1. Where are you from, where do you call home and where have you been riding out the pandemic?
I’m originally from the UK - I grew up in London. I’ve been based in New York for post of the past decade, and I’ve been here for the pandemic. The past year has brought out even more love for NYC than I had before.
2. What were you up to before you started Datter Industries and what compelled you to start your own studio/business?
I pretty much started my business straight out of college. I’d been making and selling zines and artists books for a couple of years, and then started making jewelry as well. It was never really intended to be a business - I just got into making jewelry, and the best way I could find to pay for the hobby was to sell the pieces I was making! I’ve been very lucky that it’s grown pretty organically. I am not a very business-minded person and I feel it’s important to stay more "an artist who sells things", rather than a brand. I want to make sure I only make pieces I actually believe in and that were creatively interesting to me, rather than just things I think will sell. Business and art are odd bedfellows but I’m doing my best to balance them!
2. You are trained and practiced as an illustrator. How did you come to expand your practice into sculpture, jewelry and other product creation?
I’ve always used a lot of different materials. My illustration degree was pretty flexible and allowed us to work in whatever medium we wanted - I made ceramics, animations, clothes, sculpture. I’ve always been really interested in taking drawings off the page, turning them into something three dimensional and functional. I also just love learning new processes and finding ways to apply them to my ideas. It stops me getting too bored of myself.
3. The Female Support System has been a favorite at Gravel & Gold for years now. What inspired the creation of this product?
It really just popped into my head one day! I use the female form a lot in my work and have played around with various ways of making functional, figurative work. I like the idea of turning mundane household objects into personified, helpful companions. I initially wanted the Female Support System to be sculpted and made of cast brass, but upon finding out what this would cost to produce (we’re talking the world’s most expensive coat hook) I looked into laser cutting, and I ended up loving the simplicity of the result. I’ve worked with cut and folded paper a lot in the past, and the sheet metal has a similar effect to that.
4. What is a fun fact about you?
Ummm.. I can ride a unicycle!
Follow Kaye on instagram at @datterindustries and @kayeblegvad
Shop her Jewelry and other goods at https://shop.kayeblegvad.com/