Our founder members talk about what has inspired them, how they work and how to survive as a maker.
Makers Tales Collective: We all enjoy hearing the back stories of successful creatives. Margit Wittig, you have built a reputation as a sculptor and maker of signature lighting and furniture. What has inspired you?
Margit Wittig: I have many sources of inspiration – firstly my mother was an art teacher and she occupied us four children from very early ages with art projects such as puppet making, painting on glass, sewing, knitting, crocheting. In my late teens, as I developed an eye for art, I was taken especially with Giacometti’s sculptures. I have always been inspired by his tactile work.
MTC: Many creatives have rituals or patterns to their working practices, can you describe your working day?
Margit Wittig: Like many people I live in a busy household so I start my day at roughly 7.00am. I take a short time for sneaky Instagram viewing and posting before others come out for breakfast. After a bit of exercise I usually start the more hands on work at about 9.30. I’ll have lots of final inspections to do as lights come back from being wired and then there’s time to sketch new designs and play with new ideas. The afternoon is taken up with the business side of things – quotes, guiding clients through bespoke designs, marketing and admin. By 7pm I’m usually looking forward to a lovely dinner.
MTC: What is your most creative time of day?
Margit Wittig: Always the morning – especially if it’s a nice day. I look over a garden and when the morning light shines down on the green I feel energised. By the afternoon my energy is flagging a bit. New ideas and designs come to me before noon or when creating with a new client.
MTC: As an artist you must have had many exciting opportunities for pushing creative boundaries. What has been your most exciting project?
Margit Wittig: Gosh – that’s a difficult one. As my business evolves different things have been exciting at different times. Years ago it was so exciting when Kit Kemp put my lamps in her Firmdale Hotels, it was the first time I had worked with a very well known interior designer. Now, I’m very lucky to do so frequently. Each project is exciting and has something new to offer.
MTC: If you were to advise a newcomer to the creative world, what would be your top tips for survival?
Margit Wittig: Know your strengths and know when to pull in support from others. Enjoy what you do as if you don’t it’s going to be very, very hard work.
MTC: As a maker using different techniques in your work, what would you consider the most essential tools in your process?
Margit Wittig: Definitely my wooden clay shaping spatulas, pieces of tree bark to apply texture, a drill and sandpaper – can’t do without them!