Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work?
My name is Vicki and I started Handsome Vintage towards the end of 2012. I studied Illustration at the University of Central England and for the past five years have managed art galleries in Devon, Cornwall and Bath. I have long had a passion for vintage and retro furniture and so it was an organic process that my two passions for Illustration and furniture would come together. Handsome Vintage take dusty unloved pieces of furniture and give them a new lease of life and a contemporary twist with vibrant paint finishes and hand drawn illustrative motifs.
Apart from creating things what else do you do?
I work part time in Bristol independent furniture Sphere Living Design which means I have the pleasure of being surrounded by beautiful design classics all day long. When not working I can be found at car boot sales, flea markets and junk shops snuffling for treasures. We moved into a new home in Knowle last December and so the remainder of my time is spent decorating.
When did you know you were an artist/maker?
As far back as I can remember I have loved drawing. My books and folders from school were covered in doodles and I spent most of my school days holed up in the art room. I never even considered any other career options it was always going to be art college.
What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline?
The transformation process. Creating something from nothing. Working with the lines of the furniture to create a design that is sympathetic to the piece. But best of all, knowing that I have created a piece of artwork that has a function and will be at the heart of a home hopefully for years to come.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Many places. I’m constantly absorbing. Visiting art galleries, pop art, Vintage crockery by Meakin and Midwinter, 1950’s fabric designer Lucienne Day. Sinking hours on Pinterest! Pioneer upcyclers Zoe Murphy and Lucy Turner.
Describe your studio or workspace?
I’ve only recently moved into the house I am in and so my studio is very much a work in progress but I have put up shelves and a pin board and surround myself with as much colour and design inspiration as I can. My furniture is piled up in the corner of my studio and tends to leak out into all the rooms in the house much to my boyfriends annoyance!!
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
To quietly sit in the corner of Cornish artist Henrietta Dubrey’s studio and watch her at work would be a dream. I adore her large abstract and playfully figurative canvases filled with bold sweeps of colour. As this is a fantasy answer I would end the day by choosing which painting I like best and taking it home with me.
How would you describe your creative process?
I keep an Ipad by my bed with a drawing app on as the moment my head hits the pillow this is when my best visions of colour and design come to me. I tend to have a rough idea of the final design when I start on a new piece but it is quite an organic process that grows as I work a bit like a jigsaw.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
A few years ago I had an idea for a wallpaper design that I wanted to create. I contacted Double Elephant Studios in Exeter and worked with a fantastic printmaker called Emma Molony to make my vision into a reality. It was a time consuming process but I am so pleased with the results. Now I am finally a home owner I will be able to put it up on the wall and look at it every day.
What do you when you are stuck in a creative rut?
Getting out of the house and going for a brisk walk around Arnos Vale cemetery or a relaxing swim tends to get the mind whirring again and after this burst of exercise I am usually rushing back to get all my ideas down onto paper.
Which is your favourite local independent shop or eatery in Bristol & why?
I’m a big fan of the Star and Dove pub in Totterdown. A great selection of beers and their sausage rolls and scotch eggs are legendary!
Where would you like to be in ten years?
To be still doing what I’m doing now and branching out with ranges of wallpapers, fabrics and greetings cards. Extending the furniture range to include a children’s nursery line.
Wow Victoria your furniture is a delight! We love having them in Paper Scissors Stone - a match made in heaven.
Paper Scissors Stone is OPEN
Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm
Sun: 11am - 5pm
Quakers Friars, Cabot Circus, Bristol