favorite thing is problem solving, the never ending challenges and lessons I learn in the process of making my designs.
Last, but definitely not least, it’s just a consistently inspiring occupation to create jewelry.
You also work as a wardrobe stylist. Does your experience as a jewelry designer influence your styling, or vice versa?
I have recently transitioned almost completely out of styling. I would say though, that my styling work influenced my jewelry. I would be creating wardrobe looks, and think “AH! If only I had (fill in the blank) special accessory. I should make that!”
Describe a typical day in the life of Gia Bahm.
A typical day consists of a lot more computer work than you could ever imagine. Lots of emailing, accounting, designing, and general internet puttering. Working with my amazing staff, and having fun at the studio. A nice afternoon coffee. I mostly find myself doing more of the hands on designing in the evenings or on weekends, or early mornings when no one can disturb me and I can disappear into my imagination with a good record playing.
What do you wear when you’re working?
Whatever feels right for the day. Sometimes I’ll feel a bit fancy, but mostly whatever is comfortable like an easy dress or jeans and a t-shirt. I feel lucky that I hardly ever feel like I need to look right for anyone else but me. One of the perks of working for yourself for sure!
Where is your favorite place in the world?
My favorite place in the world would be anywhere with water and woods.
What is your favorite vintage era?
High waisted jeans are a staple in my closet. But how can I pick! I love them all.
Photo by Becky McNeel
Clair Catillaz is the artist behind the Brooklyn-based line of handcrafted ceramics, CLAM LAB. Like fashion, Clair’s art isn’t meant to be admired from afar. Rather, her ceramics are designed to be an intimate part of everyday life. Her elegant, form-focused creations flaunt an effortless perfection that begs to touched and used.
Clair took a moment out of her week to talk to Wiseling about her work and inspiration.
When did your interest in ceramics begin?
I took a class with my mom when I was 12. I have been hooked ever since. Clay just feels so good.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
I like to notice the way that people use their kitchens, and workspaces in general. Everyone has those few objects or tools that are favored; the “good” knife, the bowl that always gets used right out of the drying rack. My goal is to make every piece a favorite.
Photo by Becky McNeel
How does your artistry manifest itself in other aspects of your life?
I don’t see much of a separation between art/work/life, I just try to pay attention.
Describe a typical day in the life of Clair Catillaz.
I like to be at least semi-productive all the time. I’m not very good at keeping structured work hours, so every day is really different, usually depending on the moisture level in my studio. I really enjoy working on the weekends and taking breaks during the week.
What do you wear when you’re working?
Dusty black jeans, dusty button down shirt, dusty shoes. It has become my uniform.
What is your favorite thing about being a ceramic artist?
Lately, it’s been learning about chemistry in a real, tangible way. I finally have a glimmer of understanding about how this crazy clay and glaze stuff actually works. There is so much to learn!
Did you always want to be an artist? If you didn’t work with ceramics, what else could you see yourself doing?
Sure, doesn’t everyone? I could see myself working with plants and/or food. There’s still time.
Check out Clair’s line of handcrafted ceramics, CLAM LAB
Follow Clair’s process, works, and inspiration on Instagram
The Canadian indie-pop band Imaginary Cities’ album Temporary Resident is hard not to love. There’s a great variety among the tracks and the combination of soul and indie makes an interesting mix. Marti, the lead singer and only girl in the group, used to be a singer in a soul cover band. The bad performed weekly at bar in Winnipeg, where Rusty (on the left) worked with the sound. One day Rusty asked if she wanted to sing on a Motown song he had been working on. “I did it and we had a lot of fun. I asked him later if he could help me with some songs I’d been working on. We went into the studio and did the song ‘Say You’ which then became the first track on our album” said Marti. They continued creating music together whenever they had time and a year later they had an album and a band welcoming David, Alex and Ryan to the group.
"Winnipeg is actually a really thriving music scene. It’s one of the strongest in Canada parallel to Toronto, but Toronto is much bigger. I find it to be a really welcoming without a lot of competition between musicians. It has a familiar aspect to it, a friendly place," Ryan explained.
