For our November 2018 craft kit (you can see what we're making here) we've collaborated with Rebecca Hector Clarke of Nook of the North. Becca is an amazing designer and jeweller maker, and we love her mid-century modern style!
If you haven't already come across her work, you're in for a treat... We talked to Becca about her background, inspiration and advice for those starting a creative business.
How did you first get into designing / making?
From a very young age I have always made things and enjoyed working with different mediums. My Grandma taught me to embroider and knit, and I remember enjoying drawing a great deal.
I have always been interested in illustration and artists drawings and paintings and this interest lead me to studying art through school, college and university.
Can you tell us how your first creative project (as Nook of the North) went?
The first piece I embroidered was a pendant using some treasured Japanese fabric. I wanted to showcase the fabric, so the stitch I used to bind the edges was purely functional. I remember looking at my stitching and thinking how I liked the effect. That led me to try changing the shape and scale of the stitches just like I use today.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I take inspiration from lots of different things, they’re not usually anything to do with embroidery.
I like to look at different forms of printing and surface pattern design. I love Mid-century design and architecture. I like to translate shapes and textures I find into stitch as opposed to looking at traditional embroidery techniques.
What do you love most about the designing or making process?
I’m very happy spending my whole working day sewing, but I also love to draw. I have some fine line black ink pens that I draw all of my designs with. I like to draw each stitch instead of colour blocking areas, I think it helps me to figure out whether a design will work or not. Having said that, I do use collage pieces to chose composition and colours.
What would be your best advice for those starting out in a creative business?
My best advice would be something that I try to do all of the time. Break your To do list into small manageable tasks. Instead of writing Make a new wall hanging, write;
1) Cut 6 new shapes.
2) Choose a colour palette to go with Natural linen.
3) Pin chosen composition onto fabric, etc.
Working this way makes you feel like you’re getting somewhere and that no task is too big.
I’m very fortunate that I have a wonderful group of creative friends that I turn to when I need advice. Working from home can be challenging as you don’t have studio companions to share ideas with. I’ve a few friends that I’ve met through using Instagram and at local craft fairs who I meet up with. Having a network of like-minded people whose opinion stops you fretting over little things is invaluable.
What's next for you, any upcoming projects you're working on?
I’m so excited as I’ve got my first product photoshoot booked for next week. This means that my brand new website and shop will be ready very soon. I’ve been working on some new pieces for months and planning how I want them to be photographed.
I’m hoping that when the website is all finished, I can carry on with some large wall hangings I started in the summer. After sewing on such a small scale getting things ready for the photoshoot, it’ll be good to work on something much bigger.
Photos: Joanna Crawford
A big thanks to Becca for this interview - we hope you enjoyed it & are feeling creatively inspired!