Close Up: High Vibes w/ Gamma Folk
Gamma Folk studio is based in in Beacon, NY. Designer Lily Piyathaisere incorporates traditional techniques including natural dyeing, weaving, braiding and ceramics into her line of jewelry and accessories. Lily takes pride in making everything by hand in small batches, allowing the pieces to be crafted with care and yields subtle variations that make each piece unique.
1. Tell us about the inspiration behind the design you made for/with us?
I use the term loosely on calling No. 46 a necklace as its more of a scarf, but it was inspired by the easy and effortless look of Parisian women who wear neck handkerchiefs. They add a certain sophistication to add any outfit and I wanted to create one through the Gamma Folk lens. Which means we need to naturally dye it and add a ceramic component! The peachy tone is dyed with Catechu which is derived from the acacia tree and recently learned it was used in ancient times in Ayurvedic medicine as well. The ceramic component is reminiscent of a belt buckle and loved how it still shows off the scarf and weaves in and out of it.
2. Why were you interested in collaborating with Good Support?
Their mission resonates with me and believe in supporting businesses that are mindful. And of course, to help support the organizations that help protect our civil liberties, the environment, access to healthcare, democracy–all the things that are in jeopardy with our current administration.
3. How did you get into making the goods/work/objects that you do?
I started making jewelry in 2011 as a way to pass time during long work commutes. There is something about train rides, bus rides, airplane rides that help me focus, create and let my mind wander. I still think I do some of my best brainstorming and sketches in transit. Gamma Folk began as embroidered jewelry, but felt stifled with how niche it was. As a long time lover of textile arts, I decided to learn some new skills and make the vision of jewelry I had come to life.
4. What are your thoughts on conscious consumption?
Conscious consumption is something that we all can benefit from and the awareness it creates is a step in the right direction. I see it as unlearning bad habits the majority of us have. That clothes and accessories should be cheap as possible. Quantity over quality. That even if it doesn't work it, it's so cheap we can toss it. But we're seeing the affects of that bad behavior and need to rethink how we approach consuming. We all love buying new stuff, but hate moving. Why? Because we realize that we have way too much stuff that serves no purpose, or impulsively purchased something based on advertising or a deal. What's more important to me now is knowing where my clothing comes from, buying used or that what I'm buying is going towards a company I believe it.
5. How invested are you in civic engagement and social justice?
Civic engagement has become an important part of my daily life. I write, call and use ResistBot often to contact my representatives in Congress. I attend protests as much as my schedule allows as well as attending activist meetings in my town of Beacon. The grassroots efforts happening everywhere are incredibly important and a great way to connect with your community. I'm meeting people who have been activists for decades which has been a great source of knowledge. While this seems like a lot of work and everyone seems to be trying to navigate it in their own way, the main takeaway for me is that its something that will always be a part of my life moving forward. I rarely went to protests or called my reps before this year, but have made the commitment to do this for the rest of my life, even when things are better, because being involved is vital to seeing the change we want to see.
6. What's your sign?