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Just like a playground

What does a graphic designer and a design theorist do during the lockdown? Well, they play with clay. And on top, they create supercool, colorful unique earrings, just for fun. We interviewed Anna Bárdy and Petra Hoffmann, the founders of Studio Clayground.

“In the beginnings, switching to an unusually slow gear from the previous rush felt quite odd, but both of us grew to love this new pace soon, and it became an incredible experience for us that we have time for things that we didn’t have time for previously, for example we hike a lot. We are both very lucky in a sense that the past two months didn’t bring any irreversible negative consequences into our lives. Change is a good thing most of the time, and it’s important that we focus on positive things even amidst the miserable circumstances. And our new experiences gives a quite positive overtone to this period” – answered the founders our question how they experienced the situation caused by the coronavirus. And on top, they also have a new common hobby in addition to their regular hikes…

This is what they enjoy the most

Their friendship goes back to the Makers of Budapest book project, in which  Anna participated as a graphic designer, and  Petra worked as an author-project manager. Since then, they travelled a lot together, most of the times they are interested in the same things at new places, and they have made countless creative stuff together – they beaded, they embroidered, they participated in fantastic ceramics workshops with the SUSU Keramika girls – and all just for fun. Besides the various entertaining activities, their latest hobby is clay modelling. They started it in March, during the lockdown, and so they had even more time for it than before; and on top, this is what they enjoy the most. Then they came up with a name, and created a website, a Facebook and an Instagram page, too.

“As also suggested by the name,  Studio Clayground is primarily a playground for us. And if something turns out good, and others like it too, we will be more than happy!”– the girls added.

Joy and groundbreaking coolness

In the past period, they explored the genre of clay jewelry thoroughly, learnt a lot of tricks from other creators, and they experimented with many techniques. They have a rich collection of colors, forms, patterns and exciting compositions – these inspire them as well as the design mindset of the Memphis Group, which is the textbook example of pure joy and groundbreaking coolness, in a good sense. 

“Many people create jewelry out of clay, but we somehow saw that there is a lot of overlapping in style, color and technique. We on the other hand want to do something more unique, irregular and humorous, something that reflects who we are. The visual identity of Studio Clayground was of course designed by Anna, we create the jewelry together, but we always discuss whether a new idea fits into our current repertoire. And then everyone does what they want to. Just like in the playground…”  – the designers told us.

For them, jewelry making is primarily a passion, an entertaining activity which helps them experience and manifest their creativity. Anna will continue the previous projects as a graphic designer, while Petra (the founder of Stilblog and Stilshop – the Ed.) will continue to work as a graphic designer, and Studio Clayground will remain a new perspective and fantastic free time activity for both of them. At the same time, they would be very happy if more and more people knew about and wore their products – this would make them the proudest. “Our big plan is to spend many joyful minutes together with this new hobby.

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