Maple Leaf

It does not happen often that one comes across a Canadian designer by chance, but my wife, designer Carmen Siebold, CaSieLiving, saw the Log Bowls in the Alberta Craft Magazine, and immediately fell in love with them. From there it did not take long to establish a contact with the two Albertans, who were open, welcoming and friendly as Canadians are, and willing to share a bit about themselves and their art and handicrafts with us. So here we are with some insights into their beautiful designs and crafts. ****Intro from Michael Siebold

©Joe Johnson and Loyal Loot

„Loyal Loot“ is Doha Lindskoog and Anna Thomas. Their work has been shown in many cities and is also available all over the world.

-Where does the name “Loyal Loot” come from?

We came up with the name Loyal Loot when we were in design school. We started by making a long list of words that emulated the kinds of products we intended to create. After a process of voting and elimination, we settled on Loyal Loot. ‘Loyal’ is about keeping and loving our creations in your home for the long term, something of quality that will last, ‘Loot’ references treasure, finding something special.

-What is your “parcours” up to Loyal Loot. And how did you get the idea to start it?

Loyal Loot began when all four of us were in the Industrial Design program at the University of Alberta together. We worked well together on projects and had similar interests in the Bauhaus movement, Dutch design, women in design, and the arts and craft movement. We decided to enter new designs in an open call for ‘Cabin’ a showcase of new work with a Canadiana theme, organized by Motherbrand, which was a Canadian design group dedicated to presenting Canadian design internationally. Since we were still students, the prospect of our work being chosen was foreign, and we found strength in numbers. We submitted our work as a collective, and consulted each other on our designs throughout the process. All of our designs were chosen, and our success as a group really bolstered our confidence to go forward with more projects together.

-Where do you get your inspiration for your work? And what role does Canada’s nature play in it?

We are inspired by many things of course, but most notably nature, as we both spend a lot of time outdoors. We have the benefit of natural prairie, forest and mountain landscapes very close by both of us, and make sure to make the most of that easy access with hikes and visiting mountain parks as much as possible. We find both the scenery and natural elements as material to use in our work very inspiring, the possibilities and beauty are endless.

-How important is it for you to use sustainable and reclaimed materials?

It is very important to us to have sustainability in mind when creating new objects, and whenever possible, using material or practices that have minimal impact on the environment. This includes using unwanted wood for our Log Bowls, naturally dyed leather, sustainably sourced wood, and water-based or naturally derived finishes. Currently we are working on a glass project that utilizes glass packaging as a component of the final piece.

-How do you see your role as an artist?

We approach our practice with consideration for the curiosity and wonder that an object can inspire. How can we make a simple item that allures? What happens when we bring outside indoors or reimagine the scale of things around us? How can something soft and pliable be made out of something smooth and solid? Our approach is about questioning the norm and considering a different angle.

-What message do you want to share through your pieces?

We want to show that objects can be thoughtful, considered, and not too serious.

-What are the 5 pieces of design you are most proud of and why?

Our Monsieur DressUp set (Anna Thomas), Log Bowls (Doha Chebib Lindskoog), Coat Hang (Dara Humniski), Bear Rug (Carmen Douville), and Mineral Mirror (Doha Chebib Lindskoog).
We don’t have many products for sale, as we do not release new work every year. Our craft is a slow process, and making the items takes time. We are proud of the diversity in style and point of view, the endurance of interest in these designs, and the varied materials and techniques.

-On your website you mention the desire to create objects of integrity and timeless beauty. How do you define integrity and timeless beauty?

To us, integrity means we are putting our utmost effort in ensuring that these objects are made with materials that leave a minimal footprint on the environment, are made by individuals locally (or ourselves) who are fairly compensated for their work. Timeless beauty in our eyes means aging well. The objects we make are meant to last both physically and stylistically.

-In what way does practicality and usability play a role in your design work?

Usability is always considered in our work, but we like to bring whimsical form into the equation. We like that our pieces, if used purely for form, as a sculptural piece or objet d’art, can stand on their own, whether being used for their intended function or not.

-Has Corona affected your business and how?

Yes, definitely. We were preparing new work to show in Milan in April 2020 with Ventura Projects, as well as a design market with Isola and Milan Design Mart. Obviously Milan Design Week was cancelled, and all of these possibilities to show our new and old work to a new audience was put to a halt. We have also seen sales to both shops and direct to customers decrease.

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