Say hai to...Daisy Tortuga

This week on  the #HaiSociety journal we spoke with self-proclaimed 'full-time crafter' Daisy Tortuga. Daisy lives in East London amongst a community of creatives. Her ability to capture the charms and quirks of modern twenty-something-year-old life, in the form of playful and witty rugs and soft-furnishings, using traditional  crafting techniques, has won over many-a-heart in  recent months. Her carpet creations, which include depictions of a girl bathing in the beans of a full-English breakfast, (sexi brekki as pointed out by one follower); London youth's off-licence drinks of choice, a bottle of Cherry B and a can of Tyskie lager; and a joyful scene of whimsical toad-stool perching fairies, manage to keep the simple joys and fantasies of life alive. 

Take a walk with us along Hackney's canal, as Daisy thoughtfully mulls over the joys of her studio life, her creative inspirations and her uncertainty over the use of the word 'Fashion' to describe herself... 

Hi Daisy....or should we say  Hai!


Can you describe what you do?

Where do you consider home? When do you know you are home? 

I am at home in the presence of my collections and in the meditation of my craft. I  recently moved to a new studio and bedroom, and I immediately unpacked all of  my tiny things, little dolls, ornaments and sentimental objects. I felt immediately at  home. Being surrounded by warm familiar things makes me feel at my best. 

Describe how you feel when you are on a creative Hai? (high) 

I get very absorbed in my work and can happily spend hours making. I’m normally  an extravert, so during these periods people sometimes think I’m in a bad mood! I  like to put my headphones on without playing any music and properly concentrate  on what I’m doing.  

The best, untalked about place in your city? 

I live in London, but personally I'm a very homey person. I live in a warehouse in  Hackney Wick and it’s the only great untalked about place in the city I can think  of! I have been here two and a half years and think it’s an amazing place. It’s  been so essential in making me the person I am. I’m surrounded by musicians  and artists and the feeling of a proper family. This feels special, especially given  the current temperamental state of the world, we all support each other so well.  Our warehouse is built like something from the borrowers and the space is  constantly evolving, everyone here brings something different to it, it’s a very  unique way of living and I love it.  

How, or where do you go to find inspiration? 

I’m interested in food, collections and comfort, everything is linked. All of my work represents ideas or feelings I have or used to have. I think a lot about the way I saw the world as a child, which is what gives the work a nostalgic quality. I work intuitively, as a very fast and obsessive maker. If I want to finish something I will work until its done and enjoy every moment of it. I don't always know what the end product will be when starting a rug and that’s what excites me. 

What do you do when no one is watching? 

I like to write music, I do this with other people as well, but when I’m alone I find  the process very cathartic and personal. I write songs all the time that I might  never show anyone, it’s just the act of making that is important to me. 

What’s the feeling fashion gives you? 

I find the idea of fashion a strange idea. People have asked me about my interest  in fashion, which from the word itself I am uninterested in. I am not interested in  being ‘in the fashion’, style is what interests me more. Throughout my life I have  dressed in a similar way, I like to wear victorian style dresses, tights and aprons.  When I was little I use to wear victorian dress up clothes with my school shoes on  the weekends, I didn't like wearing t shirts and jeans. My outfits directly reflect  how I am feeling or what I'm doing. I often get changed a few times a day if my  mood changes. I especially love the feeling I get from wearing my long dresses, I  feel powerful, in control and feminine. 

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