Carragh Knapp of Badgers Hollow is a part-time sculptor, part-time gallery minder, and part-time crafter with a love of handmade. The things she makes play with texture, tactility and contrast.
What do you make?
I make unique handmade items that I would have in my own home, and can see in the cosy homes of family members. Clay Christmas decorations, carefully hand-painted bunting and happy home decor.
How did you get into your craft?
My mother and grandmother were both crafty, so it’s in my blood! I took a community pottery night class while I was at high school, which fed my love of ceramics, and sewed for fun in my spare time.
Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
I have just finished my Bachelors’ degree in Fine Arts (Hons) last year. That said, my craft and my art run separately. My art practice has a focus on the handmade, and is primarily in ceramic sculpture with some furniture design. Badgers Hollow is influenced by this, but acts as more of a way through maker’s block – as a creative outlet.
Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
Clay has a certain appeal for me, the way it can take the print of a hand and be moulded into something new. I enjoy processes in which the human interaction with the material is intrinsic to the value of that item. Bunting carefully sewn and hand painted, clay rolled and sanded. Items that then gain a handmade story of their making.
What inspires you?
Materials, beautiful design, and family.
Is there a philosophy behind your work?
I like to think that customers will find pleasure and delight in my handiwork, and in turn a fresh perspective on the handmade and independent makers. I believe handcrafted objects are often under-appreciated – there is a unique beauty in an item that has been hand-crafted.
Describe your workspace:
I work from home, so coffee cups, clay, loose threads and crafty tabletop mess.
Five words that describe your mind:
Creative, considered, romantic, critical, organic.
Your favourite feedback from a customer:
There was one customer who had bought an item as a gift, but contacted me to say she had fallen in love and couldn’t give it away! That was a great compliment.
What are you currently listening to?
A mixed selection of Bon Iver.
Recommend an album:
States by The Paper Kites (2013).
Do you have any pets?
A very troublesome and rebellious ragdoll kitten called Banksy, named after Banksy the street artist. He’s already huge for his age, so I’m expecting him to be a supernaturally massive beast by the time he’s fully grown.
A favourite quote:
“Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.” – C.S. Lewis.
What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
A couple of hand-poured soy wax candles from the Wellington Underground markets. The fragrances were Poached Pear and French Vanilla, so obviously the smell was irresistible!
To see more of Carragh’s gorgeous creations visit her Felt shop Badgers Hollow. And if you’d like to see some of Carragh’s creations up close she will have a few clay items in the In Good Company Space exhibition, ‘Gift It’, which will be running during December at 166a Cuba Street (upstairs, above Matchbox) in Wellington.
Carragh has very kindly offered us this gorgeous wee hanging gold ceramic Christmas tree decoration (below), as a prize for one lucky Felt blog reader. To win this sweet little prize just leave a comment telling us what you like about Carragh’s story and creations. The draw will be made on Friday 19 December and is open to New Zealand residents only.