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..it's Jantien and Hester from Tas-Ka

Wednesday, 9 April 2008 by Irene Hoofs

...a very talented, creative and trendsetting design duo from the Netherlands...therefore I'm proud to show you some images from their house, studio and new products...Hester and Jantien started Tas-ka in 2004. Both women have a passion for textile design, the prefer using natural materials only and each of Tas-ka’s designs is unique, you won’t find two designs that look a like...enjoy this nice insight in their lives and business views...
{Tas-Ka's new collection}
1. ) Did you meet each other during your studies Textile design at The Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague?
Yes, we were in the same year/class.
{Chairs in the Studio}
2.) And of course we would like to know how you came up with the name Tas-Ka. Was it difficult to find a name and did you take business …in consideration when deciding on the name? And what is going on with the vintage chairs?
We started with making handbags, which is ‘Tas’ in Dutch…so we started looking for the word ‘tas’ in different languages. In Tsjech tas means Tas-ka. We just thought it was a beautiful word and felt it fitted really well with us.
The vintage chairs are intended for a new project we are doing. Currently, we are working really hard on a new webshop, where we will not only be offering our own products, but also beautiful books, magazines, stationary and vintage china and chairs!
{new collection pillows}
3.) Why did you choose ‘house’ as the theme for your amazingly beautiful new 2008 collection?
Often you just think of these things spontaneously and then we translate them onto paper. There was no special reason why we have chosen houses, it was just one of those ideas that we liked and evolved.. After designing the fabric the products naturally followed the design. We have also use many other materials for our products such as the birch wood for the “broodplankjes”, “fietsje” and the bench.
The notebooks and maps that we did were printed by a third party, this was a whole new avenue for us.
Maybe you can tell from our collection that we have a very broad interest. We very much enjoy designing a variety of different products which we feel is an exciting part of our work, and keeps it exciting.
{chipwood nesting closet}
4.) How important are trade-shows for Tas-Ka; would you consider going to an international show in the near future? And do will you feature the chip wood closet at the show as well (love it)?
We have only been once to the Kleine Fabriek and it has been a very good experience. It was nice meeting our customers in person; normally we often only speak to them on the phone or via email. We will probably go to the Kleine Fabriek more often and we are planning to go to Maison et Objet in Paris next year. 
Hester’s brother, Gijsbert Worst, made the cabinet. It’s a nesting cabinet, very handy and easy to transport. The cabinet allows you to create a different style each time and is adjustable to the space were you want to use it.
{desk in studio}
5.) What are the pro’s and con’s of working together. Do you divide your tasks, how do you decide on a particular design?
We both experience working together as very pleasant. It’s funny how often we share the same ideas, without having consulted each other. We also share the same sense for color and form. Sometimes it happens that one of us starts a design and the other finishes it, which makes it a true ‘shared’ design.
When we do have a disagreement, we talk about it and always come to a solution, which in the end often is a better solution then we would have hoped for. The big advantage of working together is always being able to enjoy the good and the bad things together. Sharing the responsibility for Tas-Ka is something we consider a pro. We don’t have a clear vision of what each others particular tasks are…we just do what we have to do…one will take care of the administration, the other will take care of the bills being actually paid, something like this…
{stock in studio}
6.) Where do you keep your stock and are there any tips you can give us about keeping stock, or do you only start production after you have received the actual order? Do you make all the samples yourself?
Oh, yes this is a problem. Our studio is not very big and we feel that it is increasingly difficult to store all our designs and products. And the actual working space is pretty big as well. We are desperately looking for a solution, and most probably we have to move to a larger studio. At the moment most of our products are made by ourselves, but we are looking for an sewing studio to outsource some of it. But handing over the actual production process is something we don’t find easy, we ourselves take so much care and attention for the products and you really hope to find somebody with the same commitment for the designs. But in the end we have to find a good manufacturer, it simple is too much work for the two of us.
{Jantien her hallway closet with books}
7.) Such a clever idea using the hallway closet space for your books? Do you get much inspiration from books, and which ones can you recommend?

My boyfriend, Floris, and I (Jantien) live in a very small house in Delft and living in a small hous forces you to be very creative in finding storage solutions. That’s why I decided to use the hallway closet for placing our books. I dream of a bigger house!
I am certainly inspired by books. A very inspirational book to me is ‘Exactitudes’ by photographer Ari Versluijs and stylist Ellie Uytenbroek. The book shows different images of groups of people, who without knowing wear the same type of clothes as the other group. Very funny and very nicely photographed! I bought it a long time ago, but still enjoy it every time I read it. 
The children books by Annie M.G. Schmidt and illustrator Fiep Westendorp, are very beautiful and timeless. (Eg: Pluk van de Petteflet, Minoes en Otje) I hope that many generations to come will keep on reading these books. I can give you so many more examples of books I truly enjoy..there are just so many. A book on my wish list right now is ‘Lepidoptera Domestica’: a book about a collection of butterflies by Manon Kouswijk.
{Jantien Livingroom}
8.) Who designed the beautiful plaid on your couch and the artwork above and on the dining table?
The plaid is Ikea, I think the colors are very beautiful and my mother gave it to me as a present. The large painting, Magnus Opus was created by Floris Schrama, my boyfriend. He painted it as part of his final exams project for graphic design studies. His final exams revolved entirely around a small organ, called Magnus. There is a movie, some music and a poster about Magnus. This particularly one is a woodprint. And in the 2 small frames on the table you can see two images from a children’s books by Czech author, Kveta Pacovska, she is one of my favorite illustrators, she makes beautiful original drawings. I can highly recommend watching her work, for example right here.
{Hester kitchen}
9.)I see dots everywhere…what is it with you and ‘dots’? Was the green cabinet already hanging in the kitchen? And did you make the lovely little birds on the window yourself?
About eight or nine years ago I fell in love with some beautiful red dotted tableware in an Italian supermarket. Or course I had to buy it and that’s when my collecting started. Since then I love visiting secondhand shops and flea markets in search of fine dotted tableware. The green cabinet was a birth present. I have always kept my "treasures" in it and now it hangs in our kitchen and again I use it to store my precious belongings. Yes, I made the little birds on the window myself out of adhesive plastic. Just by cutting out three simple bird patterns and stick them on the window. It is very simple to make!
{Hester livingroom}
10.)What do you cherish in your house and what is something on your wish list for your living room?
I obviously cherish my dotted tableware, but I am also very attached to my books and some of my furniture. I would perhaps like to have a beautiful floor lamp. But overall I am very pleased with our living room as it is.
{Hester Kitchen and balcony}

11. How important is creativity in your life and from what age on did you become serious in pursuing a career as a designer? …finally…why did you want to show us the image from the plants on your balcony… ?
Thinking about creating something comes natural to me...I love to imagine things...it gives such a nice feeling when being around items you created yurselved. My upbringing certainly has influenced my way of thinking and being creative. My parents were  also very creative and made many things for us, for example our toys, clothing and furniture. I guess it has become something very normal for me.
When my friend and I bought our house five years ago, the house was a mess and very old and we had to refurbish everything…so we did and we did it ourselves…it was good experience and thought us so many new thing which we didn’t think we were capable of. When I walk in our house I feel proud and it really feels like our house!

Oh, and that picture of the balcony…Jantien and I don’t have a garden, but we do cherish our little balcony.
Thanks Jantien and Hester!

..online shop..

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