Kate Rowland -Meet the Maker September August 30 2014

An interview with Kate Rowland

As part of our meet the makers series we'll be celebrating the people behind the work. We know the finished products we sell are all the end result of great design and hard work by the artists and makers. We want to tell these stories, understand what inspires and drives them, and find out how they create their work.

Kicking things off in September we've been talking to Kate Rowland who transforms her quirky illustrations into these little gems.  


So tell us a bit about yourself. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?

I've always loved drawing and making, since I was little. It’s inexplicably satisfying to create an object or image with your own hands! When I was studying at university I had the opportunity to experiment with lots of new processes and ideas. I thought laser cutting would be an amazing way of transforming my drawings into something more.


What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?

My favourite TV shows and films inspire a lot of my designs. This started out as one of my friends loved Twin Peaks, so I thought I’d make her a set of little brooches inspired by the show. I started selling them online and I got an incredible response! I’m also fascinated by space exploration, and love the imagery from the space race in the 50's and 60's, so a lot of my designs have a retro-space-age vibe.


What is the process?

I always draw and write down any ideas I have (80% don’t escape the sketchbook), and then spend a while refining the drawings a little. I like maintaining the ‘imperfections’ in my drawings, as when images are transformed into vectors to be laser etched, they tend to become quite clean and neat. I like the sketchy appearance of my drawings and so try to translate this over to the finished design as much as possible. The designs are then laser cut into plywood, sanded a little, some are painted, and finished off with a brooch back or necklace chain.


What do you enjoy most about being a maker?

I love every part of it, but I think being able to use my creativity on a day-to-day basis. I've only ever wanted to draw and make for a living, so each day that I can do that is super special. Cheese!


You can check out Kate’s lovely wares here in our online store, and keep up to date with the latest news via Kate's own site or on Twitter.