Hello & Welcome!
I'm so pleased to have the had the opportunity to chat with Cath Derksema, the designer, printer, crafter behind the fabulous Australian textile label Prints Charming.
It was not until I interviewed Cath last week that I realized I'd been admiring her work throughout my burgeoning career in textile design since the mid 90's. I idolized the designs of Hot Tuna (the iconic surf wear brand), John Kaldor (I so wanted to work there!) & her own interiors label Art Park (I still have a blue green spot quilt cover set from back in the 90's) This is .... to name a just a few of the labels she's designed for.
Cath is so openly warm & welcoming, no wonder I love her work! If you haven't seen Prints Charming, I can tell you that it's a feast for the happy eye! Bright, fun & so obviously full of love for the textile medium. I'll leave the rest for Cath to explain in the interview below ... at her gorgeous studio space ...
Q. I love how you use the words “crafted” & “crafting” on your website. Why is crafting & handmade important these days?
It is important as it is a beautiful antithesis to the craziness of the technology driven world we now live in. Our DNA is rife with making ... there's no hiding from it!
Q. What inspires the Prints Charming aesthetic?
Clean bold simple lines initially inspired the PC aesthetic ... Marimekko for their longevity and obvious pattern love.
Q. What were you doing directly before Prints Charming?
I was winding down my design business, and having two babies...I thought initially that I could do it all ... however, the demands of motherhood quickly over rode deadlines and forward thinking..
Q. What was the motivation for starting Prints Charming?
A strong desire to make fabric was the initial motivation ... however I also realized that I needed to be back with creative like minded souls, having spent a good 5yrs in the domestic baby realm.
Q. What is your proudest career achievement?
I don't ever think like that ... I love what I do, and simply feel very privileged to be a part of this awesome community ... hang on ... come to think of it ... Kirsten and I did a lot of screaming and jumping up and down, when we learned of our contract with 'FreeSpirit' fabrics in NY! It was 2007 and crafting fabrics were taking a turn for the better, as we were under the same banner as Amy Butler, Denyse Schmidt, Heather Bailey and Heather Ross.
Q. Who inspires you? Why?
My Mother is a big inspiration as she was a big maker crafter in the '70s (and beyond) and we always had a sewing machine on the kitchen table.
Q. What’s the bravest thing you’ve done during your career as a textile designer?
I guess leaving a secure job with John Kaldor and starting my own thing was in hind sight pretty brave, although at the time it seemed so obvious to me.
Q. What advice would you give someone thinking about starting their own creative business?
I would say, be prepared to live, breathe, eat and sleep it! Have relentless reserves of energy and never be afraid. Don't hold back, don't procrastinate ... just GO FOR IT ..... all of this will come naturally if you are really meant to do it!
Seriously inspiring stuff! A big thank you to Cath for her time, natural warmth & openness!
The Prints Charming range can be found at Spotlight & via her website. Cath regularly runs Shibori indigo dying & embroidery workshops at her beautiful warehouse space in Annandale in Sydney's inner west. She can be contacted via the website www.printscharming.com.au