Mum-preneur lead­ing crafty re­vival

North Taranaki Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - CHRIS­TINE WALSH

Some peo­ple think folk art and crafts are dy­ing.

Not so, in Taranaki, thanks to retro cre­ative Katey Pittwood.

The young mum-of-two is lead­ing a cross-stitch re­vival along with other favourite pas­times her grand­mother taught her - but with an off­beat con­tem­po­rary flavour.

Af­ter teach­ing vis­ual arts in schools for a decade Pittwood took a gi­ant leap of faith - in her­self, and cut the paid-job cord to run her own busi­ness from the front por­tion of her home.

It was a move mo­ti­vated by her de­sire to fo­cus on tak­ing her crafty pas­sion to the masses and to bal­ance spend­ing more time with her lit­tle girls.

‘‘You’ve got to take a risk be­cause life’s too short and if you don’t take a risk, I don’t want to go to my grave re­gret­ting any­thing,’’ Pittwood said.

Pittwood stages the resur­gence from her stu­dio and art gallery, Fox and Plum Cre­ative Hub - a de­funct fu­neral home in Stran­don.

The mum-preneur and her part­ner spent more than a year ren­o­vat­ing the gut­ted build­ing and trans­form­ing it into an in­ti­mate en­vi­ron­ment where arty folk can con­verge, chat, have a nib­ble-or two, and un­leash their cre­ative in­hi­bi­tions.

Re­cently its doors opened to the pub­lic and a va­ri­ety of work­shops are on of­fer in­clud­ing swear word cross-stitch, felt brooch, felt, an­i­mal col­lage, wa­ter­colour paint­ing, and etch­ing to name a few. For those arts and crafts that are not part of her forte she gets other peo­ple in to run spe­cialised ses­sions.

‘‘It’s kinda like a col­lab­o­ra­tive space where peo­ple can come to a class, have yummy bak­ing, cups of tea, sit around a ta­ble, get to meet other peo­ple and learn some­thing new, and take home some­thing cool at the end of it,’’ Pittwood said

While it may seem a con­tra­dic­tion in terms, the cre­ative space has a chilled vibe, but is also a vis­ual over­load of quirky odd­i­ties and taste­ful tat the self-pro­fessed ‘hoarder’ has col­lected over the years. ’’This is like my junk I put in the room. This is me, maybe,’’ she said.

Pittman’s funky decor in­cludes taxi­dermy an­i­mals, movie the­atre seat­ing, a retro fridge, an­tique porce­lain, colo­nial fur­ni­ture, old school wicker bas­kets and more.

While Fox and Plum Cre­ative Hub was still in the in­fancy stage, so far the re­sponse was over­whelm­ing, Pittwood said. To find out more visit www.foxand­plum


Katey Pittwood sur­rounded by her quirky col­lectibles.

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