Saturday, 2 October 2010

INTERVIEW: Rowan Grant of KitschenSink

Next up in my little round of creative-chum interviews is Rowan of KitschenSink! I've not yet had the pleasure of meeting Rowan in person as we seem to be moving in the same crafty-internet-buddy circles. If you love comics and all things kitsch, you'll be sure to love Rowan's work. Be sure to check out the links at the end of the interview so you can go and peruse more of her super jewellery!

Tell us a bit about your creative background

Arts and crafts were always my thing - my aunt used to save me the cardboard tube from her toilet rolls and I'd make them into families of toilet paper people!  I was mainly taught by my Grandma who didn't keep a toybox for me at her house, but had a treasure trove of crafting supplies for me to raid. 

I loved art at school, and studied at A level - but then it got put on the backburner until around 2005 when I found myself unemployed. I started to make bits and bobs to keep my brain entertained. Then I had a go at selling online and was impressed with the results!

What made you decided to start Kitschensink?

In 2007 I realised I needed a more fulfilling challenge than trying to get my lazy-arse of an ex-boyfriend to bring home the bacon.  After sacking him, my creative friend Kate Priestley got me to realise my full potential and we sold at a craft fair together. I pretty much sold out, and kept being asked if I sold online.... so I opened an Etsy and a Folksy shop to keep up with the demand! 

I called it 'KitschenSink' because I always wanted a sign in my kitchen that read 'Kitschen', and many of my pieces were made using found objects... everything but the kitschen sink!

Are you lucky enough to work on Kitschensink full time or do you have a day job?

Sadly I work full time in an office-based position. Although I am always busy, the work doesn't really exercise my brain so I'm always raring to be creative as soon as I set foot home!

What is your favourite item that you've made? What is the most popular piece with your customers?

Ooft! This is tough. I love the Alice's White Rabbit lockets. I have managed to source more supplies so I can make a few more of those. But I also wear a 'Wild Jezebel' necklace and awful lot with dresses for work, and a 'Right as Rain' necklace with t-shirts!

I'm lucky that my pieces all sell well across the board.  Depending on where I am selling, one of the collections might be the winner on the day, but then at another event, it will be another - so I have to have plenty of everything to sell!

Some of your products include laser cut acrylic jewellery. This seems to be very popular, probably due to Tatty Divine! Does this make it hard for you to get these products noticed? What sets your acrylic jewellery apart from others?

When I mention Tatty Divine to Joe Public they have never heard of them! To the average buyer that has no interest in the making process behind pieces and just want to own something different - laser-cut jewellery just looks like great design, very well made.

What sets mine apart from the rest is the layering of the acrylic - in my recent collection I used three layers to get away from the usual 'block silhouette' style.  It's not too chunky and the simple, but recognisable design gets noticed straight away.

I'm really excited about my new collection which will sit really nicely with my 50s comic theme on the website and stall! I've also been commissioned to make some brooches for the launch of a band's second album... but that's a bit hush hush for now.... ssshhhh

Where do you find your inspiration?

Comics, comics, comics! I never read them - I just stare and drool at them. My mum picks me up annuals from charity shops and I especially love the girl's ones like 'Bunty'. I'm a sucker for pop art too. Lichtenstein, Warhol... anything colourful.  I absolutely love to read Teen Vogue and get inspired by the advertisements for perfume more than anything else!

I also love my childhood memories of the branded toys I never owned, but was seduced by their advertising and packaging (I do thank my parents for this, because I do believe it helped me be more creative), like My Little Pony, Fashion Wheel, Mr Frosty... 

Do you have any other hobbies aside from making jewellery?

At the minute, decoupage. I did a table with an old comic and now a friend has commissioned me to do his.  I reckon if you watch this space long enough, you might see some sneaking into the shop along with notebooks made from the covers of all the annuals I get through.

I've recently got into spectating Roller Derby, and if I didn't spend so much time on KitschenSink, I'd have a bash at playing as well.

Where do you hope to see Kitschensink in the future?

I'd love to see a celebrity wearing it on the cover of a magazine. How cool would that be? 

What are your favourite Books / TV shows / Films / websites to browse etc. ?

Favourite magazines: Teen Vogue, CompanyTV Shows I hate to miss: Medium, This is England 86, The Inbetweeners, True Blood, Glee and.... 90210.Films I watch over and over and over: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Amelie, Romy & Michele's High School Reunion, Breakfast at Tiffany's.Websites/blogs I stalk more often than I should: Pippa's Long Stockings ; Fashion Looks North ; Mademoiselle Robot ; Bunny Bissoux ; NEET Magazine ; The Truth About Beauty SamARTha ; Recent plays on the iPod: Radar Detector - Darwin Deez; Marlene - Lightspeed Champion; Tightrope - Janelle Monae; My Kz, Ur Bf - Everything Everything; Commercial Breakdown - The Sunshine Underground.

Where can we find Kitschensink? - links to the blog too!


  1. I love Kitschensink and this interview makes me love her more!

    I'm enjoying these interviews, it's nice to get an insight and opinions of the indie trade.

  2. I'm glad you like them! I know I don't have many followers so I'm doing it for my own amusement really but hopefully someone out there will come across them and maybe my chums will get some worthy attention out of it! :)

  3. yeah I'm always surprised when people haven't heard of Tatty Devine but its probably more appealing to not become mainstream!

    great interview questions !

  4. Yeah it's strange as I had never seen lasercut jewellery really until I became aware of Tatty Devine. Maybe they're only 'big' in our circuits rather than across the board?


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