On the second day of Christmas I went to see: Calyrew
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Wait, I missed one. Eight, nine, ten. On and on I counted but in the end I gave up trying to spot all the different colours. That’s why this is my favourite. The colours jump out, each trying to outdo each other. I was reminded of a circus, but not just any circus: the Cirque du Soleil. I went a couple of years ago to a performance. One act after another, a whirl of bright colours, thrills and gasps as the performers did impossible things, you left merry, the music and singing still dancing around in your head. When looking at this object, the mosaic of colours seemed to talk of all that. I love colours, usually matching but with this I love the fact there are too many to count.Plus, not only is it wonderful to look at, it’s really useful! Imagine having this hanging in your hall. I can.
Calyrew opened in the summer of 2008 and its owner and designer Meg, comes from Wisconsin, USA. The shop sells a variety of home decor goods, ranging from small sets of coasters and magnets to mirror frames and coat racks. What is interesting is that Meg uses her own handmade paper to create her products. With basses or wood or cork, Meg cover them with her beautifully coloured paper and then covers that with layers of polyurethane, so they can be used as drink coasters or survive everyday ware and tear. I had not seen paper used in this way before and that is what drew me to her shop. With Christmas flying ever closer and difficult fathers or husbands (uncle, mothers, aunts. . . etc) to buy for, I think her coaster sets (or anything else for that matter) might be the answer. Colourful but functional presents.
When looking at artists and their work, I always end up thinking about where they got the inspiration, what part did they liked best, what led them to their art and so on. As I am painting silk I think of the colours, deciding which to use, balancing dark with light and loving the way they spread across the fabric. I’ve decided to ask each of the featured shops the same six questions. I am really excited to see the answers; some may be similar whilst others may vary enormously. Everyone has their own way of working and viewing their art, so the answers should be very interesting. Let’s see what Meg says!
(Note: if some of you think you’ve read the above bit before, it’s because I’ve cut and pasted it from the post. I’m going to keep doing that for the next few posts, just to explain to new readers what the interview is all about. I might end up putting it in all but I am still unsure. We’ll see.)
Interview with Meg
What led you to using paper and using it for home decor and coasters etc?
I have always loved paper. As a little girl I remember wanting stationery just have it, not to write on. I was somewhat of a hoarder. Origami, quilling, wrapping, tissue and even the ordinary spiral notebook paper. I loved any art or craft that paper was the main ingredient. When my children were young we started making handmade paper sheets from recycled mail and calendars. They liked it but moved on. However I was the one who kept making sheets. I switched to plain newsprint paper and abaca pulp. Didn’t really know what to do with the sheets. I then came across a book with items made with paper. It gave me the idea to paint my sheets and create some things with them. I like the idea that my pieces are functional. They can be used everyday, but also bring beauty to your home.
What is your favourite part or what do you like best about your art or process?
My favorite, but most frustrating step in the process is painting the paper. I love color! I usually have an idea in my mind what color or feel I want. However, more times than not, I will have applied too much of the color or it didn’t mix well with another color. Many times I will have to soak up some paint and try to repair with another color scheme. Quite often those ‘happy accidents’ turn out to be some of my favorite sheets. What is hard sometimes is trying to duplicate a color for a custom order.
Hmm Never thought about where my inspiration comes from.
Color comes from anywhere. Anything has the potential to grab my attention is an inspiration. My patterns come about at the time I start cutting the paper. The color and color scheme definitely determines the pattern. I am not one to carry around a sketch or ideas notebook. My doodles or ideas make no sense the next day.
Do you ever have music on when you work? (I like this question because I always do, in fact I can’t work without it).
Sometimes I listen to music, but Netflix is my first choice. I don’t have a TV. I spend quite a lot of time on the computer so it’s on in another window or on my phone when I’m actually creating a piece. I rarely look at the screen. It’s on for the noise.
Do you have a favourite piece of art in your shop?
My favorite piece right now is the quilted coat rack. I remember watching my dad make paper pulp and make paper castings growing up. My mom was an awesome quilter. The piece reminds me of some of the pieces she made. So it’s a combination of two of the hobbies my parents loved.
And finally, what would be your “dream” Christmas gift to receive?
My dream Christmas gift would be to take a paper making workshop in Japan. I would love to make some of those huge sheets they are so famous for.
Thank you Meg from Calyrew
That’s it for the third in this series. Don’t forget to check out the shop!
Like Meg, my favorite part of my process is the most difficult, applying the colour to the silk. I often start and then think the colours are horrid together, but I find that if I keep going, by the end it works. Plus even if I personally don’t like the scarf, I know somewhere, someone else will! Hoarder? Perhaps we all are. I know I am. For me it’s notebooks. I admit it, I’m a compulsory list maker. I think we all have something we hoard, something the reflects us. That gives me an idea for a new blog post. . . . . However, for now, what do you hoard? Leave a note in the comments below.
A big thank you to Meg for taking the time to answer all my questions. I have also set up a Pinterest board for all the featured images. You can see it by following my Pinterest link at the top of the page.
Please keep reading this series. Check back later this week for the fourth shop for Christmas.
Have a creative day!