Friday 20 March 2009

Designer interview - Steph from Hook and Scumble

Well, it's a real pleasure to have an interviewee who can really demonstrate the healing properties of crochet!!! I think we'd all agree but it's never been documented so clearly as with Steph Phillips of Hook and Scumble. It just goes to show how a love of crochet from an early age can be used as a means to recovery after a serious health event! It's also a great opportunity to read about a designer's work with wire rather than yarn.
Chain Creative Interview
Questions of creativity and inspiration

Hi Steph! Let's get the preliminaries over first! Whereabouts are you from? A small Georgian Market Town in rural Bedfordshire.

And your business details?
Blog address (if you have one)HookandScumble

Describe your various creative skills.

My mum always tells the story of me as a 4 year old discovering how to make making paper doilies as Christmas decorations ... she reports they were massed produced until at least Easter ! Consequently from a young age I dabbled in all sorts of crafts but am most at home when sewing and crocheting. However I also enjoy embroidery, patchwork and quilting, felting , designing and making jewellery , drawing , baking and gardening ( in the allotment sense i.e edible !).

When did you start to crochet and who taught you?
I was taught to crochet when I was about 8 by my mum, and became so frustrated with it did not pick my hook up again until I was 17, when I was taking my Art A-level Exam. The brief was “ interwoven” and so I went back to my mum and asked her to try again... I spent every spare moment trying crocheting with different materials – yarn, wire, plastic bags..and also went onto develop a technique for producing porcelain crochet pieces. The work gained me a place at art college.

The name of the business is interesting. What was the inspiration behind it?
Last year I became seriously unwell, and following some life saving surgery came home to find myself facing a slow and lengthy recovery. I decided that crochet was the medicine needed to help my recovery, but got tired so quickly I was unable to concentrate on reading a pattern. All I was able to do was pick up my hook and scumble ( freeform crochet). I decided that when fully recovered, this would be the name I would use to launch my work.

What influences your style and output? What are your inspirations?
I have always been fascinated with the properties of metal, and studied 3 Dimensional Design for 2 years where I focused on jewellery. I later combined this with my interest in textiles by exploring crocheting with wire – both using a more structured design approach as well as a freeform approach. I have been influenced by the work of Arline. M Fisch as well as James Walters and the late Sylvia Cosh.

What are the most important aspects of your work to you?
I think I’m most happy when I’ve finished the design process and I can start swatching, and making up samples. At this point I find it easier to see whether the finished piece will look like my original design, or whether I need to make adjustments in colour, texture or the overall look. Nothing however is ever wasted, just recycled or added to one of my journals as reference for the next time.

Which project or piece of work are you most proud of?
Hmmm, a difficult one. Recently, I’ve been putting a collection together for an exhibition at a local gallery and have been enjoying free forming with wire ...I ended up designing and crocheting a “hyperbolic” freeform brooch...which I loved so much I’ve decided to keep !

Silver plated and coloured copper wire, Hyperbolic freeform Crochet Brooch

Describe your favourite working space.
I used to have a workshop in my parents garage that my father built – but they have recently downsized and moved so I lost that work space. Most of my work now is done roving around the house trying not upset to many people with bags and trays full of various I dream of a purpose built studio where everything is light, bright, organised and at hand....but for the time being I will have to be content with my dining room table !

Silver plated Broomstick Crocheted wire , Textile , beaded “Frost Fusion” cufflett

Silver plated Hairpin lace crocheted choker with shell .

Thank you for chatting!

Love Bee


Anonymous said...

Thank you Bee...a pleasure to chat.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting designer!! Inspiring interview.