When I visited Ghent last week, I discovered the beautiful colorful stools of Wood & wool stool at Huiszwaluw. I fell in love immediately, and when I discovered more Wood & wool stool products on flickr, I was completely smitten by the brand's beautiful use of colorful natural materials. Ingrid Jansen, the woman behind Wood & wool stool, agreed to do a little interview and tell us some more about herself, her work and inspiration. Enjoy!
Ingrid, can you tell us something about yourself?
I'm 42 years old and, besides working on Wood & wool stool, I work a few days a week at the reception of Villa Augustus, a very special hotel in Dordrecht (A super beautiful design hotel with wonderful vintage furniture in an old water tower/pump building ~ Nina). Sometimes I also assist with the decoration of the hotel. I'm married and have two children: a son, Minne and a daughter, Pippa. My husband and I make the bases of the scrapwood stools together, and then I finish each one differently.
How did you start Wood & wool stool?
I officially started Wood & wool stool in february 2007. I made the very first stool for myself from a plank that we once found on the beach during a holiday in Greece. I thought that first stool looked a little plain and unfinished, so I decided to crochet a cover for it. I love vintage and I really like the retro look of the crocheted squares pattern that I use for the covers. After making that first stool I received so many nice reactions and requests, that I quickly started making more.
Can you tell something about the techniques and materials you use?
We make the stools from scrapwoods planks (especially the very colorful ones), the covers are crocheted of cotton or nylon. Usually I crochet the covers in the traditional square pattern (also called 'granny square'). But sometimes I also like to try some of the other crochet patterns that I found in a beautiful crochet pattern book.
What products do you make besides the stools?
The stools are my main product, but I also make crocheted garlands and blankets. Also I make scrapwood christmas trees and hearts.
What inspires you in your work?
I'm in love with old furniture: little tables, cupboards... Furniture made of used wood with remains of old paint has so much character. The colors are often faded in such a beautiful way that they don't need any more finishing.
For the stools I was inspired by the beautiful environment of the hotel where I work, and the vintage furniture that can be found everywhere in the hotel. The mix of scrapwood furniture (I've been a Piet-Hein Eek-fan for years!) and crocheted folklore style covers is such a surprising combination, and you can keep varying endlessly.
Where are the Wood & wool stool products for sale?
The products can be ordered through the website by sending an email, or you can buy them at Huiszwaluw in Ghent. Soon they can also be bought at Lille/Stor in Hamburg. When you order online, the stools can be sent to your home by mail.
What are your plans and ambitions for Wood & wool stool in the near future?
So far Wood& wool stool has developed in such a natural way: after I made the first stool, more of them followed quickly. Then we did a photo shoot for the website at an old dock and I created a flickr account, so that clients can have a look at the different stool examples before they order their custom made stool.
Other products came into existence in a similar 'accidental' way. For example I made the first crocheted garland for my daughter's birthday, and got so many nice reactions that I started selling them. I hope to add more products to the site soon, but I'm not sure which ones yet: it's all evolving intuitively...