12 May 2011

A Conversation with Niki of Odd One Out

I'm going to suggest that Niki of Odd One Out has one wicked sense of humour - have you seen her beautiful vintage plates which have been given a new lease of life with fun, quirky illustrations guaranteed to make you smile? Fun, fun, fun! 

These are not the only wares that Niki makes though - describing herself as a maker of stuff, collector of everything and rescuer of the unused and unloved, and with a Bachelor of Design under her belt, seemingly everyday items are upcycled or repurposed and transformed into beautiful creations with a homewares and accessories slant.  Let's see what makes Niki tick :) ....

Who is Niki Gribble aka Odd One Out?
I describe myself as a maker of stuff, collector of everything and rescuer of the unused and unloved.

Odd One Out is a wee project of mine that has been stewing for quite some time. After completing a Bachelor of design and then working as a commercial Textile Designer for 7 years I took some time out in 2009 to have my little boy. During that time I realized that I absolutely have to be doing something creative or I’m just not that happy, so I began to go through some notebooks from my student days and rework some of my ideas.

I now make an ever growing range of stuff and sell at markets, some shops and online.

What’s your “handmade groove ?”
I am really inspired by working with vintage and salvaged materials. It’s my little way of extending the life of perfectly a good object that may have otherwise been dumped. My aim is to imbue a sense of humor and a designers eye into making those unloved objects stick around for a bit longer.

What’s on your bedside table right now? (hey, no tidying up or censoring)
It’s a really tiny little table with a drawer attached to my bedhead but it holds a lot! So on top is…
- Dust!
- A couple of ‘Edition Paumes’ design books that I ordered from Oz that have just arrived yay! I just love looking at all the photos of inspiring interiors – just as well because I can’t read them (they are written in Japanese!)
- A bottle of water
- my absolute favourite little lamp – it has a 1950s atomic base and a George Nelson shade – love it!

In the drawer…
- hair ties
- one of my son Luca’s toy cars
- notebook and pencil for those late night inspirations
- needle & thread, some random buttons
- some half stamped coffee loyalty cards
- more dust!

Who are your creative role models? What music, books, images, poetry spark your creative fire?
I get inspiration from everywhere – I wouldn’t really say it was from one continuous source. I love to pick up books and magazines on random subjects (a tattoo magazine inspired a recent range of plate designs), vintage shops and flea markets throw up some interesting finds which inspire new pieces and of course going to craft markets and talking with other fantastic crafters keeps me inspired and motivated.

What could you talk late into the night about with like minded people?
Design, design, design - in all its forms. I love to creative brainstorm with other people from anything from fashion, interiors, architecture, crafty stuff, art etc. I find it really progresses ideas that may have been stuck a little while on paper. That and talking travel – I love to hear and talk about inspiring cities and places around the world.

If you could go to three free workshops/creative events this year which ones would they be? What are they about?
I love learning new crafty skills, some things I have wanted to learn more about are:

Crocheting (I just can’t seem to get my head around it) & Mold making and casting – metal, resin, plastic etc,

I would also like to do a road trip and try out selling at a Craft Fair out of Auckland – would love to go to Wellington!

How do you balance your creative life with your family, life commitments?
Ah, good question. I find its quite hard at the moment, with a full on toddler with me during the day most of my creative work gets done at night and if I’m super lucky – during his naps in the day (which are now getting few and far between!) In saying that my brain is ticking away with new ideas all the time and my sketchbook is getting filled up in the hope of some more free time once he starts kindy.

What is your favourite creative screw-up?
I really don’t think I have made anything I would call a screw up, If something is not going how I imagined I tend to just go with the flow and work with what I have got. I am really loath to throw anything away so I will just keep at it till something emerges!

Kitchen table or studio?
I have an office/spare room that has really just turned into a sort of junk room – where all my stuff gets stored, but it’s too cluttered to think in there so I usually end up at the kitchen table or on the sofa in front of the tele.

Do you have a wish list? Can you tell us what’s on it?
That relates to the above question. I am really itching for a studio to work in and I have my sights set on the garage. I can just picture it as a cute little cottage/studio with French doors opening onto the garden. But there is a lot of work to do on it yet, and I would have to convince the other half to move all his junk/tools somewhere. But if I have my way we will hopefully make a start on it this year!

Odd One Out creations are available at their Felt shop.


  1. Love the quirkiness and suprises I always find in your designs Niki :)

  2. Bronwyn @People PuppiesMay 12, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    Oh I love that plate with the owl. Gorgeous xx

  3. Am liking the antler girl very much... so sweet. x


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