|| artist & designer interview: brian from twiggagerie ||
Posted on November 07 2014
This week we are focusing on Australian Artists and Designers who specialise in handmade products (and how much we love them!) We were lucky enough to catch up with Brian from Twiggagerie, a Melbourne based design studio who creates 3D sculptures from twigs!
Willows: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about what you do?
Brian: Hello, my name is Brian Bell and I am starting to be affectionately known as the “Twig Man” by my friends which I find amusing. Basically I collect natural twigs from all over the place and manufacture mostly geometric type shapes such as the 3D Houses, Cubes, Ladders, Crosses and pretty much any shape that I can successfully make. The addition of now a wide range of colours make the pieces almost come to life and add a “pop” of colour to any room.
W: How did it all begin? What path lead you to what you are doing now?
B: My partner in the business, Anita who now resides in the UK, was initially making a few bespoke pieces and had to come up with some ideas using twigs for a client’s new retail shop. Anita had the ideas but due to time constraints on her returning to the UK, I made them for her and that got me started on this journey. After seeing the potential of what we had, we formed a little business and Anita came up with the name “Twiggargerie”, (pronounced Twigarjery)
Anita and I now collaborate over Skype and toss ideas around for new pieces. Although recently Jemma, one of my twin daughters who now resides in Jaipur in India came up with the idea of a 3D Cross, so its becoming a real family affair. The creative ideas all come back to one simple thing for me….”How can I make it?”
So in the end the practicality rules the creativeness, although that doesn’t stop us trying new things.
W: Tell us about working with nature and how it has inspired your sculptures?
B: Working with nature is great as the pieces are unique and have all of the imperfections and beauty of nature left in them. Collecting the pieces is half the fun of the business and I have now developed a good eye for knowing the right twigs that nature can offer. It is much more fun than picking out a straight piece of timber from the timberyard! And in some ways working with nature allows more “fudge room” as you cannot be dictated to be any geometric shapes and don’t even begin to think about 90 degree angles! Nature sure doesn’t .
W: What music are you currently listening to in the Twiggagerie studio?
B: Now what do I listen to when I work, well now that I think about it, when I am making I just have the radio on in the background and often don’t really pay too much attention to it. But when I am painting which can be the most rewarding part of the process, I enjoy listening to violin concertos, it seems to suit the moment.
W: Whats next? Do you have a dream project?
B: Next? Mmmm well I have a client who wants me to make them a lighting piece using all of the shapes that we currently have somehow incorporated into it, so its going to by a crazy combination of cubes, houses, ladders and crosses. Best not to think too much about it, just make it!
Thanks Brian for taking the time and being a part of Team Willows!