Designer Spotlight: Marianne Kemp
Name: Marianne Kemp
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Number of years working in design: 10
Some of the most fascinating weaves, textures, color and material combinations can be found within the works of Marianne Kemp. All handmade, her textiles, wall art, lighting, and window tassels add interest to any interior. Each piece is unique and adorns places ranging from cozy homes to hotels with large, open spaces. Kemp's art is a true inspiration.
1. How did you come to be involved in the world of design?
Ten years ago I graduated from the Royal Academy of Art & Design in Holland. During the final year my theme was ‘Bringing the outside inside’. For this project I used materials from nature, like different plant-tree fibers and horsehair in different textile techniques. In 2000 after my graduation at my Master course at Chelsea College of Art & Design in London I was introduced to a professional horsehair weaving company in the south of the UK. From that moment on, I got back into weaving horsehair, gaining more interest for my work by exhibiting, commissions and selling work. Now, ten years later I realized: weaving with horsehair is my way of expressing my creativity.
2. What influences you? From where do you find your inspiration? My inspiration comes from everywhere around me, everywhere I go I try to translate the observed patterns and textures into woven textiles. It could be textures found in nature, structures in architecture, shapes from fashion and colors from animals. Next to this, experimenting is one of the most important things I do. The ‘element’ of ‘play’ is also crucial in shaping ideas towards creating new work.
3. What is you preferred travel destination?
I do not have a favorite travel destination, such as a country. I just love to explore new areas or city streets; it could be anywhere and everywhere. Last year I actually traveled a lot: San Francisco, London (where I used to live for over 3 years) Berlin, Japan, Milano, Denmark. Most of the time it is for work, like exhibitions or shows. But most of time I try to put a holiday after [the event] even if it is just a few days. But next to traveling abroad I love to explore new places and surroundings. I love hiking in the forests and the Dutch polders with their beautiful horizons and cloud formations. I love to see the seasons change, see the geese fly to the south and the trees loose their leaves, the smell of autumn. Makes me feel in tune.
4. What is your favorite medium to work with? Product category?
My all time favorite material to work with is of course horsehair, combined with other natural materials like cotton, wool, silk or linen. I prefer natural materials; I like the feel of it and the sustainability. Manipulating the bunches through knotting, curling and looping in the weaving process. Because the horsehair has various characteristics qualities like its shine, texture and length, each final weaving demonstrates an individual and exciting design. Mainly I apply my weavings to wall or window panels or installations. Every piece I make is unique and handmade.
5. Tell us about your recent project.
A recent project that I’m very enthusiastic about is completely new work for my exhibition in the Dutch Design hotel Artemis in Amsterdam this winter. The space is very inspiring with a 10 meter high glass ceiling. The objects I am creating now are very colorful and will be hanging freely in this space, floating circles catching the daylight from above….
6. What is your dream project?
Already I started with my dream project; first it is working from my new beautiful studio in Amsterdam. Next to this I [would] love to do more collaborations with other designers like fashion, product designers and interior architects, sharing creativity. But my all time favorite project is being able to weave my days away with interesting projects worldwide. Combining doing what I love to do the most, earning an honest living with it, and always curious for new things, being inspired.