|sparkk creative head Saskia Rysenbry|
With colour, design and textiles in their genes three generations of the Rysenbry family have been involved in the interior furnishings industry for more than 60 years. After founding Mokum in Australia in 1985, last year the family sold the business to embark on new venture Sparkk with Saskia Rysenbry at the helm as Creative Head. Producing a contemporary range of interior textiles and wallcoverings printed digitally on demand, Sparkk's signature designs can be customised by choosing your own colourway from their extensive palette.
Creative as well as energetic, Saskia is currently on the road as part of the Mongol charity Rally. A four week adventure traveling over 13,000km through 21+ countries, 3 deserts and 5 mountain ranges Saksia and her Ruba-dub-tub club team are supporting The Lotus Children’s Centre, the KKSS Foundation, The Forever Friends Appeal and the Bhopal Medical Appeal. Find out more about it here. Despite being on the road Saskia took some time out for a little introspection. With a new Sparkk floral range set to be released soon, you can view a sneak preview here.
How would you describe yourself?
Lucky, loud and a little crazy.
What was your childhood dream?
I can’t really remember! Maybe to be a ninja so I could take on my three brothers.
What led you down your current path and the launch of Sparkk?
My family has been in textiles for three generations, Sparkk is a response for a new generation of technology and design.
What do you love most about what you do?
Working with my brother Christian and seeing what we can and will do together. Learning from my Dad every day. I love finding inspiration and developing it to fit with our ethos and market. The hard part is knowing we can do anything – I have to be disciplined to draw the line somewhere!
Where do you seek inspiration?
From my family and when I’m traveling and my friends. From these I find inspiration from just about anything - old pots in Uzbekistan, traditional henna stamps in India, or from many of my talented friends. My Mum has a pretty sweet eye too so she’s a great source of inspiration
How did the current bird collection come about?
The Flamingo started it all – I came across it when I was reading up about historical ornithologists. I was blown away by the colour and movement of the flamingo and immediately began researching Australian birds, I found John Gould. He was English but is considered the father of bird study in Australia. So the collection is about Australian birds, but I couldn’t help having the flamingo in there too, it was just too wonderful!
Do you have a favourite design?
Well it might be obvious by now, but it’s definitely the Flamingo! It’s a great example of history reinvented which can be very powerful.
What challenges have you had to overcome?
Starting Sparkk was a big challenge! Learning about the business of running a company as well as my own strengths and weaknesses in design. Designing a whole library from scratch was difficult as I had free reign, so it was hard to know which directions to take.
What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
When we started selling my designs, I was thinking “are you sure?!”
What are your top creative resources?
What dream do you still want to fulfil?
I want to do some documentary films in some crazy places.
I have no idea, and that is the most exciting thing ever!
When the weekend rolls around what do you love to:
Read – Richard Dawkins. It is so hard to read but amazing see the passion and intelligence, and to use the other side of my brain (for once!).
Watch - I am traveling at the moment so it is always great to watch people on the streets in different locations.
Cook - anything local.
Create – New ways to challenge myself.
Listen to- My Swedish friend Jesper playing The Tallest Man on Earth. It’s unreal!
Dream about - My next adventure.
Look forward to - Seeing my family again soon.