Thursday, 29 March 2012

Spotlight on...Oak Estudio

Estefanía is the driving force behind Oak Estudio, a lovely project we have been following for a while now. For that reason we're especially pleased she's joining us today to share a little bit of her world so we can get to know her better.

This girl from Ontinyent (Valencia) who is based in Logroño makes mainly brooches, necklaces and earrings and they are all wonderful. From the first stitch in her embroidered necklaces to the intricate packaging in stamped boxes, all of her work exudes excellent taste.

Let's take a step back in time, how did Oak Estudio come about and what was it that made you take the final step and open your shop?
A course for leisure and free-time instructors helped me find my more creative side again. I started making accessories by experimenting with materials like felt and polymer clay. My first blog arose from a need to meet people with the same interests as me. This in turn enabled me to take my first steps into the handmade scene. A few years later, with a more defined line of work and different needs, Oak Estudio was born. Oak is a simple place you can pass through to look at nice things and the shop provides you with the opportunity to take home a piece of the time, patience and care I put into each item I make.
You use a lot of wood and recently even embroidered wood in your work. What are your favourite materials to work with and what does each mean to you?
At the moment I am most interested in finding materials and techniques that we've known our whole lives. I grew up connected to the world of wood because my dad is a carpenter and my mum has done embroidery work since she was a little girl. The idea of embroidered wood came from mixing the two. At the moment the materials I like working with most are porcelain because of its texture, wood because it is a natural product and copper because oxidation affects the piece making it change with time. In future, I would also like to work with leather.

What is the creative process behind each of your pieces? What are your main sources of inspiration?
The creative process starts with a sketch that sets off a chain of drawings and different versions. Once I've finalised the shape, I chose the material I want to make it with. Sometimes it can be months before the final idea comes together. Lastly I test the materials, paint, decide whether to varnish or not, choose the colour of the chain and so on. 
Inspiration can come from, e.g., a walk in the mountains, a photo, something you don't find in other shops, a material in itself, or even a moment in my life. For example, I got the idea for the necklace with the deer antler pendant after the first time I saw a deer out in the wild.

As a creative person, we know you like everything revolving around the handmade. Which handmade object do you treasure the most and why? 
It's hard to pick just one. I keep gems from my family like treasure: gems like crochet and cross-stitch work. I also have some material with the embroidery my mum used to do to practise different stitches, and wood hand-carved by my dad. Apart from that, I like buying handicrafts on my travels. For example, I have a hand-embroidered bracelet I bought from some women who had a stall at Dubrovnik port (Croatia) and it brings back very good memories.

And to finish up, let's look to the future...where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
Of course I would like Oak to become a well-known brand on the handmade scene but it is not something I'm obsessed with. I just dream of continuing to have projects, large or small, just as long as they excite me and fascinate me as much as they do today.
I would also like to make the most of this interview to encourage people in La Rioja who are involved in the handmade scene to get in touch with me. I'm sure there are a lot of us. We're very scattered around and we need to get to know each other and support one another. 

Images: Oak Estudio
Thanks very much, Estefanía. We'd like to wish you all the luck in the world and hope the excitement and passion you feel now accompany you always.


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