2 maj 2011
Entrevista/ Interview/ Mara Cascais/ I love kutchi (Kocham łaskotki)/ c. Andrea Dória 41 BCN
P: - Who are you - what is your original profession? Where were you born?
M: My name is Mara and I’m an architect born in Portugal!
P: Why don't you work as an architect? Why do you live in Barcelona?
M: I came to BCN in 2006, to do my last 6 months from University that consisted on working in an architectural office. My first work was in WMA (Willy Muller Architects) and I really enjoyed!! I had the most amazing ‘teacher’ a student can have, Arq. Fred Guillaud, who thought me how to have fun even when you have the most boring job to do!! Then I started working in R+B architects (Roldán + Berengue), where I learned a lot for 2 years. It was my ‘down to earth’ kind of experience... I’ve always felt architecture in a different way from my colleagues: they see it as a way of making money... I see it as a way of living, an attitude, a different way of seeing things... and because I didn’t wanted to stop feeling that way about architecture, in the end of 2009, I took the hard decision of leaving my job in the office as an architect. Also, the tremendous amount of working hours and the lack of personal life had a strong influence in my decision...
P: How and when did you start to do the handmade stuff?
M: I’ve grown seeing my grandmother sew in a big inbuilt iron sewing machine and it always fascinated me the patience with which she transformed some meters of fabric in a beautiful skirt or dress!!! I remember the first time I went into a haberdashery with my grandmother... I had around 9 years old and I can still scent the fabrics!! There was a big jar full of buttons, of different sizes, colors and shapes, and my instinctive reaction was to put my hand inside to feel them!! Still love to do that...
A drawing teacher gave me my first graphic diary at the age of 14 and told me to never be afraid to draw or register the things I saw and liked! Between skylines, buildings, feet and polaroids, there were always some funny character, sewing pattern or a sample of fabric...
Only in 2007, with 24 years old, I decided to start my own blog under the name ILOVEKUTCHI, a name my friends gave me because I was always laughing and had lots of tickles (kutchikutchi).
P: For how long does your shop exist? Why did you've decided to open it?
M: After leaving my job, I started to fill my days doing some of the projects I’ve left behind in all of my old graphic diaries. Although I’ve been doing things since 2007, in parallel with the blog and some craft fairs, only in 2009 I started to dedicate my full time in spreading my work!!
The shop was something I didn’t plan but gladly embraced... I’ve always heard ‘the best things come when you less expect...’ but never thought that could be my case!! One thing just led to another and in the 6th of June 2010 the ILOVEKUTCHI SHOP was officially open!!
P: How many hours do you work every day? Why so long?
To be honest, I’ve stopped counting my working hours since I’ve left the architectural office... what I can say, for sure, is that I, inevitably, work lots of hours a day but with a smile on my face!! I’m fortunate to have a work that fits in my life and not the opposite...
P: What kind of hmd you like best? Which stage of preparing your works you like best and why?
M: Everything that involves cute fabrics, felt and buttons!! Love the noise of the sewing machine while my pre-sketches start to gain life!!
P: Do you have anything that inspires you?
M: My daily living... the small things in life: eating an ice-cream, playing with children, going to the market...
P: What are your handmade dreams?
M: Being able to live from my work is one of my main goals!
P: What is your favorite handmade artist (if you have one):) why?
M: I don’t actually have a favorite artist but I’m a big fan of all those people who dedicate part of their time to DIY (‘do it yourself’ attitude).
P: What are main advantages and disadvantages of handmade product?
M: I think that when you buy something handmade you’re taking a piece of the person who made it with you! It’s a feeling you can only have when you buy handmade… all the love and care we give to every bag, brooch, softie... makes them unique and ‘strangely’ beautiful! Unfortunately not everyone recognizes that and it’s hard in nowadays society to introduce handmade products… although there’s been a huge ‘boom’ of handmade artists in the past couple of years!!
P: How many pieces of one design are you doing? Do you limit the amount of pieces of one design?
I do limit (a lot) my work! I try to buy small quantities of the same fabric so I don’t use it in a repetitive way. I don’t mind using the same pattern several times but always with different details, fabrics, colors…
P: What do you think about the value of handcrafted art? Should it be cheap or expensive? Why?
M: I strongly believe that handmade is definitely different from every else but that should not be an excuse to sell them in an expensive way… and with this I mean that each one of us, artisans, have the right to charge the price they consider ‘right’ for their work… but I, personally, think that handmade should be accessible to everyone… what’s the point in making the cutest softie in the world if a mother will not be able to buy it for her son to play with it?
P: Do you have any important idea connected to the handmade?
M: I think that, most important of all, opening my shop in the ‘peculiar’ neighborhood that is Barceloneta, in Barcelona, made me realize that there is nothing more important than to see children sending kisses to all the softies in the shop window and passing by the shop at the end of day to wish them good night and to ‘have sweet dreams’… the happiness in peoples face when they leave the shop with the feeling they bought a small doses of handmade love! I’ve became more social-conscience of what handmade can do the people, and we represent an important role as we allow people to actually BUY HANDMADE and not only looking at it.
WIĘCEJ ZDJĘĆ NA FB (by Roger Serrat)
How I met Mara?