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Collective Community {Kiel Mead & American Design Club}

One thing I love about Austin is the community of creative, driven, intelligent, supportive, and compassionate individuals that all seem way too happy to help each other out.  It really is an entire philosophy where colleagues and contemporaries are not seen as competition but as friends, collaborators, and contributors to the greater good.  I recently experienced a focused does of this kind of love through my collaboration in fail+CANOE and the Tool & Tack Pop Up last month, and am now in the process of bringing a Collective Gift Guide to you for the holidays including guides from a slew of amazing individuals.  So, needless to say I feel tremendously blessed.

Another great community of designers are represented in the American Design Club.  I was first introduced to the group in NYC and soon brought pieces from Kiel Mead into Schatzelein.  Designers Gush just posted a pretty extensive interview with Kiel {pronounced Kyle} where he talks not only about his background, but the intentions behind the American Design Club.  Below are a few highlights and you can check out the entire interview here.  The ADC is also accepting submissions to participate in their next group show, Threat.  Maybe you can join the club!

Kiel Mead . Forget Me Knot Ring

Kiel Mead . Key Ring Cadillac

K: When I started making the key rings, I didn’t know how jewelry was made.  I was working with a shop. I handed them a key, said, “Make me a ring,” and they did it.  Then I learned in my Materials & Processes class how they were doing this. So then I thought, “If that’s how they do it, there are a couple more things they can do. I brought them a bow and I said, “Make me a ring”.  It was flimsy and they were like, “We can’t do that, it’s not going to work”.  But I said, “This has got to work”. So I went back and took my mandrill out, tied the perfect knot and painted it with matte medium, which stiffened the ring.  Then I could take it off the mandrill and I had a hard ring.  So I said to them, “Look, wax melts out but I think you can pour molten silver into the sting and the string will just burn and disappear” and so that’s what they did.  I sort of taught them that they could burn out organic material. I convinced them that they could cast string.

Kiel Mead . Diftwood Hooks Green

K: And now I’m trying to make something that everybody needs. Good god, how many people come into The Future Perfect, they walk through the door, they don’t even look at anything, they look at me and say, “I need a hook. I just moved in and I have nothing to hang my coat on and it’s driving me insane”.  So the Driftwood Hook is beech wood in a bunch of different colors. These are all wood stains: lemon yellow, bright blue, orange, magenta, red and navy and they’re all just awesome vibrant colors that is something you don’t see in houses but I think people are going for more & more. They want color.

K: We’ve (American Design Club) done “Outside of Sorts”, “Hue Are You”, “Purpose and Worth”, ” Breakable”, “Lift Hold Roll” & “Use Me”. We’ve done 2 pop-up shops called Design to Go and Black Market. We’ve done 2 Architectural Digest Home shows and every single Gift show since 2009. Our next show is called “Threat”. The working title for a while was “Threat Sticks” because it’s about that moment when you’re just about to fall asleep and you hear something loud in your kitchen and you could possibly have an intruder in your house. What do you pick up? Design for us a tool that would help you in this situation. It’s a universal feeling but you might have a different reaction then the next. I’ve heard people say that they’d like to design something for the person intruding.

Craighton Berman & Joey Roth for AMC's "Use Me"

Robert DeGrenier and Lindsey Adelman for ADC's "Breakable"

Filed under: art, events

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