I first met Sarah from Not Work Related over coffee last time I was in Brooklyn. We had emailed a few times and she was nice enough to bring me samples in person when I was in town. I remember sitting at that table completely floored by her work and I couldn't wait to share it. Happy to say the day has finally come! To honor our launch this Friday, I wanted to share some words from Sarah about her work and inspiration. Read below for the interview and don't miss out on this exclusive launch THIS Friday!
Where did the name Not Work Related come from?
When I formally started the brand I was working at one of the largest global architectural practices in the city. It was a collection of everything I hated about the corporate office: stiff, uptight, vicious hours. I did not fit in and I felt restless, Not Work Related was purposely (and aggressively, if I'm going to be honest) steered in the opposite direction. I wanted the pieces to have character, to be fun and whimsical. I wanted to make things that brought personality back into our overly serious lives. Not taking yourself too seriously is important.
Do you have a favorite ceramicist or artist?
I don’t have a singular favorite, but I do have a few that I really admire: On a large scale, the work of Studio Arhoj is consistently experimental, their surfaces are mind boggling and they have mastered making ceramics with personality. Currently, I’ve also been awed with the work of En Iwamura for its incredible scale, technical mastery and playful subjects. I love looking at something and wondering how it was made. My favorite point of reference is always past design eras, epic designers like Ettore Sottsass have heavily influenced my own work.
What does art mean to you?
To me, art is the realization of thoughtful ideas or concepts. It's an expression of yourself that does not have a pre-determined form. This lack of definition is what makes it personal and gives it meaning. (Sorry for trying to define something that I just said was not definable.)
Why are collaborations like this one important?
I think the best work comes out of specificity, it comes out of new restrictions. When you are challenging yourself to make a specific product that fits a new criteria, you end up creating something that is not only original, but that has depth.
The cut throat nature of the corporate office was an ugly thing for me to witness. I don't believe that you need to pull others down in order to climb the ladder. I think you can still climb to the top if you support people along the way; maybe in my world it's more of a staircase, instead of a ladder. I also think that bringing different skill sets and fields together to create something that you could not have done alone (or at least not very well, haha), is very gratifying.
Where does your inspiration come from?
A lot of my work is influenced by previous design movements, such as Post Modernism and even Art Deco. I adore work from the Memphis Design era and I still look to the 80's for pattern inspiration. The architect in me dictates my love of form and strong geometry. (To name some specifics, I love the work of Luis Barragàn, early work by Ricardo Bofill, and Aldo Rossi.) My secret favorite activity is going to antique shops when I'm traveling. They are a goldmine of wonderful forms and vessels from a forgotten past. (Sometimes also from my grandma's house, but those are nice to remember too.)
Ready to snag one of these wonderful pieces? Here's how it works!
- Follow us on Instagram @standardwax
Sign up for post notifications, to make sure you aren't a second late when the sale goes live! If you need help figuring out how to get notifications, check out this article.
- Be ready on Friday, 9.28 at 2pm PST. A post will go live at that time, and you'll be able to score your new treasure right on Instagram via a comment.
- Comment on the post with the following: your email, which size you'd like, and what fragrance we should fill it with (choose from anything currently available on our website. Check it out now so you're ready on the 28th!).
- Within a few hours, you'll get an invoice via email. You have 24 hours to pay. If for some reason you don't complete the purchase within 24 hours, I'll offer the piece up to someone who was a little too late.
That's it! It's super easy and SO fun to be a part of. That rush of snagging something exclusive? Yea, it's totally real.