This month we chat with Scottish candle holder maker Rekha Barry of Rekha Maker about her inspiration and creative process.
What does 2021 look like for you?
How did you come to your current medium? How long have you been working with it?
I have been dabbling in casting since university, but it is only since 2020 where I started to really take it seriously and properly experiment with making designs.The pandemic afforded me the time to develop the business where I might normally have been busy commuting with work or social engagements! It has been an opportunity to stop and pause and think about where I want Rekha Maker to go next instead of being caught up in the whirlwind of everyday life. I must acknowledge that I have been extremely lucky to have been given the time, having no dependents to take care of and I know full well that it has been a very difficult time for a lot of people.
What are you working on right now?
Right now, I am working on a collaboration with Aurum_Ldn on a brutalism inspired jewellery box. This is a great collaboration and we are really on the same page in terms of aesthetic. I am also developing a mantelpiece design with my studio assistant Heather. She has recently moved into her flat so this is an opportunity for us to try something on a much bigger scale and see how we can play around with the proportions of something found in a traditional Glasgow tenement.
I also developed a high-end luxury range of sculptural candle holders made from real marble, quartz and onyx. I’d love to work with stone more, you can’t beat it!
What inspires you?
It sounds boring but architecture. It is so fun to be able to translate and experiment with architectural principles on a small scale. I enjoy making reference to monolithic or brutalist structures when I’m feeling serious and post-modern architecture when I’m feeling silly. Most of the time, I’m very silly. I hope you can see this influence in the shapes I make with my objects.
Where do you envisage your work going?
Bigger! I would love to develop a whole homeware range. The next two things on my list are a small arched coffee table and a vase inspired by a water tower.
What rituals/habits inform your work?
As Rekha Maker began during the pandemic, I would say I don’t have any specific rituals or habits as the world around me has been changing on a weekly basis, so there’s been no time for habits! In terms of how I tackle my work, I am mindful of the type of atmosphere I want to create, both in my architecture and in my design work. I know I want to create simple yet playful objects taking inspiration from my architectural education whilst keeping it unique.
Can you describe your environment and/or studio?
People often think architects are really well organised and have everything just so. If you saw my studio, I would really dispel that myth! I am still finding my feet for my process so things can be a little bit on the chaotic side and not everything has their place just yet. Casting can be a messy business, so I am usually covered in bits of jesmonite or sandpaper. I started out in my kitchen so you can imagine how awful that was for my boyfriend to live with.
Whose work/sounds/process/art/making are you into?
Work-wise, I have recently been introduced by Local Heroes to Cristina Celestino who I am now a big fan of.
I enjoy a lot of music and will usually be humming away while I’m working, but sometimes when I want to concentrate minimalism is a great genre for focusing. Some people find it irritating but I love Steve Reich to get in the zone.
Do you have a studio pet or plant? Can you describe it/them?
Nope - although my Studio Assistant Heather has a lovely whippet called Grayson who is due to come and visit soon! The studio is a bit small for her to be a permanent resident unfortunately.
Did you have any victories today?
I am exceptionally flattered by the response my work has received on instagram by fellow designers and shops. Every like or lovely comment is a victory and I get so excited when orders are placed from outside the UK. It blows my mind that my candle holders are residing in houses in Australia.
You can find Rekha Makers' candle holders here