Hector and Haddock

Hector & Haddock:
Justine Wall

As part of our media sponsorship of Heal’s Modern Craft Market (until Feb 13th), allow us to introduce you to some very nice and talented people…

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What do you specialise in making?

I specialise in paper ephemera cutting and lino print. Everything I create is influenced by my paper ephemera collection, old texts and vintage images.

What part of the making process do you most enjoy: the arrival of an idea or the crafting of the finished piece?

That's a difficult one, although I'd have to say the arrival of the idea. When a phrase pops into my head, I love the journey of finding the right paper to cut it from: I search through my collection of deeds, maps, letters and receipts and find the best material to use. Each phrase or word is linked in some way to the paper. Watching the shapes of the letters form as I cut them is beautiful too: the reductive process allows for both text and paper to be viewed in a completely new, simplified light.

Can you remember the first thing you made?

I am sure there were many things that came before this, but one that stands out in my memory is a little fabric doll and miniature clothes I made when I was about eight. I won first prize at our annual Agricultural Show (I grew up on a farm in South Africa) which I couldn't believe. I still have the certificate safely tucked away in a box somewhere.

Does your craft shape the way you consume products?

I have always valued the handmade and I've always enjoyed finding joy in the discarded: I visit tips, junk shops and flea markets in search of treasure for both my home and the studio. Certainly my approach to quality and provenance affects all aspects of my lifestyle, from grocery shopping to clothes buying. Life is far too short to make poorly informed choices about things!

Where are you happiest outside of your workshop?

I live in the middle of Salisbury Plain, and we are surrounded by huge open spaces: acres of absolute nothing. The big skies of The Plain are something else too: I love walking with my 6-year-old son Barnaby, as far as we can go, through woods and fields, talking and telling each other silly tales: it really is time away from the world, and it regulates us.

A hole-and-corner is a secret place hidden away from the hustle and bustle of daily life: Where is your own hole-and-corner?

My own hole-and-corner is my studio in our very old and wonky 17th century thatched cottage. Sadly I don't spend as much time as I'd like to in there: the daily administration of running a small business can often take over. My ultimate would be weeks in there, spent with my collection of old paper and books, coming up with new ideas for pieces, and working through the design process.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Keep at it.

Hector and Haddock

Photograph: Jon Cardwell