Exclusive Interview with Marta Katarzyna Buda

Some of my most favourite girls that make up the team behind Penny Sage have recently opened their first ever pop-up store, situated on the second floor of Flotsam & Jetsam on Ponsonby Road. It’s a space that you could easily loose a few hours in. Petite in size but still airy, lengthy shards of […]


Some of my most favourite girls that make up the team behind Penny Sage have recently opened their first ever pop-up store, situated on the second floor of Flotsam & Jetsam on Ponsonby Road. It’s a space that you could easily loose a few hours in. Petite in size but still airy, lengthy shards of sunlight poke through the antique windows, it has a definite charm and pace about it. Green painted floors and clean wooden racks give the current Penny Sage collection a perfect home.

It’s also so nice to see the vision and personality of Penny Sage stretch out into it’s own retail space, we get to see what chair ‘she’ wants to sit on, what flowers and foliage ‘she’ likes to decorate with, and what artwork ‘she’ invests in – it’s an environment the brand has beautifully taken ownership of and one that it very much deserves.

But what makes this pop-up store even more unique is the fact that they’re not only showcasing their own lustful summer collection, they’re also sharing their space with a selection of New Zealand-based female artists: Marta Katarzyna Buda, Leilani Heather & Greta van der Star. Isn’t it refreshing to see a bunch of clever girls come together and create a space that celebrates and encourages each other? It feels positive, inclusive, just what Auckland needs.

The first installation to grace the walls is a collection of dreamy woven works by textile designer and maker Marta Katarzyna Buda. Her installation consists of nine hand-woven wall hangings. Each piece is made with hand-spun organic cotton from Laos and New Zealand wool – coloured using only natural dyes such as indigofera, ebony fruit, mango skin and rosewood bark.

While the lovely Marta was visiting Auckland last week, I got to chat to her about her woven works, botanical dying, and the meaning of ‘relax and escape’ …


Tell us about where you are located right now?

Right now I’m sitting at the dining table in a room on the second storey of a hotel/serviced apartment in Ponsonby, Auckland.

Is this space different to where you work from?

This space is entirely different from where I work from. I mainly work from my own home which is in Wellington. At home I am surrounded by my personal and family belongings and I do a lot of weaving at my own dining table which gets lovely natural lighting throughout the day.

What is you daily routine?

My daily routine is quite varied and entirely dictated by my daughter Anouk as I am also a full time mother. It always starts with a lemon water and then a filter coffee and a warm breakfast. As my daughter is still young our days are usually broken up by snacks, meals, play dates, playgrounds and as the weather warms lots of outdoor time. Once she is asleep in the evening my “work” day begins. If I am working on a specific project I might stay up until 11 or 12pm. If it’s a kindergarten day for my daughter I will race home and try to get as much work as possible done before I need to go back and pick her up from there. Time is hugely precious to me. I will often also use the weekends when my partner is home to work on freelance or personal projects.

How would you describe your textile works?

I see my works as being very tactile. The way I create things is dictated by the materials I choose and the integrity of those materials. I always strive to create a balance of colour and a harmony of form within my work. Through this I hope to convey an honest minimalism in my compositions.

What are you working on at the moment?

Currently I am working on fabric design for both Penny Sage and Twenty Seven Names summer 2015/16 collections . I have one wall weaving on the go which is going to be for a NZ artist, and another to make after that which is for a designer in Australia. I have a personal project that I have been botanically dying fabric for that I am very excited to finish.

Can you tell us about the works specifically in the Penny Sage pop-up store?

The weavings in the Penny Sage pop up shop are very special to me because they are made with organic hand spun cotton sourced from Laos (two of the weavings also include undyed NZ wool). All the colours come from traditional natural dye sources. This was the first time I have ever woven a collection of weavings as a body of work, and also the first time I have used such fine and delicate yarn to weave with. I wanted these weavings to be subtle, and to gently compliment the beautiful clothes in the space.

What sort of yarns and materials are you interested in using, if not already.

I always use natural materials; wool, cotton, linen, silk. I am conscious of the chemicals that are added to process and dye yarn, and I am trying to align my practise with my personal ideals of sustainability. There are many varied and beautiful shades of undyed wool and although I still have and use synthetically dyed yarns, I am aiming to move away from these by incorporating more, and eventually hope to only use, naturally dyed yarns. There is a great renaissance for botanical dying happening currently and it feels good to be a part of it. I also have some nettle yarn and raw, unwashed silk yarn which I look forward to including in my work.

Where do you like to find inspiration?

I always find this a difficult question to answer. Inspiration to me is not necessarily a conscious act, so many things can inspire me – it can be a moment of light passing over a leaf or the colour combination of a childs outfit. However there are things that do always inspire me, contemporary art is always inspiring and some artists I currently seem to be constantly going back to are Agnes Martin, Cy Twombly and photographer Masao Yamamoto. If I am researching something for work, I will often look on pinterest and although I love it, I am extremely cautious of using it as my sole platform for viewing.

When you get a chance to relax and escape, where do you go, what do you do?

‘Relax and escape’ hold such a different meaning to me now since I have had a child. Getting a coffee on my own is like a small escape for me these days and even driving an empty car can be a relaxing experience. But if I really want to escape our daily reality then I love to travel to visit family or friends. Travel has always been a big part of my life as a lot of my family live overseas. Last year we went on our dream trip to Japan which was the first time we went somewhere where we didn’t stay with friends or family. We visited some incredible art galleries, and came back completely inspired and eager to go back.

Any summer plans this year?

Not anything specific yet. I hope we can get to a place with reliable sunny weather so I can lie on the beach for a few days…







Marta’s collection is available for purchase exclusively from the pop-up store until late October 2014.

150mm x 220mm / $150
380mm x 480mm / $380
410mm x 480mm / $480


{yummy images of Marta’s works taken by Leilani Heather}

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