"Creativity is less mind and more heart. Everyone is born creative, it is like your ‘individual stamp’ and how you look at things."
Karina Pires studied textiles and design in Brazil and Australia, but it is her natural affinity with the handmade and her connection to nature and natural fabrics that stands out most in her practice. Karina’s appreciation for classic design and her endless curiosity merges infuses a delicate balance of modern luxury and nostalgia into the wallpaper and textile ranges she produces for her Sydney-based studio, House of Six.
What do you do, and what inspires you to do it?
I am the textile designer behind House of Six. I had a formal education in textiles and designs at East Sydney Design School. I am very experimental in my practice and I am always looking out for new skills and projects that can cross over with my studio. For example, I am now creating a prototype for a hadnwoven chair. I'm inspired by nature, different cultures, art, slow living, handmade, handwoven, and natural materials.
How does your work enrich your life or the lives of others?
I hope it enriches others by highlighting the importance of the handmade process over mass production. I want to carry a clear message about the importance of natural materials, ethical business, rescuing traditions like handwoven processes and slow living.
Can you share a recent project you’ve worked on that you’re most proud of?
I am always proud of my latest projects. The new is always the most exciting because the inspiration behind it is still so fresh. This season I created a small collection of classic striped linen towels. I like to create products that I would love to have in my own home but that I can't find. Texture, natural materials and colour play a big part in my design practice.
What was the pivot point that set you on your current path?
As a working mum, I think the pivot point was a slight career change after having kids. I used to work in fashion before I made the move to work with textiles and interior design. I then created my studio, House of Six, which allows me to be experimental and not have to follow the fashion industry schedule. It's a much more organic process and the textiles are created as I find a new yarn, a new weaving technique, or a new artisan collaborate with. In other words, I can follow the beat of my own drum.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give someone who’s going through their own transformation?
Be persistent. Listen. Be prepared to take risks. Connect with like minded people and business. Get professional help with your finances!
What advice would you give to others to identify and embrace those moments of action?
Don't be afraid of change. The mind is not an adventurer, it is very cautious. It is important to listen to your gut, that deeper voice that comes up with new ideas and throws new challenges at you. You may avoid disappointments if you don't take risks but you won't grow and find new opportunities.
Who or what has been your biggest inspiration in shaping your career?
My business has grown out of my love for textiles. Creative people that have crossed my path are actually who inspire me. Looking at other creatives and seeing their dreams take flight makes me happy and gives me a feeling that I can also achieve my goals. I am actually guided by a mentor but in a personal path, where I am learning about cultivating Ki energy, self-growth, macrobiotic health, and meditation. It is not directly linked to my business, but I find it important as having your business requires a lot of perseverance and strength. I find that if I am physically and emotionally grounded I am able to balance personal life and work from a much better place.
Where in the world would you describe as the place that speaks to you - your soul place?
My soul place would have to be my homeland, Brazil. We are actually going there at the end of the year and I plan on visiting a few indigenous tribes that still carry the tradition of woven baskets and handmade textiles. There is a tribe called Pataxo that makes the most incredible linen graphic patterns by hand. They are so intricate. The hand drawing skill is such an ancient part of their culture and yet it looks wonderfully modern. I want to spend a couple of days in their tribe with my children and husband and experience that - go back, deeper into my roots.
All images used with permission from Karina Pires.