FK chats to Kane of Sydney label Fromage la Rue who will be debuting at our upcoming Sydney markets!
Can you tell us about your amazing label and where the name comes from?
I have always been drawn to ‘large’ things in a domestic environment. There is something almost comical in taking a large item from an industrial environment for example, and placing it into a domestic setting, where it was clearly never intended to reside. The pieces I produce are not quite perfect, a little bit beaten up, and usually oversized. It’s a bit of a long story regarding the name of our brand, but in a nutshell it was an in joke between myself and my partner, and after a few glasses of red wine one night we jumped online and registered it, and even though it doesn’t really mean anything, and isn’t grammatically correct whatsoever, it stuck!
What is your creative background and how did it lead you to where you are today?
My background started at the University of Otago in the South Island of New Zealand. After several years of heavy drinking I came out the other end with a design degree, where my unproductive thirst for drinking turned into a healthy thirst for design in all its delicious flavours (graphic, architectural, industrial). My degree led me to a career in the (creatively challenging yet overly sanitised and digitally perfect) world of 3d architectural rendering. The work I produce through Fromage la Rue is a response to this digital world, allowing me the opportunity to produce something with my hands, rather than a keyboard, to produce something tangible, and to incorporate all the beautiful filth and dirt and grime that surrounds us everyday that we try not to see.
What inspires your work? and what keeps you motivated creatively?
I’m inspired by typography, Vegas marquee signs and lighting, anything oversized, street art, and any sort of design that pushes the boundaries. Reading design blogs, magazines and being involved in the awesome creative community that Sydney offers keeps me motivated. I do a lot of custom orders and that keeps things interesting, so you could say that my customers keep me motivated as well! At the end of the day there’s nothing better than knowing that the business is yours, and every minute you put into it is rewarded when something turns out looking great.
What do you love about living in Sydney?
I’ve lived overseas and I’m originally from New Zealand, but I’m always drawn back to Sydney. I live in the sunny Inner West with my beautiful wife, two children and a boy-cat called Unicorn Sparkle… and wouldn’t change it for anything. I love the multiculturalism that Sydney offers, the excellent facilities for young families, and if we are speaking honestly, I would have to say Adriano Zumbo’s Macarons certainly top the list of favourite things. Oh, and cheese pastizzis and let’s not forget coffee.
What do you love about working with over-sized typographical products? And what are some of the challenges?
I love that we deal with typography everyday, yet we never really ‘see’ it. When I’m working on a large format letter I really get to appreciate the beauty of these forms in their own right. Take them as a piece of art, a sculpture, an item to be admired. I mean who doesn’t appreciate the sensual curves of an Ampersand in Times New Roman? I do, that’s for sure! I’m often just as challenged as I am motivated by my subject matter, the tight radius curves of some fonts prove difficult to accurately cut, and it took me months before I produced a “J” that would stand up, but it did happen!
What new plans do you have for Fromage la Rue this year?
I have so many ideas and can’t wait to start experimenting with new materials like perspex, cardboard and compressed hardwood. I’ll be exploring new fonts and bright colours in all their glory as well. As usual, the products will no doubt be big, distressed and beautiful!