Hitomi Kimura is the designer and screen printer of kalla Design, textile and surface design studio based in Ibaraki, Japan.
In 2007, after studying graphic design and working for a publisher in London, England, Hitomi started her own small business in Japan, selling her screen printed matters.
All the printed products are hand screen printed with water-based eco-friendly inks and then some of them are carefully machine sewed by the designer herself.
Carita has been living in the countryside of Sweden all her life. Her current housemates include two cats and a lizard. She describes herself as an analytic, business minded nature lover with too much creativity. Carita loves fashion, especially shoes, shopping, modern design and long walks in the nature. And of course creative work, like claying, painting and silversmithing.
On a normal day, you’ll find Carita working in her studio wearing work clothes and finally getting around to breakfast around 1pm – toast, tea, fruit and yogurt. Check out her store here and her blog here.
When you talk about Swedish Jewelry and Design elements in your work, what do you mean?
Most of my work is inspired from the nature here in Sweden and my designs are often pretty clean in the design, and that is what you usually call “Scandinavian design.”
How long have you been making jewelry? How did you get started?
I started to make beaded jewelry back in the beginning of the 2000, I got a “jewelry start kit” from my boyfriend. This was the beginning of my jewelry company but after a while I felt that I wanted a development from the beads and the material I had been working in. So I started studying various metalsmith techniques. The material I most liked to use became sterling silver and a little more expensive gems and stones of all kinds. And there is where I am today.
Is it hard to work with metal?
Both yes and no, it is not hard to make simple designs like just a hammered wire etc but if you want to make more detailed work and get a perfect result you need to put allot of energy and work hours for one piece. You need to think over the whole process at once, most of the time you can’t go back and change the design later. To work in metal is not anything for too restless persons I guess.
Did you go to an art school of some kind?
Yes, I studied in art school for a couple of years, this was a wonderful time when I everyday could spend all hours a day with different creativity processes.
Is this your full time job? Hobby? Fun?
Both yes and no. I have been running a company as an interior/exterior house painter (paint, repaper etc) for many years now. But last year I decided to put that company in rest and I am right now living full time on my jewelry making but also looking for a new job and challenge.
Where do you get your materials?
This is a hard question because I get it from so many different places. I buy the metal from a company who has recycled metal; the stones in my work are from all around the world but many of them I pick up myself in the nature around me. I like to use rough stones in my work but if I also cut out and design some stones myself.
Where do you get your ideas?
I am a person who takes my inspirations from my own impressions, things in life and nature.
Do you do other kinds of crafts?
Yes, I am an educated artist and I love art! I work in clay, wood, and paint.
What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?
In 5 years I still live in my house, have a bigger studio and am running my successful jewelry company.
Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design
“Today’s crafters are no longer interested in simply cross-stitching samplers or painting floral scrolls on china. Instead, the contemporary craft movement embraces emerging artists, crafters, and designers working in traditional and nontraditional media. Jenny Hart’s Sublime Stitching has revolutionized the embroidery industry. Each year Nikki McClure sells thousands of her cut-paper wall calendars. Emily Kircher recycles vintage materials into purses. Stephanie Syjuco manufactures clothing under the tag line “Because Sweatshops Suck.” These are just some of the fascinating makers united in the new wave of craft capturing the attention of the nation, the Handmade Nation.
Faythe Levine traveled 19,000 miles to document what has emerged as a marriage between historical technique, punk culture, and the D.I.Y. ethos. For Handmade Nation (along with the documentary film of the same name, coming in 2009) she and Cortney Heimerl have selected 24 makers and 5 essayists who work within different media and have different methodologies to provide a microcosm of the crafting community. Participants in this community share ideas and encouragement through websites, blogs, boutiques, galleries, and craft fairs. Together they have forged a new economy and lifestyle based on creativity, determination, and networking. Twenty-four artists from Olympia, Washington, to Providence, Rhode Island, and everywhere in between show their work and discuss their lives. Texts by Andrew Wagner of American Craft Magazine, Garth Johnson of Extremecraft.com, Callie Janoff of the Church of Craft, Betsy Greer of Craftivism.com, and Susan Beal, author of Super Crafty, supply a critical view of the tight-knit community where ethics can overlap with creativity and art with community. Handmade Nation features photographs of the makers, their work environment, their process, their work, and discussions of how they got their start and what motivates them. Handmade Nation is a fascinating book for those who are a part of the emerging movement or just interested in sampling its wares.” → more info
Plus 1 Design is all about beautiful and practical bags, purses, homewares and accessories made by a girl who is just a little bit pedantic about making sure things are top-stitched, sewn straight, reinforced, centered, spaced evenly, and as perfect as she can get them!
Little Birds: 26 Handmade Projects to Sew, Stitch, Quilt & Love
“This adorable book is all about birds. From budgies to owls to peacocks, these projects will pique your curiosity and make your heart sing. Many talented designers bring you soft sculptures, quilts, ornaments, and more.” → more info