We stumbled upon metalsmithing duo – Daryl and Stella – behind jewelry company Stale & Co, and picked their brains about the craft and how handmade goods are growing in Singapore.
How did you two meet and what are your respective backgrounds?
We both met more than 10 years ago in college whilst studying art and design. Both Stella and myself majored in photography in college, but moved on to dabble in a variety of trades before settling with metalsmithing.
What is your first memory of being interested in wearable objects?
Both of us have always been intrigued with the idea of creating using only our hands, particular in the creation of beautiful objects from scratch. And we can’t really put a finger onto a single point of time when we became interested in wearable objects, but I guess it came naturally as we felt a sense of satisfaction in creating little pieces of art that people can wear in their everyday lives.
Is there a good reception of handmade goods in general in Singapore? How does your particular craft fit into that?
As compared to 3-4 years ago, the reception towards handmade goods in recent years have been increasingly positive as consumers here are getting more exposed to the value of artisanal crafts.
Currently, the metalsmith discipline is still a lesser-known craft in Singapore as there are not many people here who are trained in this craft. However, the general landscape of the more receptive attitude towards handcrafted goods gave us a very good platform to share about our craft.
What are the highlights and challenges of working as a team?
One of the biggest challenges working together would have to be the difference in working styles. Both Stella and myself have styles that are at opposite ends, and finding the middle ground is often a complicated (and at times messy!) affair. But that being said, the difference in working styles is at the same time one of the biggest highlights of us working together. Even though we have opposing styles, whenever we do manage to meet in the middle and find that compromise, somehow great things happen.
What is your favourite material, and what is your favourite tool?
Our favorite material has to be metal (no surprises there!) – it is one material that seems the most intimidating when you don’t understand it, but is in fact very flexible and capable of being made into great things with ease. And our favorite tool has to be the human hands – simple yet being fully capable of creating magnificent things.
What have your greatest achievements of the past year been?
Well, would have to say that being able to do what we love to do as our full-time career has really got to be our greatest achievement so far!
What are your favourite things about Singapore? Who/what is most inspiring you at the moment where you live?
It would have to be the people, the food, and simply being in one of the most connected countries in the world. In Singapore, information is very accessible and we are exposed to many different cultures easily. This ease of access to what the rest of the world are doing and how they are living serves as a constant inspiration for us in our work and craft. And did I mention the food?