Women’s International Day and month celebrates the cultural, political, social and economic achievements of women the world over – every country with their own distinct traditions.
The campaign theme for 2021 is #EachforEqual which celebrates the concept of collective individualism – that individual actions, dialogues and mindsets can have a direct impact on the greater good of our society.
As this year’s Women’s History Month comes to a close, SPRUCE asked a few designers around town which individual female makers inspire their work and contribute to making spaces and life all the more beautiful.
We hope you draw inspiration from these words and works.
“We have always admired Zoe Pawlak, a contemporary artist from Vancouver who confidently disrupts the art world with her evolving and dynamic perspective. A catalog that includes landscapes, figurative drawings, and most recently, a study of vessels, she exhibited a stunning ability to command colour and create paintings unique in both composition and material. Expanding into industrial design, Zoe continues to push boundaries, successfully branching into mirror and rug design that has been featured in Architectural Digest, Interior Design, The Globe and Mail and Martha Stewart Living. A strong and intuitive artist, we’re inspired by her confidence and unparalleled ability to create uniquely bold, contemporary pieces.”
– Mikayla Hodgson, Jenny Martin Design
“Julie McCracken, Fibre Artist. While Julie is self effacing in person, her stunning large scale fibre work speaks for itself. The rippling textures, the ethereal tonality and the monumental scale combine to create pieces that you want to sink into, and float, like on a cloud, through our hard-edged modern world.”
– Ann Squires Ferguson, Western Interior Design Group
“The female power behind Felix Hart is Ragne Smith. I love the fact that she upcycles furniture on a grand scale, and is an absolutely unapologetic maximalist. She turns furniture into an eye catching and comfortable artform.”
– Ines Hanl, The Sky is the Limit Design
“I first reached out to Bronte Freeman of Freeman Fabrication a few years ago when I could not find a metal planter size to suit a landscaping project. Working with new fabricators is always a leap of faith and you wait with bated breath for that first installation to be revealed. Needless to say, I was very pleased with Bronte and her work and she’s been a great co-collaborator ever since!”
“Ranging from larger architectural elements, to smaller goods – hello blanket ladder – I respect Bronte’s commitment and skill to building those custom pieces our clients need. The fact that this is a female owned fabrication shop is a massive bonus for us, pretty bad ass, and a great example of a fabricator earning the respect of their colleagues by being good at their trade.”
– Raubyn Rothschild of Rothschild West Design and Planning
“Without question she deserves the title “La Grande Dame Du Design” – something I truly admire about Andrée Putman is that she actually started design very late in life, after her divorce, when she created her own design firm, Ecart, in 1978 in Paris at the age of 53. She has designed stores for Guerlain and Yves Saint Laurent, and many residences, embassies, even the Concorde, but one of her most emblematic projects was the 1984 revamp of the Morgans Hotel in New York which was dubbed the world’s first boutique hotel.”
– Ivan Meade of Meade Design Group
Some Facts about IWD
The first official International Women’s Day was held in 1911. It was celebrated on March 19 in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and Denmark, and was proposed by a German woman named Clara Zetkin after the 1910 International Conference of Working Women.
Today, women are working on the front lines as health care workers, caregivers, innovators, community organizers and as some of the most impactful leaders during the pandemic. The crisis has brought into focus the significance of women’s contributions as well as the unreasonable burdens they carry: “Across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection, the impacts of COVID-19 are exacerbated for women and girls simply by virtue of their sex,” says a United Nations policy brief.
Women make up the vast majority of spending power for home goods and art, nevertheless the manufacturing, woodworking and crafting industry is predominantly male.