Erin Lightfoot is a print designer and ceramicist based in Brisbane, you may have seen her patterned vases featured alongside Tsuno once or twice (definitely more than that) and her earrings on Roz often. The small team includes her husband Tang and they work from their Queenslander - where we would rather be most days! Roz, Erin & Tang have been each others supporters for yonks. "Friends who market together stick together" as some do say, and Tsuno and Erin Lightfoot Studio have long been year-on-year Finders Keepers Market companions and more than that - great mates. So I guess you could say this collab is one close to the heart, highlighting a studio that triumphed through a very scary time. Proud to introduce Erin of Erin Lightfoot Studio, the latest designer to enhance a Tsuno box and make super tampons even more super.
In the spirit of the super tampon, tell us something super that happened to you in 2020?
Our ceramic studio survived Covid! We made a garden during lockdown and I did two collabs this year. One for Tsuno and another for the National Gallery of Australia's new store.
And what about the rest of 2020, did your studio have to change much during the pandemic?
Yep! Our studio was hit hard during lockdown. We had the initial shock of income being canceled and lost and it was looking pretty unlikely we would survive. We had to downscale which meant Tang and I had to go back to doing 100% of the production ourselves for a while. Then from about August business started to improve and grow again. We’ve actually seen a surge in support for locally made products. The smaller specialty stores who stock us have been doing well so our wholesale is growing and online has been growing too.
We love the colours used on your tampon box design, do you spend a lot of time experimenting with colour combinations for your ceramics or does it come quite naturally?
Thank you. I love combining colours. It does come quite naturally but also there is lots of trial and error. One thing I’ve noticed in making prints is that if you change one colour you likely have to change them all because it’s all about how they work together.
Have you ever noticed a surge in creativity at a certain time in your menstrual cycle?
I think I need to pay more attention! I do have surges. For me the best way to increased creativity is putting in the hours on a project - even when I don't feel like it - then the ideas build on each other and then surge when I'm taking a break like taking a walk...but it doesn't work if I just do the break bit though.
Lastly, we have to ask for an update on little Ren. How do you best juggle being a mama and a maker?
Ren is doing great! She is super cute and into dancing and doing the stairs by herself.
Being a Mum and maker is a juggle and balls get dropped. It’s draining, frustrating and the most joyous thing I’ve ever known. It can feel like you aren’t getting enough work done and that you aren’t instigating enough finger painting but it’s actually (maybe) more manageable than I imagined it might be pre-child.
It's actually a pretty ideal job to have with a toddler because Tang and I tag team parenting and production and each mode gives us a break from the other. It's nice being able to go to the park for a couple of hours in the middle of the work day or escape the emotional intensity of parenting by subbing off and going downstairs to do some glazing.