Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dewey and West

The super cool duo of Kate Warren & Michael Cromaz of OKC, Dewey & West are up next with an knack for design and a passion for sustainability.

Dustbowl: How did you get started? Dewey & West: We got started over endless amounts of coffee drinks, laughter, lively discussions and sometimes arguments. We work together at a local architecture firm, Michael as an Architect and Kate as an Interior Designer. What we do on a daily basis is very collaborative and it has grown naturally into a creative partnership. We love to talk about art and design and feel fortunate to be surrounded by it every day, at work and at recess.

DB: What do you make? DW: We make all kinds of things. Perhaps our tragic flaw is that we are interested in everything and hop from one thing to another pretty frequently. One day it might be photography, another it might be making useful objects out of recycled materials. But if you really want to know… mixed-media artwork, digital artwork, photography, screen printing (Gocco), greeting cards, coasters sets, vases, notebooks, and the kitchen sink!

Sustainability is pretty important to us – one of our best-sellers is a set of coasters created from re-purposed carpet tile samples. The concept of the handmade economy in itself is a sustainable idea in that it focuses on the production of high-quality products that can be cherished and passed on rather than used and discarded. It encourages a mutually beneficial relationship between the artist and the consumer, one in which an investment is made into the perpetuation of an art form.

DB: How long have you been creating original works/ crafting? DW: Kate began by coloring on paper plates at the kitchen table. Michael has an excellent imagination that he sadly attributes to playing Dungeons and Dragons in middle school. Yes, Dungeons and Dragons.

DB: What inspires you most? DW: Inspiration comes from everywhere. The approach of a thunderstorm, antique shops, the thrill of adventure, conversations that last hours, cupcakes, laughter and more laughter, how plants are so intricate it’s scary, dinner parties, a clean house, reading in bed on a rainy day, an argument over what’s better the sunrise or sunset, personality quirks, blue skies, blue eyes, well designed landscaping, coffee shops, listening to a song 100 times in a row, patterns of every kind, wandering in book stores and wearing socks that don’t match.

DB: What is your favorite thing to create? DW: The best is when you are doing something that you are not sure will work, either for aesthetic or conceptual reasons, and then for some cosmic reason, it does. Like Harry Potter came and waved his magic wand and voila, presto chango it works. Amazing.

DB: If you were a color, what color would you be? DW: Michael: Goldenrod & Kate: French Gray

DB: Why do you want to be a part of Dustbowl? DW: Coolness factor, duh. We love the idea of Dustbowl because we love to be around creative folks. We are continuously amazed by the talent in this state, and we are just happy to be a part of it.

We would like to give some serious props to the organizers of Dustbowl for organizing such a lovely event.
Thanks Kate and Michael for the props and for taking time to tell us a little bit about you and your work!

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