As the new Erin Adams line from New Ravenna launched it seemed like a perfect opportunity to touch base with Erin and share a bit about what she’s doing as well as her thoughts on working with New Ravenna. This post is the first of a two part series that resulted from that conversation.
So, Erin, what’s keeping you busy these days? What are you up to?
I’m really having a blast designing. I’m loving what I’m doing right now, and I’m just running with it. I have a new website that we’ve just launched. It’s www.HouseFiftyTwo.com, and I’m having so much fun with it. Essentially it’s a website featuring artisans & designers I love as well as a way to distribute my own product that I don’t want to mass produce because it’s so cutting edge.
Actually I was thinking more about what do you do for fun outside of work, but it sounds like work is pretty enjoyable right now.
Absolutely it is. I’m doing design work that I’m not forced to design. I can do whatever I want, and that freedom is amazing. I’m designing from my heart.
How is that different from what you’ve been doing in the past?
For years I’ve had a manufacturing and distribution business to run, and clients with expectations, and all kinds of other stresses & distractions that aren’t about designing. Today I am focusing all of my energy in creative directions & I couldn’t be happier. This is where I want to be. I am in a major product development phase both with my own work and collaborating with other artisans – creating partnerships & connections to get their product on to the market.
You know Tucker Robbins, right? Sounds like you’re doing some things similar to what he likes to do with disparate cultures & bringing traditional products to market.
Absolutely. I love what Tucker does, and I can see how you would find a similarity there. I feel that same excitement and enthusiasm that he talks about when describing the process of taking a talented artisan through the process of stepping onto the national or international stage with their work. It’s such a journey of discovery, & source of inspiration for me to work with people who design products out of a passion to make the world a more beautiful or functional place to live. And how cool is it to be able to take the opportunities I have and share them with these wonderfully talented people!
So are you working primarily with artisans near you?
I have collaborative projects in various phases all over the US & in Mexico. So, yes & no – it all depends on how you see the world. These artisans are closer to me than the weavers Tucker is working with in Tunisia, but farther away than the coffee shop down the street.
What inspired you to head in this direction?
My mom had a folk art gallery in the 70’s and that planted the seed for a love of that style. Folk Art has always been a fascination of mine. I suppose that now that I have the freedom to do what I want, that interest is starting to shine through. My main passion & dream is to go and connect with different folk artists throughout the world & modernize their product & bring it to the forefront.
But I’m an artist, not a distributor. I want to shine a light on these products and show them to the world. My work with HouseFiftyTwo.com is a way to show my vision, which is really kinda happy, fun, cool stuff. People will be able to purchase product on the site… and so will stores that want to carry what they see, but I’m going to keep my focus where it belongs – on design & collaboration.
Speaking of collaboration – I guess we should talk about your work here at New Ravenna.
Working with Design Team at NR has been amazing. It’s been such a Godsend & incredibly liberating. I felt like “Wow. I’m able to design whatever I want to.” I’ve been heavily edited in the past, and Sara allowing me to use her team to express my creativity without cutting me off or forcing me in any direction has been a unique experience that I cannot wait to repeat & expand on.
Please look for the second post in this series to read more about Erin’s experience working with New Ravenna Mosaics and Sara Baldwin.