On stage the band mostly wears all black wanting Marti to stand out the most. “But even I wear black a lot, even though they try to get me to pop out. Black is my thing. And red lips,” she says describing the exact look she’s wearing as we speak. “I usually like the kind of stuff Feist wears. She looks really well put together, but on the same time very comfortable. I’m all about practicality. I don’t want to pop out of my dress accidentally in the middle on a show, but I like to feel pretty and dress up.”
As teenagers, they listened to everything from Destiny’s Child, Rage Against the Machines and Smash Mouth. Their different musical backgrounds could be one reason their music has a very unique sound. Another reason could be that a single song could be inspired by anything from Sam Cooke’s music to Simpsons episodes. “We find inspiration all over, and that’s probably why there is so much variety in that album. Rusty heard a truck making a certain sound one day” said Marti, Rusty cutting in to explain. “The truck was humming this perfect G chord, and I got all this sweet music in my head and I then wrote a song around that. At other times Marti would just send me a voice note late at night, and in the morning I would write the chords to it. We start songs in all kind of ways. Any sort of small sparkle of inspiration is a good way to start any song.” We are not sure exactly how, but these unpredictable mixes have turned out to be the recipe to some great music.
Order their album Temporary Resident here.
When he was 18, a woman approached Simbarashe at an airport, complimented his appearance and suggested a career in modeling. Considering the words of a stranger, he decided to move to New York. The shift was a new beginning, opening his eyes for fashion, and changing his life completely. He did some time in front of the camera, but decidedly preferred to be the man behind the lens. It was a passion he adopted as a teenager, taking photos with disposable cameras. As digital technology developed, he switched to cellphone photography in a time before Instagram, before mobile devices were being used to produce artistic images. Finally he splurged on his first DSLR. He started his style site Lord Ashbury (lordashbury.com) in February 2012, photographing celebrities and people on the street.
How did Lord Ashbury start?
Simbarashe:I started by photographing people at my friends’parties and just uploading the images to Facebook. After a while I started coming up with these running themes. Let’s say I took 50 photos at a party, I would then thread them all together with made up dialogs. I would try to make it funny so that even people that hadn’t attended the party or knew the people in the photos would find them interesting. That’s where the idea of creating a blog came from.
What did you wear when you were 13?
Simbarashe: Before I was 19, I had no fashion sense at all. I didn’t know what it meant to clash or what my pallet of colors were. I didn’t know what I looked like in clothes unless someone took a photo of me, and there are very few photographs of my childhood. When I was 13, I probably wore something stupid and awkward.
Where do you find inspiration?
Simbarashe: I’m not sure if this will sound creepy. When you are surrounded by other people, at some point you check other people out. Some people check other people out more than others, and people have different motives for it. I check people out all day long. And not only for the blog, it could be for writing or for creating something. The blog has been very helpful for me in a personal way. When you are carrying a camera in your hand, it’s suddenly not creepy at all to check people out. It’s empowering. If I want to see what you are wearing, with a camera in my hand I will just turn around and stare you down.
What’s your favorite place in New York?
Simbarashe: Where I find the most people isn’t my favorite place. My favorite neighborhood is Greenwich Village, I really like the the area around 7th Avenue and Christopher Street. Aesthetically it’s nice and not too crowded and not too many cars on the side streets. The problem is that I walk around there all the time but I don’t always find someone to shoot. Everyone can find someone in Soho.
What would be your super power?
Simbarashe: I wish I could be intangible, just walk through walls and jump through the subway without having the doors close on me. In a more serious tone, I wish I had a greater persuasive skills. If I had that I think it would be more easier for me to get the photos that I want.
Any last advice you want to give to our readers?
Simbarashe: I go to Soho a couple of times a week, and I see street style photographers parked on the same corner every time I go, now that’s dedication. The same thing could be applied to sports or any skill a person has or wants to define. If you like to shoot, just go outside and shoot. If you can’t go outside to shoot just shoot inside your house.