We are thrilled to announce that WAX Atelier will be in residence at our Chiltern Street store for London Craft Week.
Ssōne and Wax Atelier invite you to attend a limited spaced, socially distanced workshop in Ssōne’s Chiltern Street store. Lola and Yesenia of Wax Atelier will be guiding you through a workshop where a piece of Ssōne fabric is dipped in natural wax sourced from offcuts in the production.
Caroline Smithson, Creative Director and Founder of Ssōne will then guide you through an embroidery workshop where you will create a matt for a cup or table setting. Alongside the workshop, Wax Atelier will also be creating an art installation in the Chiltern Street store, which will be available to view throughout craft week.
We visited Lola and Yesenia of WAX Atelier in their East London based studio to interview them for our Ssōne Journal.
When was the first time you felt called to do what you do?
We have both been interested in making things and materials from a very young age. That’s probably quite common with children!
Our practice has been influenced by our time studying at The Royal College of Art (Lola) and Central St Martins (Yesenia). It was a platform to experiment new methods in design thinking and making, but also we have developed a collaborative approach. We both collaborated with various people, from scientists, cooks, artisans. It was a place where we made wonderful and life changing encounters. This period of our life greatly influenced the way we develop our practice.
Who, or what, has been your greatest influence?
LL: my mum has been a great influence, because she’s got an amazing work ethic. She’s got so much energy and is pretty fearless.
YTP: same here, my attraction to arts comes from my mum, a free minded and generous woman with who I was spending weekends in the forest building huts, painting… but also my dad, with who I loved going to the museums, specially the science Museums in Paris to discover space, physics and geology, and I was obsessed with this demonstration around electricity!
More broadly, our sensibility and lifestyle is also deeply influenced by our roots. We both have multicultural families, Lola was born in Vietnam, and Yesenia is half French and Colombian/Spanish from her mum. We feel lucky living in London, it is such an eclectic city!
Do you have any daily rituals?
Of course, we have small things that make us happy every day, individually and in the studio.
LL: When waking up, I like to stretch up, have a glass of hot water with lemon. Then later in the day, lighting an incense stick and drinking a soothing herbal tea. At the studio, we always prepare a nice simple lunch with fresh ingredients. We both love cooking so it is always a pleasure to prepare for the other!
Y: I love preparing the most gorgeous breakfast called Miam’ô’Fruit, a super healthy plate of fruit, oil, seeds, nuts and lemon juice developed by French Author France Guillain. It is delicious, very nutritious and regenerates cells! And in the evening, I always tell a story (a few…) to my 3 year old boy M, who would give me a theme or a few hints as a starting point and then I’ll weave a new story each night.
What clothing do you wear to work in?
Most of the time we would wear an apron at the studio, it is handy and we feel ready for action! Recently, we asked our Friend and collaborator Kumiko to make us new aprons out of a brown waxed cloth to coincide with the launch of our newly established Wax Factory in Barking! We love it and wear it as soon as we start the day.
What’s your view from your workplace? What does it smell like? What can you hear?
Our studio is located on the ground floor of a really pleasant apartment unit with a shared private garden. From our window we see the beautiful greenery evolving throughout the seasons. When the weather is good we love working outside, surrounded by jasmine, geraniums... And when it rains, we can smell from the studio this very characteristic earthy scent we call Petrichor: the meaning of this word is quite inspiring. In Greek, Petros means ‘stone’ and ichor, the fluid that flows in the vein of the gods...
When you aren’t making art, what else do you make?
Our work is really merged into our lives but also very interdisciplinar, it’s always quite present. Whatever we are doing, our perspective is always nurtured by our practice. Even when we are gardening or cooking. I (Yesenia) love taking my son to the Museums or for a day trip to discover a new part of London or even beyond! We say we go for ‘adventures’!
Being outside (ideally in a natural environment), and walking! Walking, as it is often said, is so powerful at unraveling your thoughts. We both live at the doorstep from Hackney Marshes and Walthamstow Wetlands. We are so fortunate to have this large green open space to stay connected to nature.