Sometimes, something beautiful catches our eye and we just can’t look away! In the case of Sky Siouki, a Bristol-based printed textiles and illustrations brand, we also have to try not to snap up every single thing they make! ;) So to stop ourselves, we thought we’d chat to designer, maker and founder, Sky Procter, to find out a little bit more about her gorgeous creations, what inspires her and whether she has any secrets she’d like to share with us - we're always on the lookout for a secret!
Here’s Sky’s ‘Four Thoughts’ and while you’re reading it, we’ll be repeating to ourselves “Step away from the coasters. We do not need another notebook!" ;)
1. When did you start Sky Siouki & what's your inspiration?
I started pretty much right after finishing my degree in Printed Textiles in Autumn 2013. I was really inspired by a lot of designer makers out there that were making names for themselves as independent designers, selling under their own brand - people like Silken Favours and Laura Oakes.
I think my design style is quite distinguishable and I didn't really like the idea of that becoming lost in working for another company - trying to conform to their brand image instead. I loved the idea of being in control of the entire design process from start to finish, not only creating print designs but also choosing the materials they'd be printed onto and all the little details like labels and buttons. It also means I can ensure everything is produced ethically in the UK - a value I hold high.
Each design is inspired by my love of wildlife and nature. I’m particularly fascinated by the beauty and power of different birds.
2. What's your favourite piece you've created so far & why?
I'd probably have to go for my Jackal Buzzard print. Not easy to choose, especially when I'm so aware of my customers' favourites! Somehow that clouds my judgement! :)
I've chosen the Jackal Buzzard though, because it was the first design of the 'Flight' collection I’ve created and the start of something pretty great for Sky Siouki. I'd been planning to create a new and different design collection but until that first design came together, I didn't really know how it would look or feel. The launch of Flight has really helped my business to grow, so that first design has an emotional attachment for me - so much so that I'm thinking of having the bird illustration tattooed.
3. If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be & why?
That's something I haven't thought about before actually. I think it would have to be a ceramicist, as I love kitchen and tablewares but don't have the skillset to hand-make my own cups and saucers. I love Bridget Bodenham's rustic stoneware, with the speckled textures and highlights of gold. I can imagine it would be pretty cool to produce some delicate little gold rimmed beakers with my bird illustrations printed onto them, in collaboration with her.
4. Tell us a secret about Sky Siouki that no-one else knows!
Oh gosh... I don't know! I'm a pretty open and honest person. I can't actually think of a secret! How about a confession? I think I'm a bit addicted to my business and I perhaps put it first, above seeing friends and family, more than I should. If I have the flat to myself of an evening, I get a little bit secretly excited that I might be able to get a few cards packaged or stamp some coasters in front of the telly! ;)
Nothing wrong with that Sky :) We flipping love your coasters - and we also probably blog (or research for the blog) more than we should too, so we get where you're coming from!