WORKWEAR #1. | Painter Adrienne Hunter

WORKWEAR #1. | Painter Adrienne Hunter

WORKWEAR is a new feature in which we explore the traditions and symbolism of clothing and footwear worn in practical environments through conversations with local artists, craftspeople and designers.

We have dedicated the last eight years to celebrating and elevating traditional workwear. Working with our friends in Sweden we have showcased the beauty of the humble clog. This hard-wearing, historical shoe has its roots in industry across Europe and is now worn everywhere as a statement in favour of quality and craft.

I have always been fascinated with the functional garments favoured by makers. Pieces of clothing that work with you, supporting your craft and your body, sometimes for decades on end. We tend to grow greatly attached to garments that serve a purpose like this. They are often items that are unwashed, shabby, stained, old and holed and yet we take great care of them in other ways. We give them meaning and personalities. We attach superstitions to them: "I can't work without my lucky overshirt,". They become an extension of ourselves and our creative practices. A map of stains showing the path of our projects and colour palettes. Losing or accidentally destroying a treasured piece of workwear can throw a maker into serious emotional turmoil or bring on an artists block. Workwear is as significant and magical as it is mundane and essential.

Workwear has to be comfortable, practical, protective and hard-wearing. It might have to withstand heat or repetitive movements. It might need to hold tools, repel liquids, support the body or keep us warm. They are items whose only purpose is to serve a function and yet historically they are beautiful, made with love and care with satisfying little details that don't aid their function. I think this is why workwear is wonderful. It's the perfect symbol of our innate connection to craftsmanship. We take pleasure in designing objects that are beautiful for the sake of being beautiful.

Why make something beautiful if it only needs to be functional? Well why not?

Each maker in our WORKWEAR feature shares the story of their craft and what workwear means to them. 



Adrienne wears her Cumin Low Jord Clog, find them here. The Jord is a traditional shape and has been a bestseller of ours since we started out in 2016. It is the clog that Eranthis (the founder of our workshop) wore to work in the factory every day until he passed away a few years ago. We always think of him when we see the Jord clog.


Tell us a bit about your craft: how it’s evolved over the years and what it means to you to be a maker?

"I’m a late starter to the art world. I worked as a solicitor for about 16 years and did a part time art foundation when I was 45. I haven’t got an art degree. I love drawing which is always in my work and I’m inspired by nature.

I started by doing more monochromatic work, big charcoal drawings, but now I’m obsessed with colour and have developed a habit with big fat oil sticks! Collage is also a fun and liberating part of my practice. 

I feel very fortunate to be able to spend a significant part of my time in creative work where I can express myself."

What does “workwear” mean to you?

"I like workwear in my everyday clothes, not just studio. I’m all for practicality and comfort. Workwear to me means gender neutral tomboyish gear- simple but stylish and practical.  I love denim. Natural fibres."

What do you wear to studio every day? Do you have a beloved and battered work uniform or do you like to dress up differently to make your artwork? 

"I have an old pair of Levi rib cage jeans which my American niece gave to me a few years ago  - they were new then - now they’re pretty worn and stained but very comfortable. I have an old gap corduroy jacket which stays in my studio. I also have some second hand bakers/butchers blue and white check trousers for when it’s warmer - from a jumble sale. And an old pair of men’s shorts - also second hand. Worn out blundstone boots for the studio- and gardening- my other favourite activity!"
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