CUTmodern is a proud contributor to LAB Maison and we’re excited to share our stories with this independent designer community. At CUTmodern we think we live in pretty interesting times, where some of the best products are designed and produced by creative local artists. Our site is built around that single concept, where we advocate for small independent designers who create high quality modern pieces for the home.
We support products that last generations, and we’re teaming up with a group of brilliant designers to help tell the story behind their designs while making a difference by reducing the environmental and social impact through the products we sell. Behind the Design is an ongoing series on LAB Maison and the CUTmodern blog. The goal is to tell the story of the person behind the incredible designs found on our site. We hope you enjoy the stories we share in this weekly Behind the Design series on LAB Maison. Today, we’re sitting down with Crystal Van Wyk of Vitreous Wares.
:: How did you get into design of furniture / home goods? How did you go about learning the skills?
My parents are real do-it yourself types and there was always the attitude that we would make things we needed for the house. My skills stem from my curiosity of how things work (from watching my parents) and what I learned when I studied sculpture at Pacific Northwest College of Art, which really encompassed building all kinds of things.
:: How long does your design process typically take?I always start with drawings and if I look back through my sketchbooks I’ll see that I’ve been thinking about a certain shape and its function for much longer than I probably realized before I made it. My tiered bowls, for example, didn’t become a reality for over a year.
:: What piece of work are you most proud of?
I’m very fond of my hourglass bud vase. The first time I used one myself I was actually a little taken aback at how good flowers look in it. It also has the strongest link to my past work.
:: What are some of your hobbies outside of work?
I’m a really big gardener and I also love cooking. I own an old house that I work on a lot also.
:: What would you do if you weren’t an artist/designer?
I’d love to be an estate gardener.
:: What are some of your favorite blogs or design resources (aside from the CUTmodern blog, of course!)?
We have an amazing library system in Portland which is always my first resource. Its old school but if I want to learn about something or get inspired I go get a stack of books. I like to joke that the Internet knows everything and nothing all at the same time.
:: Are you digital? If so, where can we find you?
Just my blog – www.vitreouswares.com.
View Crystal’s work on the CUTmodern site.