Meet the Maker - Miesje Chafer

Monday, May 26, 2014
Today we discover the world of textiles with Made in Bristol guest; Miesje Chafer.

Miesje creates detailed screen printed fabric which she then turns into a variety of wonderful items.  We caught up with her recently to discover more about her, her work and her life..
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? 
Hello, my name is Miesje and I'm a textile designer/screen printer living and working in Oxford. I make all sorts of fabric-based things including cushions, bags, purses, scrunchies, buttons... The list goes on!

Apart from creating things what else do you do? 
Apart from making I am a part time nurse on an emergency assessment unit in Oxford - it's world a way from creating but it provides a good balance, sometimes working alone all day can be a little lonely so it's nice to have some human contact from time to time.
When did you know you were an artist/maker? 
I've been twiddling about with bits of wool and fabric as long as I can remember, but it wasn't until about 4 years ago when I did a 3 day printing course that I realised I wanted it to be more than a hobby. I started selling in September last year and have been busy selling ever since, which has given me the confidence to call myself a maker!
What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline? 
I've always loved fabric, it genuinely makes my heart beat faster when I see something really special, so being able to use printing to make it my own creation is the most satisfying feeling. I also love the versatility of fabric, the possibilities of things to make are endless, I have an ever extending list of projects to try out.

Where does your inspiration come from?
I don't know where my inspiration comes from, I don't make a conscious effort to go out looking for things to inspire me, but I think ideas subconsciously accumulate in the back of my head so occasionally I have to spend a bit of time doodling just to make room in my head for other ideas!
Describe your studio or workspace? 
I have a room in my house where I do all of my sewing, it's stuffed to the rafters with paper, fabric, cushions, wool, pens, pencils etc, but my screen printing I do on the dining room table as I need a bigger surface to work on.
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
Lucienne Day - her textiles were so original at the time and have influenced so many current designers, I would love to have seen the way she worked and the process she went through to get to her end product.
How would you describe your creative process? 
I usually start my day with printing, as this takes up the most energy. I make a list of all the different colours and patterns I want for that day, then I cut out and iron all the fabric I need for that batch of printing. I then spend the afternoon sewing/emailing/taking photos/putting stuff online/posting things/eating/napping/ until I'm too tired to do anymore and I collapse on the sofa!

What handmade possession do you most cherish? 
My mum made me a collage for my 18th birthday, it's got lots of lovely photos and bits and bobs from my childhood in it.

What do you when you are stuck in a creative rut? 
If I get stuck in a creative rut I just try something new from my ever expanding list of things to do, it usually gets the creative juices flowing again.

Where would you like to be in ten years? 
In 10 years time I would love to work purely on a commission basis, in a big custom built studio somewhere so I can spread out and make as much mess as I like! I would also love to be able to employ people to do all the things I find hard, such as taking good photos, social media, updating the website. Plus maybe my own personal masseuse thrown in for good measure!

Thank you Miesje, a personal masseuse eh?  Why not? We adore Miesje's purses & cushions so much! We are sure you will too!  You can find Miesje's work for sale in our Made in Britain shop.

Made in Britain
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus

Mon - Sat:  10am - 6pm
Sun:  11am - 5pm

No comments:

Post a Comment