Meet the Maker - Kirsty Anderson

Monday, December 08, 2014
There is a huge trend at the moment for taxidermy, especially antlers and deer heads.  But not all people are fan's of having real animals in their home. So when we discovered the work of Scottish based textile artist, Kirsty Anderson, aka A Wooden Tree, we instantly knew they would be a winner! We caught up with Kirsty recently to find out more about her and her creations...
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? 
Hiya, I am Kirsty, based in Edinburgh. I make and create quirky animal inspired textile wall hangings, soft pieces and accessories under the name of 'a wooden tree'. 

Apart from creating things what else do you do? 
Rummage charity shops for pretty fabrics. 
When did you know you were an artist/maker? 
I have always known I would make things from a young age I don’t really know what I would be doing if I had not chosen this path, hopefully something creative. 
What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline? 
Almost everything I make has come from something, it’s part of a story it’s evolved, the fabrics evoke memories for people, and then new ones when they have it in their home. Nothing is ever the same, each piece I make has it’s own quirks and the fabric placement is always different so each piece is individual. 
Where does your inspiration come from? 
Old fabrics, linens, embroideries, taxidermy exhibits, museums, junk markets, the woods and animals and holiday, holiday is the best inspiration. 
Describe your studio or workspace? 
We use our living room as the studio, my partner and I share it. He has a corner and I pretty much take up the whole room as I have so much stuff, oops! It’s at the top of a tenement building so the light is great and there is a lovely fireplace. It’s a good room to work in, although as it’s rented I can’t hang all my pictures and notes. 

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman, who would it be?
I’ve already had a peek in one, I interned for Jessica Ogden, her studio was amazing. Otherwise I would say Clare Rojas, Yoshitomo Nara, David Shrigley, there are too many I could probably write a huge list. 
How would you describe your creative process? 
It’s varied, if I am making a wall piece like a stag I will draw the template using inspiration from reference images, pictures I've taken at a deer park or taxidermy in a museum. I try not to spend too long on the first as I make a maquette out of calico or lining and then change it until I am happy. The pieces I create are always evolving, every year or so I want to change them a bit and then another bit. 

What handmade possession do you most cherish? 
My mothers textile pieces she hand printed at art school, I have an amazing panel of snakes in the grass that she designed. I plan to get it properly framed so I can hang it with pride on my wall.
What do you when you are stuck in a creative rut? 
Go for a walk or work on something different, the distraction usually makes the other part of my brain start working again. 
Where would you like to be in ten years? 
To have a studio that’s all mine and looks out to the woods or the sea. I want to make larger scale pieces of work, then possibly a gallery that wants to show them off so I can earn a living creating and making full-time.

Thank you Kirsty!  We adore your creations and have certainly added Mr Stag to our Christmas list! You can find Kirsty's menagerie in our Made in Britain shop.

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