Around the age of thirteen I started feeling different. Other. I just didn't fit in. Of course, this made me a typical teenager - a fact that one of my high school teachers pointed out, offending me deeply. clearly, she didn't understand my pain. Just as clearly, irony was not my strong suit.
As I got older the feeling of not quite belonging lessened, but never left me. I moved to England from Mexico at sixteen and had the privilege of immersing myself in a completely different culture. This shattered a lot of my social prejudices and allowed me to discover the beauty of individuality and self expression. It was a heady and excting thing. I started listening to Indie rock. Robert Smith of the The cure became my hero.I wore Dr. Marten's tall boots and all black torn clothing. I read, visited art galleries and, eventually, landed in art school.
After years of studying Physics and History, art school felt like a free pass. It was fun. London in the mid nineties was fueled by rebellious, ironic creativity. there were parties and performance events every night, and seemingly endless parade of interesting people to socialize with. I loved every minute of it. And yet...This was not really my tribe. Deep down, I knew I was too much of a nerd. Too structured, too bourgeois for this cool crowd. I still like to pretend they didn't notice....
A career in fashion is not necessarily the best way to meet laid back, genuine people. And even though this was not my natural habitat, I made real friends during this time.
In my thirties I moved to New York for work, got married to my long time love and eventually had a baby. And suddenly, unexpectedly, found myself being part of a community. Parents who are also creative professionals. These are my people. Family is at the center of our lives and , without a doubt, our first priority. Perhaps having kids of a similar age would have crated enough of a bond, but we also have jobs that we love, and which, in addition of giving us the means to support our families, are our creative outlet.
Starting Hapeman Hill has felt like an opportunity to extend that community, to find others with more specific, shared passions: Interior design, hand crafted, artisanal products that are unique; the support of artisanal communities and the aspiration to build a professional life that is focused on creating mindfully, consciously and with intention. I have been surprised by the amount of people out there who share these passions, priorities and concerns. I am also amazed by the beauty and creativity that can be found in this pursuit. For the first time in my life I feel like I am part of something big and important.
Of the many amazing Artisans that I have come across, Espanyolet holds a special place in my heart. I don"t remember how, or when, I first heard about them, maybe it was a magazine clipping or an online article... I do know that once I saw their work, pillows, bed linens and ceramics, I was in love.
Both of their chosen mediums- cloth and clay - are reinvented through color and texture. It was their use of color that first caught my attention. Warm pinks and aqua blues, earthy yellows, indigos and soft greens. They are sensitive and moody yet somehow manage to be bold and bright at the same time. Tonal variations are used on the same piece and the subtle change of color is deeply satisfying. And then there is the texture. Earthy and soulful, it complements and enhances the color to create pieces that feel like heirloom treasures.
They use vintage, hand woven linens with textured surfaces. The wear of time becomes an integral part of the design and the story it tells. At times, they are inspired by the unique weave of the linen and start there. At other times, they begin with the pigment to create special colors. Fabrics are hand painted with a brush, the maker's touch an active part of the design which adds depth to the weave of the fabric. The color absorbs into the linen at different rates and the brushstrokes may dry out evenly or completely irregular. Each piece they create is journey and process of discovery.
As it turns out, the story of Espanyolet is as fascinating and magical as its products: During a sabbatical year when they travelled the world, Thomas Bossert and Melissa Rosenbauerthey daydreamed of creating a collection of handmade items, inspired by the cultures, colors & textures they had seen. They moved to Mallorca and launched Espanyolet in 2015.
These are People who pursue their passions, who are not scared of change and make their beliefs into a way of life. Creative people who understand that the process is a reward in itself. This is the tribe I want to be a part of.
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