As one of our invited guest craft makers for The Little Block Party III, we’d like you to say hello to KNACK – a fun and playful accessories line using handmade clay, brass and other precious metals and stones. The pair of hands behind the label is Joy – who was also a part of our team and was known to have a razor sharp eye and a particular fondness for all things Swede. Read on as we talk design and Knack with Joy.
What’s the idea behind Knack and how did the name come about?
Knack started as an outlet for creative pursuits and self-expression. As someone who wears necklaces on a regular basis, I couldn’t find many necklaces that were uncomplicated, easy to wear everyday, and not mass-produced, so I decided to make them myself.
To me, “knack” sounds just like “neck”. Besides its meaning that ties to what making means to me, I also liked that there was a tone of playfulness in the name.
Could you give us more insight about the making process?
Other than the usual process where I condition, sculpt and bake the beads before fine-tuning the details and finishing, I also like to explore different methods in my process. It usually starts with being inspired by the things and people in my everyday life. Besides finding the perfect colours and trying out new forms, I often have to trial and error to find ways around existing methods to achieve the look I want.
In the most recent collection, that was inspired by my trip to Malmö back in March, it took me months to figure out how to do the speckled texture so sometimes it can get rather challenging along the way.
Are there special tools required to make and craft the clay pieces?
Actually I don’t use any special tools in my process – they are all things that can be easily found in my kitchen, like toothpicks, satay sticks, aluminium foil, office paper, etc. The fun part sometimes is realising how a commonly found item can be used for other purposes. The most special “tool” I own is probably my oven!
What are some of the materials used and what’s your personal favourite?
So far I have used a variety of materials for each collection, like brass and acrylic in addition to polymer clay, which can be very versatile. Wood is my personal favourite as it is honest, unassuming and adds a certain warmth to my designs.
There’s lots of fun and whimsy in what you make, how has your own personality shaped Knack?
I am quite reserved as a person but I do have a funny, crazy side at times too, especially with my friends. I think that one of the important things in life is ease and happiness so I do like to add a dose of lightheartedness and charm in my designs.
What do you do when you’re not working on Knack?
I love watching films in my free time, visiting museums and reading art and fashion magazines for constant inspiration from everywhere possible!
Who are your design heroes?
Arne Jacobsen, Ettore Sottsass and Tadao Ando.