Katie Schwab is a maker with a special interest in early-mid twentieth-century design and craft produced by women. Her own practice is emphatically hands-on, collaborative and participatory and has involved aspects of communal living and collective production. For A Working Building (2019), she produced films, wallpaper, tiles, murals, tufted rugs, and textiles. Collectively, they take a critical look at both the Cryséde factory in St Ives – which produced brilliantly coloured and patterned silks in the 1920s and 30s – and the optimistic art and architecture of Plymouth’s post-war Civic Centre. Named after the ribbons and cords used to prevent fabric from unravelling, her new work, small wares (2021), focuses on the repair and restoration of textiles and architecture in Middelburg, the Netherlands.
Katie Schwab (born 1985, London) lives and works in London. Schwab studied at Goldsmiths, University of London and The Glasgow School of Art.
I am interested in what it is possible to make with the hand, either at home or in a small-scale studio or workshop. I am interested in the different ways that craft skills can be passed on, and the intrinsically social aspect of this practice.
– Katie Schwab