Sculptor Tina Frey Shares An Intimate Look Inside Her Creation Process
We're so excited to kick off our brand new blog series, Product + Paper. In this ongoing series, we'll be interviewing some of our favorite makers about what they do, how they do it, and what makes them tick. We'll also ask them to choose one of their products (or collections) and pair it with a Hygge & West paper. One of the most fascinating things about wallpaper is how differently people interpret the same pattern, and how simply pairing a paper with a certain object can so drastically change how both the product and the paper are perceived. We hope you enjoy this fun little experiment as much as we do!
When we initially conceived of this series, the very first name that came to mind was Tina Frey. Her hand-sculpted objects, tablewares, and decorative accessories are fresh and modern, while still emanating an inherent warmth and undeniably tactile quality. These instant heirlooms feel perfectly at home in nearly any environment, and have been favorite parts of our personal collections for quite some time. See which product and paper Tina paired and read her interview below, and then head over to her shop to browse her latest collections (which include copper and brass!).
Hygge & West: What inspires the organic lines and breezy color palettes of your work?
Tina Frey: I find the softer, organic lines very soothing and at one with nature. I live in San Francisco and I really enjoy being near the ocean. When I walk along some beaches, I see rocks that have been tumbled by the sea and I like the smoothness and irregularity of the shapes. I find this very inspiring. The colors in my collection change each season and are inspired by what I see in nature and in different cities when I travel.
H&W: What drew you to clay as a medium and hand-sculpting as an art form? Why do you prefer hand-sculpting over other methods?
TF: I find working with clay the easiest way for me to translate the irregular and smooth forms into a three-dimensional object. It's fun to see the shapes being transformed by my hands; I find this very satisfying. Sometimes when I envision something, it's best for me to be in the studio and work with the clay to achieve the final object. I also like to draw, but ultimately, the best way to feel the three-dimensional form is to sculpt it.
H&W: What other mediums have you explored, and how do they differ from each other? What unique qualities do they bring to your work?
TF: I have been exploring with paper, textiles, and metals, such as brass, stainless steel, and copper-plated brass. For paper and textiles, it was interesting to translate the photos of the colorful products into the two-dimensional print form for a flat surface. I started incorporating the metals into the collection a couple years ago, since I wanted to see how the hard metal could be formed to achieve a soft organic look like they were also hand sculpted. This was quite an interesting process to explore, since metal is such a hard material. As a result, you will see the same DNA in the metal designs as the sculpted resin pieces.
H&W: Why is sustainability and environmental/social responsibility so important to you? In what ways does it influence your work and your business?
TF: Being environmentally responsible and sustainable is definitely important. Our pieces are completely handmade and we believe that this is more respectful of the environment since it is not utilizing energy to create the items themselves. It's also nice to see production being focused on working with your hands, which results in slight irregularities between each object due to the handmade nature. We are also working on a recycled resin collection, too, since it is important to make something beautiful from something that is no longer useful.
H&W: Tell us a bit about the specific product(s) you chose for your wallpaper pairing, and the wallpaper you paired it with.
TF: I like the Lapin Collection, which is sculpted to resemble the rabbit ears on the round dome lids. I think rabbits are adorable, and they inspired me when I was creating the piece. I had a lot of fun sculpting ears that reminded me of the pet rabbit I had when I was young.
I chose Otomi in Navy because the blue matches the cobalt blue colored Lapin Collection. The animals of the wallpaper also resemble the silhouette of the rabbit ears on the dome.
H&W: Hygge is all about creating comfort and finding coziness in life's small moments and everyday rituals. How do you find or create hygge in your life?
TF: I think one of the greatest joys is sharing a meal with friends and family. Having a serving piece that is beautiful to present your food is a lovely way to share the coziness around the table.