Textile Designer and Graphic Artist, Alhambra, CA
Wolfum is a textile line of tabletop and home goods. We incorporate traditional items- napkins, coasters, pillows- into the contemporary home with a nod to vintage, and a respect for modernity, eco-kindness and functionality.
Q: So to begin with, please tell us about the name, Wolfum, and where it came from?
A: Truthfully? It was a nickname for my beloved cat, Wolf. Cat people love the story; others…think it is a bit silly. But I loved him, he was wild and beautiful and the name just felt right when I started the collection.
And I feel it does speak to the line – an interpretation of wildness of spirit in color and movement comes to life in these domesticated home goods. I tame the color and movement- 3D aggression on a 2D plane. It is familiar, sweet, and bold all at once.
Q: Your work is very much the melding of two design practices, graphic and product, how do they each work to inform the other?
A: I tend to develop the graphics and products simultaneously, but with different sides of my brain. I am a collector, constantly. I scribble ideas and gather concepts on instinct – recognizing a surprising color combination or graphic concept; describing a product I want in my own life, or something I feel we could create distinctively. I love the idea of a simple shape being emboldened by my patterns.
That said, the sample process is very informative. Working in a vertical environment allows me to experiment and test, and some products come alive when met with a print, while others don’t make the cut. Adversely, there are items that command more presence then the graphic, so I submit to the determination of shape and material and let the textile and color support.
Q: In terms of developing new work and collection you’ve been pretty prolific over the past few years. Is producing new work something that you have to sit down and with each new collection or is it a bit more stream of consciousness?
A: I think because I come from apparel, I am programmed to produce, and honestly my brain is a bit frenetic and I bore easily. I want new; I want more; I want to impress. I create seasonal collections and a lot of organized thought goes into the choice of colors, items and products. I will always include the basics- coasters, napkins, trays, but add seasonally appropriate products to each collection. I really think about how the items will be used at that time of year- is it a holiday meal or a summer picnic? I imagine the home, the people who buy the line and how they would add Wolfum to their lives. I love to throw a party and I feel my collections are the ultimate party – part calculation, part haphazard blazonry.
"I tend to develop the graphics and products simultaneously, but with different sides of my brain. I am a collector, constantly. I scribble ideas and gather concepts on instinct – recognizing a surprising color combination or graphic concept... I love the idea of a simple shape being emboldened by my patterns. "
Q: You and Brendan, of 100xbtr, both work out of the same space and oftentimes collaborate on work. How do you feel your work influences one another and what is your process like when you work together?
A: We are pretty much opposites, so it somewhat levels us. He is always inspired when it comes to materials, and I challenge him if he tells me something is impossible. I create the color and pattern direction and designs and overall form the big picture of the collection, while he brings the craftsmanship and wood working skill. He is also more level headed and grounded. I always start with the color pallet and graphics, so oftentimes he has no idea of the direction of the collection until I start sampling. I usually throw several ideas at him and from those we will maybe make two new products? It is intense to work with your spouse and the development process can lead to some arguments but I actually feel that conflict is often where our best ideas come from. We push each other out of our comfort zones to find that middle ground between tradition and insanity.
Q: What are your plans for the next year and what are you most excited about?
A: We will continue to grow the product line, which will include the re-issuing of some “best of” products. I love the idea of having a core collection, as people consistently ask for prints or products from previous seasons. I love the excitement of new, but I am working to become more patient and allow my designs to breathe, have life, grow and meditate with the audience.
I am also thrilled to grow the interior side of the business. It is new, but very exciting territory. I love the longevity of it. With the wallpaper, rugs and soon to come line of graphic driven furniture, I feel we bring a fresh voice to this dynamic market.