Student Stories – Siara Berry

STUDENT STORIES-2Student Stories is a chance to meet current and past SDR students and find out how their time with us has influenced their work.

This month we are talking to Siara Berry an artist from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who came to Shoreditch Design Rooms in 2015.

When and what did you study at SDR?

So I studied at SDR in the Fall of 2015. I was visiting from the U.S as part of a grant I had received that allowed me to pursue a craft that would influence my career as an artist. I came across SDR online, and from there worked out a customized program that would fit within my budget and timeline. It was amazing. Everyone was so helpful in planning my trip. I was placed in the level 3 course, but was doing mostly test pieces and craft exercises. It was really great to see what the students were doing at such a high level. It got my imagination going as to what I was capable of as an artist and designer.
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Making sample pieces at SDR

Where are you working now and what are you up to at the moment?

After returning to the States in January, I began working at Design Fugitives, a design and fabrication company in my hometown, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We do custom projects for personal and corporate clientele. I design pieces as well as make them – like the piece I’m pictured with above which we made for a gala. My knowledge in woodworking, upholstery, and sculpture come in handy everyday. I also have my own studio in the city where I am pursuing my own practice. It’s been a slow roll getting back into the swing of things, but it’s getting there!


Some of Siara’s work currently on show in Wisconsin


Did the experience open your eyes to new things?
When I started at SDR, I had no idea the amount of detail and thought went into upholstery. I knew a little, but after leaving I looked at furniture a whole new way. Louise taught me about grain lines, proper tools, sewing techniques and fabric properties. I should’ve known that with a trade like upholstery there was a deep rooted history and process. I really started to appreciate the time and concentration one needs to properly upholster a chair. I loved seeing the innards and frame of the furniture, as well. I found it really inspiring.


Bute Fabrics on display at NeoCon in Chicago.

What advice would you give to new students?

My advice? Take your time. I am always too eager, too impatient, and feel too rushed. Upholstery really takes time, and practice. Like everything well-done, it takes time.
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