Grain & Knot founder Sophie Sellu creates one-of-a-kind hand-carved wooden wares, from spoons and vases to beautiful brushes. Find out more about her craft and what her working from home essentials are.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT WORKING WITH WOOD?
I love that every piece of wood is different, even if it has come from the same tree. You can get really varied patterns and details and never be able to replicate them.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING YOU HAVE MADE, AND WHY?
I am really fond of the brushes that I make, I did years with of research before making and selling my first one, and I am really proud that I took the time to learn a new skill. I also really like the vases that I make for dried flowers. I am able to utilise all of the offcuts that I’ve accumulated in my workshop over the years and make something useful.
IF YOU DIDN’T DO THIS, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
I would probably be doing something in design; I was in trend forecasting before this, but I also used to be a visual merchandiser and designed shop window displays, and I loved it.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EVER JOB?
I worked in a vintage clothes shop in Manchester while I was at University.
WHAT DOES YOUR HOME WORKSPACE LOOK LIKE?
It’s ordered chaos. I have lots of work hanging on the walls, with wood chips all over the floor. It’s quite small, but I make the most of all of my available space.
WHAT DO YOU LISTEN TO WHILE YOU’RE WORKING?
Podcasts, always! I find if I listen to music my mind wanders, so it’s better to have a story to follow along to. I’m into Criminal at the moment, the host has a very soothing voice even though she tells stories of different crimes.
WHO HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST INSPIRATION?
Meeting other makers is always really special, seeing their workspaces and finding out what drives them to make the things they do.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING YOU OWN?
My Whippet Stanley, but I wouldn’t say I own him. We are mutual companions.
WHAT ARE YOUR NON-NEGOTIABLE FOR WORKING FROM HOME?
HOW ARE YOU STAYING CONNECTED FROM AFAR?
Lots of online chats, I am also playing a lot of scrabble with friends at the moment too!
HOW CAN HANDCRAFTS CHANGE THE WAY YOU FEEL?
It can be very therapeutic, making something useful. It also makes me focus and not worry too much about what is going on around me. I am forever trying new things, just this week I bought a big bag of clay and I am looking forward to experimenting with it.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN WORKING WITH WOOD?
Keeping tools sharp, taking lots of breaks and enjoying the natural material.
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