The Creators with Sophie Sellu
Interview with Sophie Sellu
We continue our Creators series with Sophie Sellu, founder of Grain and Knot - a company born from a love of nature, exploration and the need for purpose in creation. Beautifully tactile, fully functional wooden objects for the kitchen and home, each item is made from reclaimed, storm fallen or sustainably sourced timber. Sophie graduated from the Manchester School of Art in 2009, and now lives and works in London. After graduating she always searched for new and exciting artistic outlets, and found a number of creative courses, to challenge herself and to get away from the constant glare of the computer screen.The wooden goods at Grain & Knot are lovingly hand-crafted by Sophie in her home studio.
When did you know you wanted to work with wood?
I have been woodworking since I was 11 at school, it was one of the only subjects that I really enjoyed and took to quite quickly. Later on in life I was drawn back to it as a way to escape a career that really wasn’t working. There is something so grounding about working with wood. It also gives me a deep appreciation of time. Woodcarving can be really slow, and I like that about it. The growth of trees can be exceptionally slow and I like to take the time to appreciate what each tree has given to me.
Tell us about your creative process?
I spend a lot of time sketching and researching. I use cardboard to make cut outs to work on shape and scale before I get into cutting any timber. I carve each piece by hand, leaving areas textured to show the marks of production. All the timber I use is either reclaimed, sustainably grown or responsibly sourced materials. Most of the wood I use comes from storm damaged trees from woodlands in Kent. I often use off cuts and waste materials from other woodworkers workshops, so having a strong material understanding is really important.
Where are you at your happiest?
When I am out enjoying nature, taking in the seasons and enjoying what the English countryside has to offer. I love problem solving and working out how to make things, so I really enjoy working on new ideas, even if they don’t work out I enjoy the process. I really love making and one of the downsides of having a home studio means that I often don’t realise how late it’s getting! I really love getting lost in the process.
What is your proudest moment to date?
I’m really proud that I have managed to make my career work, and that I get to do what I love everyday. Launching my pop up shops is always a high point as I get to show my work in person, and meet the people that love them.
What has kept you inspired through the last year?
I’ve really been enjoying those small moments that would have often passed us by without a thought. The change in seasons, the tiny moments of joy. With my work I always try to elevate the everyday experience, whether that is sweeping up crumbs or simply stirring something while cooking, so mimicking that with everyday life has been really rewarding.
What are you looking forward to over the next few months?
I am looking forward to spending the summer exploring after staying so close to home for the past year. Eventually giving my friends and family long awaited hugs. I am looking forward to getting new inspiration and working on new projects - most importantly continuing to write my first book.
Why did you choose these pieces from Jigsaw?
I am really interested in quality materials, comfort and sleek tailoring. I feel that these items capture that perfectly. I love layering and mixing smart and casual clothing for a relaxed luxe style. I love clothes that are high quality, timeless in style and made to last.