Andrew is a leather maker in Astoria, New York. He produces all his goods in his studio and strives to create high quality, functional and long lasting leather works.
Karol is a fine wood worker in Brooklyn, NY.
AP- If you just built a new house and it didn’t have anything, what would be the first piece of furniture you would build for yourself?
Karol – A bed, a very nice looking bed. Or maybe a dresser? I don’t know, what do you think? No, not a dresser, a dining table, yes a dining table. Geez, I don’t know! There are so many things I would build. I would build everything! But to play along, I would build a dining table – a 10 ft dining table to seat 12 people for dinner.
AP- What is your favorite part of the woodworking process?
Karol – Difficult question…I think pretty much everything about woodwork – you are always learning and process for building one piece is completely different than the last, you know? Like once you make a chair, everything about that chair is new.
AP- What is your least favorite part of the woodworking process?
Karol - Well, if you are making 12 of those chairs it starts to get redundant - the process - the screwing, the gluing, sanding or whatever, after a couple pieces you’ve had enough of it.
I always love the first couple pieces – it’s after that when it starts to get on my nerves. I enjoy getting to the end and sanding, you know? Sanding is when you know your there.
AP – So, you enjoy the detail work?
Karol – Yes, the details - that’s when you get happy because you know that the piece is almost done.
AP – Ok, what’s your favorite wood species to work with?
Karol – That depends, hmm favorite, in what meaning? Walnut is really easy to work with. Oak is really easy, really forgivable. But, I’d say my favorite wood is oak.
AP – Like white oak? Or red oak?
Karol – Red oak, definitely red oak. If you want I’ll tell you why…
Karol – Every single wood has a specific smell, you know that, yeah? White oak doesn’t smell very nice. Walnut has a sweet smell. Cherry smells very nice too. But I think the best smell, like sauerkraut, is the smell when cutting red oak.
Caroline is a painter and textile designer in New York, NY.
AP: What was your intro to fine art?
CZH: I was like 1 years old, my mom was super creative and I grew up in a super creative household. I was always painting and drawing and we always had activities so I liked doing it from a very young age. When I went to art school and choose a major I was like obviously I am going to be a painter. Although I did have a brief little thing with illustration but that was a really bad match. At RISD you have to pick a mayjor and the first day I walked into class I was like OMG I have to get outta here so I was only in that department for 3 weeks.
AP: Because you started painting at such a young age can you speak about the progression of your work and if there are any similarities from when you started to now?
CZH: There pretty similar, I think they have gone through stages but I am back to a more juvenile and direct way of applying paint to a canvas which is more like what you do when you are 3 but at RISD I had a lot of formal training in color theory and did non abstract work like portiture and landscaps but I didn’t every like it, like I did it and I could do it but I never really liked it. So after RISD I took a break from painting and when I eventually came back in to painting it naturally went directly back in to abstract, non conceptual direct way of putting paint on canvas.
AP: We are doing a collaboration where you are painting on ceramics, what about ceramics and painting on clay is exciting to you and is it different than painting on canvas.
CZH: its so fun for me and it makes me fell like I am in preschool again! Its different because painting on something that is 3D is a whole different thing… in a good way. Painting on ceramics, which is something ive always wanted to do, is more about the feeling of the piece and responding to the feeling of it and reacting with marks on the piece. It’s a really different dialog then reacting to a canvas, which is a flat space, so its differnet but its coming from the same place, its coming from me and I have the same type of stories I want to tell and the same kind of marks I make but I am respond to a different shape which is telling a different story.
AP: What are the stories you are telling in your painting?
CZH: The thing I like to paint, which is funny because I have a textile company, deals with fabric and textiles. When I was at RISD I started painting piles of laundry and the textures of that mixed with collage. I just think there is an interesting story behing the things we wear over and over and the cycle of making it clean again and I like pattern and texture so there is so much depth there for me to play with so that’s generally where my works comes from. But its not really like htat when im in the studio painting on cermaimcs, its more about me reacting to the specific piece but generally if I think about what I paint it’s a concept of cleaning something and making it dirty again, that’s generally what I paint about.