Monday, August 25, 2014

New Zealand Artist Showcase: Crazybird Designs

Today we are featuring another of our wonderful Robin Street Market artists! Crazybird Designs, owned and created by Bryony Bedggood, feature absolutely stunning, environmentally conscious creations. 

Based in Christchurch, NZ, many of her materials are sourced from the aftermath of devastating earthquakes in the area. We were able to catch up with Bryony and ask her a few questions about her work and creative process.

Why art?
Photo courtesy of Crazybird Designs

I’ve always been creatively motivated. Life is just easier when I have something to tinker away at!

What work do you most enjoy creating? Why?

This changes according to my mood...sometimes it’s hand-burning tiny designs into my jewellery or perhaps it’s working on a larger project that requires deconstructing a piece of furniture. I love working with my hands though, there’s something deeply satisfying about sitting back and seeing something you’ve created.

What inspires you?

So many things; nature, colour, textiles, old world nature art of botanicals and insects.

The last few years I’ve been working with timber salvaged from houses lost since the earthquakes which hit Christchurch, NZ. To save some of the beautiful wood that has been part of someone’s home is pretty special. There is a very real sense of responsibility to do something really special with it.

Describe your creative process. How do you go about creating your works?

Sometimes an idea will spring to mind- usually in the middle of the night! Then I’ll go about sourcing what I need, I love repurposing materials whether it be timber, furniture, fabric or wallpaper. Other times it may be a colour or textile that inspires me.

I’ll usually do some sketches first and see how the initial idea evolves, this part of the process is always interesting as I can often come out with an entirely different creation to what I had originally envisioned.

Photo courtesy of Crazybird Designs
How do your sourced materials (and their history) influence your work?

Many of my creations use recycled timber, all of which is sourced from houses lost in the recent earthquakes. Unfortunately thousands of homes have had to be demolished, including my own, and that means we’ve lost many beautiful old houses. Some of the timber I end up working with is well over 100 years old.

I have developed a good relationship with some demolition firms who let me trawl through their yards. Otherwise individual home owners will contact me to talk about how I could re-purpose some of their timber. I also use photographs of tiles, wallpaper and textiles to work in to my designs.

Where is your favourite (or most inspirational) place?
  1. Home! We’ve recently moved out to the country and have a lovely old house in a lovely old garden. So anywhere where I can see the trees and hear the outdoors.
  2. The seaside for the smell and beach-combing.
  3. Markets for the thrill of the hunt!

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

To just give what you want to do a go, don’t wait until you have a “reason” to do it. Just do it because it makes you happy.

Photo courtesy of Crazybird Designs
What is your dream project?

I have more than one (of course!).

Re-purposing furniture incorporating elements of my wood-burning and botanical art and the other is reworking my paper-art designs as outdoor art installations using different metals and timber.
I’d love to have these in places around our city to help create happy, positive spaces after all the devastation.


What do you do when you're not creating art?

Music is another of my other passions. I play the flute and piccolo with a local orchestra and also play the piano. I also home school my two children in and out of taming our garden and pooch Rosa. I dream of growing all our own fruit and veggies...when I get rid of the weeds!

You're a new addition to the crayon box, what colour would you be and why?

I’d be one of those multi-coloured rainbow ones because I always have way too many ideas jumping around my head...why settle on just one?!

Photo courtesy of Crazybird Designs
Bryony we couldn't agree more! Pop over to the Nest and check out the full range here.