The past few weeks have been a whirl wind of paint, power tools, and saw dust as we work to dress Kitsch in some slightly bigger britches. We've been spending many late nights prepping our new and old spaces to hopefully become the crafty community refuge of our dreams. In the midst of all this excitement, we took some time to conduct a little interview with Kerry and Neil Stavely of Winchester, Virginia. Part of our Kitsch family since the very beginning, this dynamic duo work under the moniker of Horse & Hare, specializing in hand carved, hand-pressed linocut print making. You all may have noticed their handiwork on the tote bags, pinback buttons, notebooks, pillows, cards, and prints that grace our humble little shop. THEY ARE AWESOME.
Before we get into our Kitschy interview, here is a brief but delightful bio we pulled from their blog:
We are the Horse & Hare - also known as Kerry and Neil Stavely. Neil and I met back in the mid nineties in Memphis, TN at art school. We shared an affinity for Kurt Vonnegut books, punk rock music...among other things and give or take fourteen years later we're still together. Neil is a tattoo artist by day and painter, printmaker by night. He hates hot weather and has not had his hair cut by a professional since he was a teenager. I am Kerry. I am the more sociable of the two of us. I am kind of a jack of all trades...mixed media, photography, graphic design, printmaking...I think I have a touch of ADD. I do like hot weather, hunting vintage and I get my hair cut on occasion by a professional.
Here's what they shared with Kitsch...
What is the story behind your name?
Our name comes from the Chinese Zodiac. Neil is the Hare and I am the Horse - though there is some debate over whether I am really a Snake. Neil came up with it and he says that it's the only one I liked. Some of the other names were "Balding & Co." and "Mean Eyed Cat".
Describe your work in 5 words.
Where is your studio?
Our print studio is our kitchen but we usually carve in our living room so we're constantly sweeping and vacuuming up linoleum and wood shrapnel. We're currently fundraising
to finish our basement into a proper studio so, hopefully we will have our living space back soon!
What is your studio playlist?
Depends on our mood. Recently we've been on a 60's Soul/R&B kick....Bill Withers, Ike & Tina, Otis Redding but today as I write this we're listening to X - Live at the Whisky a Go-Go on the Fabulous Sunset Strip
Favorite blog/movie/tv show/book that never fails to inspire or just clears the mind.
Neil: "Life of Brian" Kerry: Home renovation shows are my latest addiction for decompressing and vegging
For inspiration I look at one of our former painting professors' facebook feed. He posts nothing but art and quotes/literature. Also Ted Talks...lots of Ted Talks.
What artists influence your work - who are your creative idols?
Neil: Durer, Bosch, Gregory Gillespie, Max Beckman, Buddhist Mandalas
Kerry: Kathe Kollowitz, Fritz Eichenberg, Willem De Kooning, Patti Smith
There are too many to name but I'm constantly inspired by fellow contemporary printmakers - Derrick Castle of Strawcastle on etsy, Erin Dollar of Cotton & Flax , Sean Starwars, Artemio Rodriguez...
What's your typical day?
For Neil it's tattooing most days, then working on whatever projects we've got going on in the evening. Also, giving our dog Opal lots of love.
For me, I work at home doing freelance graphic design and work on Horse & Hare projects and business stuff (mailing out orders etc.) We also have an 11 year old daughter that takes up a lot of our time too.
What's your favorite local haunt?
Probably, Winchester Book Gallery
. Just to hang or you can get a book or a record, rent a movie or catch some live music...and they carry our artwork!
If you want to get to know these amazing people a little more check out their blog
, become a facebook fan
, or peruse their etsy shop
ALSO, support their dreams of a real studio space here