{the interview series} Caroline Gomez

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Hoje trago-vos uma artista multidisciplinar que descobri recentemente enquanto passeava de blog em blog... o trabalho da francesa Caroline Gomez foi amor à primeira vista! Os seus designs são claros, simples e requintados; as suas fotografias fazem sonhar... e a forma como explora os materiais é por si só um hino à beleza da produção manual do artesão. Leiam e digam-me o que vos parece!

[Este post pertence à rubrica semanal {the interview series}, onde publico uma nova entrevista todas as quartas-feiras, com artistas e bloggers inspiradores que admiro, de acordo com o espírito handmade e um estilo de vida criativo. Tornem-se fãs no facebook e não percam nada!
Por motivos óbvios de extensão e compreensão do texto, tanto pelos entrevistados como pelos potenciais leitores do resto do mundo, a entrevista segue em inglês.]

Today I bring you a multidisciplinary artist I discovered recently while wandering from blog to blog... the work of French Caroline Gomez was love at first sight! Her designs are clear, simple and refined; her photos make you dream... and the way she explores the materials is itself a hymn to the beauty of artisan manual production. Read along and tell me what you think!

[This post belongs to the weekly feature {the interview series} where I publish a new interview every wednesday with inspiring artists and bloggers I admire, according to the spirit of handmade and a creative lifestyle. Become a facebook fan and don't miss a bit!]

Caroline Gomez
Bordeaux, France

1. Let’s pretend we don’t know each other and I’ve never heard about Caroline Gomez. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a designer and I develop my own world through collections of objects that express difference and evidence. Simple and minimal objects made of natural materials and handcrafted in France.

2. You have an academic background in design. How was this creative passion born and when did your studio began to take shape?
I have always enjoyed analyzing objects, their place, their practical sense since I was a little girl. I used to alter the things I bought and imagine those I missed...
The studio really began to take shape in the last few years, when everything appeared obvious to me and I didn’t feel so shy anymore... I made up my mind and asserted myself through self-edition.

3. In your multidisciplinary studio you combine both design and craftsmanship in subtle, minimal creations. Share with us the philosophy and concepts behind your work.
Indeed, my creations often stand at the border of design, the style of production allows it and it is what I am interested in.
My work takes root in our daily lives, my creations are meant to make them easier and lighter.
I am constantly looking for a balance so as to reduce the object to what is basic and essential.

4. You develop limited series of handcrafted products, in collaboration with artisans. Would you share your creative process with us, from the first draft to the finished product?
First, I draft my ideas on paper, they are influenced by various observations I collect at home and while travelling. These first sketches are very quick, then I make a prototype in my studio and at that point is when the object is really born.
From this stage, I stop drawing on paper and redraw the lines directly on the raw product.
Once I am satisfied with it, I leave it in the hands of an artisan so he can produce a limited series out of it.

5. You elect natural materials for your creations and you like to explore a wide variety: ceramics, wood, leather, fabrics, paper… which one challenges you the most? What’s your favorite to work with?
My favourite material is wood, I like how it feels and how it smells. It plays a major part in my collections. But porcelain was my first experience and I soon learned that it is unpredictable and often causes great challenges!
Leather, linen, paper... I am interested in all natural materials and I like to learn about them because each material has its own artisan with a real specific knowledge.

6. I must say I love the concept and design of your CONTRE collection! How about you: would you share a favorite and a best seller with us?
The CONTRE collection simply came when I realized that we put most of our furniture against the wall, so actually they do not need four legs.
I tried to alter this habit of ours by having my creations take root in the wall, spring out from it and lean against it.

7. You also develop great photographic work, mainly related to travels. Tell us about it.
Photographic reports are vital to me! They are my essential nourishment: they help me observe, construe or seize atmospheres, moments, colours, details... Travels are also becoming more and more important in my work. Each travel inspires a creation, or even a whole collection.
I choose to travel to places that have strong inspirational potential, I’ll go to a place where I feel like taking pictures.

8. Through your shop your creations travel all around the world! What means do you use to promote your work?
All kind of medias can be helpful : the press, the Internet, exhibitions, collaborations or even SLØ. It is a new magazine I created with a friend of mine and it should be out by the end of March. It all contributes to conveying my world to others.

9. Would you share with us a regular day at work?
Oh ! That would be hard. No two days are ever the same for me. I work at home and almost everywhere... all the time. My creations never leave my thoughts.

10. Would you give us a glimpse of your working space? Describe it and tell us what you love most about it.
I have a desk with all my books around me, I love books! My laptop, thousands of sketchbooks and notebooks, my colour chart, my prototypes... ¬ they all fit in a big set of shelves made of raw wood. There is another smaller space where I keep stocks and pack orders. And at my parents, in the nearby countryside, I also have a studio where I can work on prototypes.

11. Share your passions and hobbies with us.
I like baking, I’ve got a sweet tooth and cheesecake is my all-time favourite! – I also collect succulent plants, I like to have them in small pots scattered around the house. – I like books... picture books, cookbooks, Paumes Japanese books and many others – And I really enjoy going to the market and the flea market, too!

12. I already know you love to travel, but how about the place where you live? Tell us what you enjoy most about it. Would you like to live anywhere else one day?
I live in Bordeaux, in the Southwest of France. It is a beautiful city in a region planted with vines and surrounded by a wonderful country, one hour drive from the Atlantic Ocean and three hours away from Paris by train... quite an attractive location! The weather is very pleasant, I love living here !

13. If you could live in any historical era of your choice, what would it be? Why?
I’d choose the fifties because design was beautifully perfect at that period!

14. What advices would you give to someone who would also like to become an entrepreneur?
Never stop working or creating even when it is tough and you have to keep believing! My grandmother always told me : When there is a will, there is a way.

15. What are your plans for the future? And your most unrealistic dreams?
My main plan is to continue telling my story through my creations and I’d really like to start collaborations with brands or galleries. Maybe have a go at clothes and micro-architecture, why not? My dream would be to build cabins in the woods, like small hotel rooms to rent, for people who wish to retire in the heart of nature!

Now a quick question and answer game so we can find a bit more about you and your tastes!
Tell us one:

book: a travels guide
music: I Swear, Sallie Ford
movie: Paris Texas, Wim Wenders
personality/artist: Dieter Rams
color: green
object: a pencil
animal: a bear
drink: Lillet (drink from Bordeaux)
food: a cheese cake!
season of the year: Spring
travel destination: Stockholm
piece of clothing: a pair of Converse
secret: Shh… :)

Thank you for sharing your beautiful designs with us, Caroline!


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