AN INTERVIEW WITH ZANE TAYLOR
CREATIVES IN CONVERSATION
Atrio is committed to building and supporting our community of creatives and producers, including includes artisans, artists, and farmers. In this interview series, we sit down with some of Atrio's favorite makers to learn about their processes, background, and what makes their products so special.
Zane Taylor is a German-Born, Kurdish artist living and working in Winter Park, Florida. Her plaster-based work is influenced by her multicultural background and the notion of imperfection equaling beauty. We're thrilled to have collaborated with Taylor on a number of original artworks offered at Atrio.
"...I find it important to change my surroundings and seek out new experiences. Doing so often it leads me to new ideas and returning back home feeling refreshed and energized, ready to dive back into my work"
How did you get your start as an artist?
Although I'm relatively new to working as an artist, I've been creative for as long as I can remember (I know, it sounds cliché). I helped a friend designing her small boutique Pilates studio in Orlando. We ran out of budget, but the space needed a grounding art piece. I had always toyed with the idea of creating art, so I made my first version of what you see today. Soon after, I ordered a bag of clay plaster, turned our kitchen table into my studio, and decided to devote my free time to it.
Where do you find inspiration for your current body of work?
I find inspiration in the works of those who came before me. There are countless artists who have influenced my work. In addition to art, I have a passion for interior design. For me interior design, architecture, and art are all interconnected and should be approached with mutual respect. I make a habit of snapping pictures or saving images on my phone to print out and add to my mood board so I can see it throughout the day.
Can you walk me through the process of creating one of your pieces? How long does it take?
My creative process is unique to each piece I create. Working with plaster requires me to be in the moment, as it dries quickly and dictates my momentum and creative choices. Once a layer has dried, which typically takes 24-48 hours, I assess the progress and decide how to proceed before mixing my next batch of plaster and diving back into the work.
The final step in my process is compression, a technique that makes the plaster hard and durable. Depending on the piece, I may compress it for days, such as with Flint and Triangle, until I am satisfied with the result. Other pieces may require less time.
Overall, the creation of a piece can take anywhere from 5-14 days. Once the piece is complete, I collaborate with my woodworker designing and milling each frame out of white oak. While the process doesn't take me long anymore, it took years of daily practice and experimentation to reach this point in my career.
What materials do you use in your artwork and why?
My main medium is Clay Plaster which is a material that is made it out of clay + various sand and mainly used in interior finishes. It is such a beautiful and complicated medium. Cracks and bumps can occur, but embracing that part and often strategically encouraging it is fun for a recovering perfectionist like myself. My work speaks to nature, accidents, no control and is a very labor intensive. I really enjoy working with it.
How do you feed your creativity?
Traveling, meeting new people and surrounding yourself to the right ones. As someone who works from home, I find it important to change my surroundings and seek out new experiences. Doing so often it leads me to new ideas and I return back home feeling refreshed and energized, ready to dive back into my work.
What have you learned or what has surprised you as your studio/business has grown?
I am most surprised about the relationships that have developed in such a short time. I have met some incredible designers, artists, and tradesmen and feel humbled by it all.
What’s a typical day in the studio look like for you?
Working from home in my studio has been a gift. My day usually begins after my family has left the house. I start with a second cup of coffee, a 3-minute meditation, and then head into my studio. I prepare my workspace, ensuring that my supplies are in order and my plaster is ready to go. I am able to multitask during the waiting periods that come with my work, such as answering emails, checking social media, and making quick calls. Keeping my space clean is important, especially when working with plaster, which can be quite messy. Ironically, cleaning up takes more time than creating the piece itself.
What’s on the horizon for your studio that you’re excited about?
I am working on a new collection that I will be releasing towards the end of the year. I am so excited about this one because it’s about accepting accidents and mistakes and finding beauty in them. Life is full of challenges and imperfections and this collection is all about those.