Caitlin ffrench of These Secrets is a textile artist living in East Vancouver. She works with wool and wax and hair and bones- and prefers the forest to anything else.
Clothing security is a driving force for her- in that she wants to reach to her landbase and her own abilities for textiles, and not take part in the fast fashion that has overtaken our world. An example of this is she grew her own flax linen in the summer of 2013.
ffrench received her BFA from the University of British Columbia in 2007, and attended the Kootenay School of Art in 2004/05 for textiles.
How did you end up making what you make?
I've always had the drive to make things with my hands- but my textile driven work was really started when I attended the Kootenay School of the Arts in 2004.
What have you learned in an unexpected place or from an unexpected person that informs your making?
I went to a lecture by Clara Parks (http://www.knittersreview.com/) at the start of October- and I feel like its lit a new fire in my heart. I knew the lecture was going to be fantastic- but I feel like its left something deep in me.
What inspires or drives you to make what you make?
I'm driven by the unyielding desire to make- I don't really know what it is inside of me, but it is there and it can't be quieted.
I am also inspired by my partner, Arlin ffrench. He is a brilliantly creative person, and is always pushing me to do better.
Who are some of your favourite other makers? Local? Worldwide?
The makers of Collective Howl are a collection of local makers that I am in love with- but as far as worldwide makers?
The photographer Old Hag (http://www.old-hag.com/),
the weaver Ragnheiður Þórsdóttir (http://www.thebritishtapestrygroup.co.uk/artist/ragnheidur-thorsdottir/),
and Thieves of Tower (http://www.thievesoftower.com/)
What is your favourite season and why?
Winter- Coming into the dark cold times- and then back out to spring is the most magical time.
Who is your celebrity crush?
Rihanna- hands down!
How do you connect to your landbase?
Being able to stop and look- to actually see what surrounds you is the way I can stop and think of where I am. Being able to see any growth of plants, being aware of animals and birds, and recognizing where water sources are- this is something that can be done in the city or in the forest. In doing this you can recognize your place in the world.
Do you have any sort of mantra or quote that strikes you?
"I am not what I am, I am what I do with my hands." - louise bourgeois
Do you remember the first thing you made that you felt was great/ the first time you found passion in being a maker?
My earliest memory is making nests from fresh cut grass in the orchard I grew up in. Being able to hide in a heap of fresh grass is the most real thing I can think of.