Q & A with Confetti System
Confetti System is two friends—Julie Ho and Nicholas Andersen—who make their living creating festive and kaleidoscopic "party systems" out of tissue paper, sparkly mylar, and more. They've created confetti, shaggy geometric pinatas, and garlands for the likes of J.Crew and the band Beach House, and sell their rope-y metallic necklaces at Opening Ceremony and Bergdorf Goodman.
Their website is full of sparkly modern party inspiration, and their blog offers fascinating and colorful glimpses behind the pinata-making scenes. Curious to hear more from these two—who live their crafty fantasy life surrounded by glue guns, paper goods, and more glamour than your average D.I.Y-er—I emailed them some questions. See below for their answers!
Tell me a bit about how Confetti System came to be, what inspired the business, and who's involved. Nick: I was always taking art and craft classes as well. I was interested in making things with my hands. Growing up in Hawaii I was always inspired by native Hawaiian crafts, lei making, and textiles.
We've been friends for a long time—we originally bonded while working on photo shoots, prop and craft styling. We would get together to decorate and create mini-installations for our friends' parties and music shows. After a while our idea kind of came together and we decided to create our first series of "party" objects. We are always inspired by similar things, and find beauty in small places and unexpected things. We were interested in playing with the idea of ephemeral objects that are interactive and have the ability to change the mood of a space.
What's your background? As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Julie: I took a lot of art classes when I was young. Ever since childhood, I had a deep fascination with all things installation-like; dioramas at the Metropolitan Museum were magical to me, and I loved looking through shelter/design/architecture magazines my dad would bring home. When I was young, I wanted to design everything I used on a daily basis, and be an archeologist.
Tell me a bit about the range of projects you typically work on, and what materials you use.
We do work on a wide range of projects—most recently, custom props for the J.Crew Holiday catalogs as well as their window displays (which are up now!) and installations for an American Ballet Theater Gala in NYC. We also worked with Beach House on the stage design for their 2010 tour [see photo above]. Our original series of party-inspired objects was created using paper, silk, and leather, and we continue to use these materials but are constantly experimenting with new materials.
What's the coolest project you've taken on recently?
We recently created a 30-foot long custom curtain using layers of fringed fabric for the Creatures of Comfort store in New York. Fabric was a new material for us but it worked out well, and we love how it works within the space. Jade's store is beautiful and quite large, and our curtain divides the space and acts as a wall separating the office from the sales floor.
I notice on your 'about' page, the word 'pinatas' is nowhere to be seen...
Yes, they are pinatas! It's funny we didn't realize that. We do make functional pinatas that can be filled and broken, but people often hang them as decoration. We like the potential they have to transform a space or party, whether broken or not.
What qualities are necessary to be good at your job?
Patience and trusting your instincts.
What's best about your job?
Being able to do what we love.
What makes you wish you did something else?
What's your dream project?
We are looking forward to designing a new collection of objects, and creating more sets. We would really love to design an interior space as well.
If you weren't a 'confetti system' maker, what would you be?
Nick: A potter.
Nick: I was always taking art and craft classes as well. I was interested in making things with my hands. Growing up in Hawaii I was always inspired by native Hawaiian crafts, lei making, and textiles.
Julie: A baker.