Nanami Cowdroy was born in Sydney, Australia with close bonds to her mixed Japanese-European heritage. Growing up with such contrasting cultures and surroundings, has greatly influenced her style of art and creative expression.
By intertwining complex characters and highly detailed objects her pieces reflect a juxtaposition between foreign and familiar entities and environments. Her imagination is illustrated through works which are elaborate and exotic. She is drawn to subjects, which may on the surface seem delicate or fragile, but are given strength and depth through her pen and ink techniques, intricate hand illustrative style and mixed media compositions.
SingleB Studio: My metals are all recycled and conflict free diamonds can be had upon request. So relax and enjoy your jewelry.
I like to make beautiful things with my hands. I especially like to make beautiful things that serve a purpose. That purpose (I hope!) is to make people feel happy and beautiful. I make everything by hand, by myself (well, my pug does snore away the day in my studio, keeping me company).
I like to work with silver and gold, and precious and semi-precious gemstones. I read a lot of books about ancient jewelry and this informs my design process. I like to think that my jewelry could be worn at any time in history! I love the fact that jewelry is one of the oldest arts, and that (almost) everyone likes to participate in this art, either by making jewelery or wearing it. Dressing up is an art in my mind.
I am beginning my journey to become a real goldsmith and I am loving every minute of it. I love jewelry, especially old jewelry…really old jewelry. Egyptian and Roman especially. I eventually aim to be able to make modern jewelry with an ancient feel.
language & meaning designworks: I’ve been mesmerized by paper for as long as I can remember. I can’t tell you how many portfolios of paper I have…well, actually, I can since they’re right next to me, but I digress.
I started doing fine art collages in college. Inspired by Hannah Hoch and her Dadaist counterparts, I enjoyed playing around with a mix of found images and objects, advertising cut-outs and text and found that I was drawn to their interplay. Really, I suppose you could take it all the way back to when my sister and I would cut out words, fashions and famous people from magazines and make huge poster board displays for our rooms. Luckily for everyone, I won’t be making any homages to the Cure or Benneton any time soon..
I never could wrap my brain around large-scale projects. Instructors were always telling me to step back from my projects for perspective, telling me “you’re too close to that canvas;” guess I was trying to make something big, small. Instead, I opted to create vignettes that (I hoped) had a Joseph Cornell vibe to them. Small seemed intimate, personal; a window into a certain feeling.
I take the same care with my cards, invitations and other paper crafts. I like to think of them as tiny works of art. I LOVE paper! I see ideas in those sheets but I’m not gonna lie, not everything I make is a hug from Jesus. You won’t see any of my design step-children here; only the best for you peeps!
I’m a total and complete art history nerd: modern and contemporary art/photography and mid-century architecture/furnishings. The weirdest thing about me is the way I eat ice cream from the carton – it’s gotta be scraped in a flat, level pattern or all is no bueno in this house! Currently in grad school for my MFA and loving life with my husband, the company of good friends and MAKING STUFF.
Today’s Shop Local post hails from balmy Tampa, Florida – and goes to show that retirement has reached the handmade & art communities of the state!
I’m totally digging this original art by Anika Easter. Combining wood, paint, and other media, these works jump off the wall. Her art appears to be conceptualized in the state between dreaming and waking. She says, “Sometimes I’ll dream up this incredible painting and when I wake up it slips out of my mind. Apparently I have a very creative subconscious. My goal is to prove it exists.”
What is your craft / art / creative endeavor?
I grew up to a very creative mom. And Learned from her almos every thing I know, But I never imagined that I would sew or create, and definitely not as profession. In high school, I studied art, but after my first exhibition, I decided to never do it again. Same with sewing.
I went to the university and studied Middle Eastern history, worked afterward as a customer service manager in several companies – as far away from creation as possible.
But the sewing found me eventually, along with the art and creativity I tried to run away from.
How did you get started? Have you worked in other creative areas before the kind of work you’re doing now?
The turning point was When Naomi, My second child was born. The search after baby bedding other than the regular baby blue/ pink pastels gave the idea to start create unique baby bedding and décor that would be a design statement along with a color celebration in the child room.
Inspired by my mom love of fabric and color. And equipped with the family vintage fabric collection I started creating a colorful and fun baby bedding, décor, apparel and soft toys that challenge everything we ever knew about nursery decoration.
bouji and nouna motto is that Products for your baby are a part of your life and home and they don’t have to be disposable or an aesthetic after-thought. After all, why should becoming a parent mean that you have to compromise your own sense of style?
Is there a story behind the name of your shop?
bouji & nouna are my kids nick names, bouji is for my son Omri and nouna is my second child Naomi… I’ve decided to call my business that way because without them that wouldn’t be possible..
Do you work alone? With a team? Do you engage your family or friends in the work? What is your process? How do you ensure you get your work done yet still have a life?
For now I work all alone… My day is crazy… I wake up at 0630 in the morning and spend my entire day with my kids… After they are going to sleep I’m having some quality time with my husband.
Around 2200 PM I start my seconds job with bouji and nouna ’till 0400 AM as i said, It’s crazy, but hopefully in the near further things will be different…
Where do you sell your work? Which venues are your favorites? Do you prefer selling online or in person? Do you attend shows or fairs? Is your work in a gallery or brick-and-mortar store?
For now I’m selling on Etsy
and also on some boutiques in FRANCE and UK. I’m also open my studio from time to time for sales.
I like to sell on line, and amazed every time from the fact that I’m selling my product worldwild without even leave my home…
Do you have any favorite handmade shops or sellers?
As a member of a very active team of Israeli Artists, I’m having some favorets, for example:
Arosha – that creat some amazing Jewelry
Yoola that create Handmade original crochet jewelry
and Little White Dresser
What inspires and motivates you?
Well, mostly from my collection of 1950s-1960s old embroidery and applique books that have amazing colors and patterns. In fact, some of the fabrics I used for my latest bedding collection have patterns exactly the same as those in one of my embroidery books.
Also, naturally, I’m inspired by my kids and their ideas for color combinations, which aren’t always the obvious ones and definitely not pastels but bold and bright.
And last is my love for quilt art that gave me the freedom and inspired me to combine different fabric patterns without any hard feelings. For my apparel collection, I find inspiration in the old classic designs that were originally for adults. Especially Chanel’s early collections for women.
Thank you Inbar! And if you’d like to be interviewed in this space, just head over to DIY Interview.