FK talks to Andrea of Bendigo label, Stämpel who will be debuting at our upcoming Melbourne markets!
We love your label! How did it all come about?
Thanks! The name came from a woodblock printing/ stamping obsession at the time and a love of all things Swedish. I started my creative career working for a couple of local Melbourne design labels after studying textile design at RMIT. I moved back to the country in 2010 and with fewer creative job opportunities I decided to work part time in a café and take time for some creative exploration, not really knowing then what kind of business direction I was going to head in. I took about 6 months to come up with a range of pieces I thought had potential as a product range using found materials (mostly scavenged waste from local businesses).
Stämpel encompasses my love of making things by hand, learning new practices and skills and a desire to explore sustainable practices within design and production. I challenge myself to use reclaimed materials wherever possible.
What advice do you have for others designers about sourcing and using recycled materials?
Often you will not be able to source materials that are the same from one production run to the next and so it is a challenge to create a consistent range of products using reclaimed materials (which is really important to stockists!). Design products that will have the same quality and aesthetic even if one element within has to change from time to time and make stockists and consumers aware of this initially. Also, learn to embrace imperfection!
Who or what do you get your inspiration from?
I never know where to start with this question. The coast and bushland around where I live is always an inspiration as is my growing book collection. Lately I’ve been listening to M83, Bombay Bicycle Club and Real Estate whilst making and creating, so I suppose they inspire my work inadvertently.
Artists, Designers and Labels that inspire me (for too many different reasons to list!) consist of Minä Perhonen, Marimekko, Sheila Hicks, Gunta Stolzl, Paul Klee, Jun Kaneko and Yvon Chouinard (founder of sustainable outdoor company, Patagonia) who has written a great book titled ‘The Responsible Company’ and I think everyone should read it!
What has been the most exciting thing to happen since starting your label? and what has been some learning curves?
All of 2011 (my first year) was pretty exciting. Getting my work stocked in some great stores, being a part of Design Made Trade open studios and The Design Files open house last December were all pretty big things for me and equally as exciting.
Learning curves, hmm. Working within a home studio is probably my biggest challenge! I have learnt things don’t make themselves and if I want to make sales I need to have something to sell! Allocating time for making, emailing and things like this is important.
What is the design scene like around Bendigo?
I am pretty isolated working here to be honest. I have been very busy getting Stämpel up and running since moving to Bendigo and find I haven’t really discovered much of a scene here. There are a handful of good shops (one being Bob Boutique) and cafes and the Art Gallery gets some great shows but as for independent designers like myself I don’t think there are too many (or I haven’t opened my eyes!). I find my network is very much still in Melbourne at the moment.
What plans do you have for the Stampel in the future?
I would like to continue to make new products from found and reclaimed materials whilst growing my bag of hand skills. I want to learn to turn wood on a lathe and also experiment further with tapestry weaving. I hope to be able to find a market for the larger, multi-faceted sculptural pieces I have in my head! I am also in the midst of making a range of scarves from second hand fabrics which will be ready for the April Finders Keepers.