by Katrina Wesseling.
Last weekend I spent some time with Katrina who creates an adorable collection of miniatures in jars called Pietje's Cupboard. Here's some of my photographs from the day as well as an interspersed interview for you to enjoy. You'll want to get your mitts on one of these creations by the end of it, I bet you.
How did Pietje's Cupboard originally come about?
Just before Christmas one year I decided I wanted to make snow globes. After looking for materials, I couldn't find anything suitable to put inside them so i thought of the idea of a terrarium inside a snow globe concept to begin with. The name of the company came about as Pietje, pronounced 'Peaches' was the name of my grandmother. When i was little, my Oma ( dutch word for grandmother as my family is dutch ) would go to garage sales and find lots of crazy things & in the weekends all what me and my sisters would do is make stuff at her house; we would sew,knit,glue things and she had this amazing wood burner. So when i started making these crafts i started to think what name I'd give my business and i figured I'd name it and dedicate it after her as she massively influenced my creativity. She would just have this massive cupboard full of creative stuff- that's why it's called Pietje's Cupboard.
How does Pietje's cupboard fit into the rest of your life?
I have my fingers in many creative pies. I'm a performer and I create a lot of my own work. I'm currently creatively doing some work in Film & TV as well as keeping the rent coming in by drama teaching. My crafting fits between all of those things mostly when i have time and when I'm feeling creative. It's just another creative area of my life. At the moment my days are spent working towards a show and teaching. In the evenings I've spent a lot of time creating and making puppets and shadow puppets for improvising stories.
If you could be one of the animals you put in the jar, which one would you be and why?
I wouldn't want to be a hedgehog because they always get run over and I like Foxes..although beautiful they tend to scream so I wouldn't want to be one of those. I think I'd like to be a deer as they're quite elegant and proud and when they're little they're all bouncy, fun and quite classic. How about....all of them, for one day each!
What themes do you pursue?
What I really enjoy about Pietje's Cupboard is everything in miniature. Anything in miniature makes me squeal.Ever since I was young I've been really interested in little worlds, especially fairies and I'd get little toys and create little words for them. So Pietje's Cupboard is about encapsulating a miniature world in a jar. I also like woodland creatures and am quite interested in developing that and exploring things like water.
What inspires your vision for Pietje's Cupboard?
Miniature themes and my love for good looking beautiful things. My Pinterest page inspires me a lot, it's a place where I can stack amazing images and things people have created to keep my inspired.The thing that keeps me going with Pietje's Cupboard is my passion for making stuff. I really enjoy sticking two things together with a piece of glue; there's something calming for me about that.I could spend a whole day doing that and being content.Also seeing peoples reactions to the things I make is really rewarding.When i first started making them I was thinking is it just me that likes them? and of course when showing them to my friends they raved about them....but they are your friends. So, when I had them at my first art fair seeing peoples reactions and watching them crouching down to look, it was really rewarding knowing that what i think looks good in my head is also what other people appreciate.
What does being creative mean to you?
Being creative is really important and I've just really started to figure that out in the last year. This year I've let myself go free range and try out all the things I really enjoy and have been so much more fulfilled. There's so many more challenges and not so much money in what I'm doing but I'm finding what I'm doing is more rewarding as I'm finding myself at the same time. I think I'm lucky that I have the ability to be creative. So many people work 9-5 jobs and don't have the time to be creative.
Are there any other creative mediums you'd like to pursue that you haven't?
Dance. I really enjoy dancing, I'm not the most co-ordinated, but when it comes to dancing I love it. There was a theatre show on at the beginning of year where two versions - Terror Island and Terror Planet, all done in dance. I'm also really interested in set and prop design for Theatre and Film. With the show I'm doing at the moment I'm creating all my own set with cardboard etc so definitely an area I'm exploring more.
What superpower would you have and why?
I googled superpowers as I'm not a superhero nerd at all...and it came up with a list of superpowers. I came across time manipulation and thought it would be cool to pause time and go back in time.The idea to go back and revisit a cool experience from your childhood would be great, going back to nostalgic smells, experiences and things. I wouldn't necessarily go to the future, I'm very much a person that lives in the present.
If you could go back in time, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Stop worrying about being cool.I was so worried about who my friends were and being cool and now I just don't care if I'm not cool. Be yourself. have fun, do cool stuff. Be friends with who you want to be friends with not who you think you need to be friends with.
You can purchase some of these wonderful creations from NZ online store Felt HERE.
Till next time....