Extraction is a project that experiments with natural dye coming from different sources, such as plants, vegetable skin, tea, and flowers to create colors that connect people with nature. From this experience, Anna has developed a range of slow-crafts, one-of-a-kind stationery products.
My name is Anna and I am the founder of Extraction Project. I started studying design in Italy and completed my BA in Graphic and Media Design at the University of Arts London. I started this journey into natural dying and crafting while I was studying, spending most of my time in the workshops experimenting with colors, printmaking, letterpress, bookbinding, and dark room.
The brand was created 2 years ago. One of the main topics I found myself working on was sustainability and creating sustainable solutions. This is how I started to make paper and natural dyes to respond to this call and find solutions to minimize waste and use our resources more consciously.
I started to collect paper off-cuts and remake them into beautiful pieces hand made paper while combining with plants and leftovers from everyday cooking, like the vegetable skins to create different colors. This is why this project is called EXTRAction.
When I design I always lose myself into the process, I almost disappear, and I forget about the final outcome. I sort have a plan of what I want to make but I keep myself open, and I let things happen rather than force them into shape. When approaching a project, I select a range of media to play with which are organic, essential and have a flexible structure. Paper, fabric, and dyes have these characteristics which set the ground for endless possibilities to experiment where the outcome is always different and surprising. That’s how I got into natural dye and hand made paper.
Another aspect is searching for the source. I love tracking back how things are made or where they come from, so for instance how paper is made? Where colors come from? How is fabric dyed? For me, it is fundamental going back to ancient techniques to discover, learn and honor them in my process.
What is your philosophy? What is the DNA of your brand?
Extraction project was born out of a need to purely express myself which conventional graphic design was not giving me. For years I have created work with no soul that were quickly forgotten which had nothing to do with me. I was also coming out of a difficult moment in my life and I felt the need to slow down and step back from a crazy demanding world to create something meaningful that was only mine. A world where products are mass produced which are all identical, projecting an image of perfection which doesn’t belong to human beings. Hand made objects are beautifully imperfect, no one is like another and they change with time, just like us. Why buying something that makes us look all the same? This is how Extraction project came to shape.
The challenge is to transfer this message to people to teach them how to look at things because people are made blind by our consumer society. When you buy a product from a craft man it has a soul, a meaning, it is special!
What are you inspired by?
My biggest source of inspiration is nature and life in general.
Sitting down and silently observe life unfolding in front of my eyes, opening up myself to the world and deeply connect with it. It gives me fresh energy to create without being influenced by useless stuff that continuously surrounds us.
Kids inspire me by their innocence and openness.
I am inspired by artists and people that dare to show their vision to the world.
I am inspired by my mother and how she turns everyday life into something extraordinary.
What are the pieces you like the most from your collection?
The Gold Collection, and in particular, The Fragments
Can you give us 3 words that describe the best the modern bride/couple?
Attention for details, Feminine, Natural
What is your vision of an on-trend wedding?
Weddings will feel and look more personalized and natural with great care to details. Couples are looking to find increasingly creative ways to make their wedding day absolutely unique.
Searching unique and unconventional locations for pre-wedding shoots with a great photographer is also quite a key aspect.