We had a chance to connect with MacKenzie-Childs Creative Director, Rebecca Proctor, and learn more about the wonderful home décor brand. With a cult-like following showcasing handmade crafts in ceramics and home furnishings, MacKenzie-Childs brings a unique sense of small farm, individuality to any household. Be sure to stop by Neiman Marcus NorthPark and meet Rebecca on Saturday, May 7 from 1-4PM and pick up an original collectible for your favorite room.
Most of your products are made by hand. Take us through the process of creating a one-of-a-kind MacKenzie-Childs piece?
The process we choose really depends on which materials we are working with. For example, our ceramic dinnerware is all made by hand in Aurora, New York, using the same techniques we've employed for over 30 years. Each piece of ceramic created at our studios is a unique work, hand formed using traditional techniques; hand trimmed, hand glazed, hand decorated and then fired again, in some cases several times. Our ceramics require meticulous care during the production process, but we continue to use these hand production methods to ensure that each piece has its own individuality, quirks and charm. This individuality can be seen in every aspect of our pottery, but it is most evident in the hand-painting by our pottery decorators. All of our decorators come to us with a great deal of artistic talent and experience painting in many different mediums. But because of the uniqueness of what we do, few have experience painting in our style, so every artisan is first trained on the job in all patterns and materials. As part of their training we ask them to paint each piece as though they are painting it for their own mother. Each piece of our pottery carries our studio mark and date of manufacture, and the stamps of each artisan who contributes to a piece. This adds to its collectability.
What is your favorite MacKenzie-Childs design?
Ever since I can remember, my favorite design has been our Courtly Check ceramic teacup and saucer. It's a happy little pairing and it feels good just to hold them.
Where do you draw your inspiration for your patterns and designs?
In my work I travel a great deal, and have seen the way people from different cultures live their day to day lives. So I guess I'd say I find inspiration in the many similarities in which people everywhere appreciate the idea of "home"– this impulse is really the same all over the world. I'm inspired by the way people can immerse themselves in preparing a special meal for family and friends. Also, design books fascinate me in the way they provide insight into the way great minds work. And I am very sentimental about the smallest of things that can be found in markets and antique stores – little finds which can really spark the imagination. I love observing nature, and the changing seasons. So you see, Inspiration is absolutely everywhere. All you need to do is pay attention to what's around you.
Where is your favorite place to travel and why?
That is such a tough question! I have always loved to travel and I have found many favorite places, and they become favorites for such a wide variety of reasons. I love San Miguel de Allende for its people, it's colorful approach to everyday life, its food and sunsets. I love London for its history, tea, fantastic antique shops, and friends I've made there through the years. And I love staying home. Can home count as a favorite place?! When you travel as much as I do, it seems challenging to get there sometimes.
Your furniture is so colorful and unique, how do you decide what colors and patterns you are going to combine to create these great furniture pieces?
MacKenzie-Childs has always marched to its own drum and everything we create lives within our unique design vocabulary. The colors we choose, and the patterns and textures we combine come from a variety of places. Palettes and layering of patterns most frequently begin with the fabrics we select for our upholstery pieces. The furniture sets the stage for everything we design each season. These designs are like the main cast of characters in each theater piece we produce. That's really how we look at it.