PartyParty

ConfettiSystem's communal and festive paper work

Nick Andersen and Julie Ho offer these words of wisdom: Do what you love. While they happily practice what they preach, there's a caveat. They need the arms and hands of an octopus to help with all the cutting, slicing, and assembling they do at ConfettiSystem, their young company specializing in festive objects made from simple materials like tissue paper, cardboard, rope, and silk. What’s feeds the ConfettiSystem octopus?  A mutual love of communal celebration and craft.
 
Their combined professional backgrounds in art, set design, styling, along a crafty creativity, led them to decorate spaces for their friend's parties and performances.  Says Ho, "Each time we would realize how our work changed and elevated the shape and mood of a room, and eventually the people in it. I think that's when we had the idea of making our own objects based loosely on "party" objects, making our own versions of them, and then use them to create interactive installations -- and memories for people."
 
At first Andersen and Ho started ConfettiSystems as an art project for themselves, a process of discovering how they could interpret and create a series of "party" objects starting with a pinata, blindfold, and party necklaces using simple materials. Anderson says that their goal was and is, "Exploring the limitless possibilities and opportunities to transform something that is so everyday into something unexpected and refreshing….to give it value through our hands and ideas. We hope our work of paper and other simple materials transcends just that and reaches something emotional the viewer can take away with them."
 
Custom pieces include streamers and garlands made from tissue paper that Ho slices with a rolling fabric knife. Funky geometric piñatas are hand-cut and -built. All the pieces from the basic form to the fringe, the confetti inside, and the matching twist ties to keep the trap-door closed are all hand made. Only the cotton rope used for hanging isn’t hand made, but Ho and Andersen hint of coming changes. 
 
There's no question that everyone loves a party, and Ho and Andersen have had the good fortune to have worked with numerous people and companies in a wide range of fields. Clients have included Opening Ceremony, United Bamboo, Partners and Spade, and Pop Magazine. In addition to making the pieces, they've created sets for fashion shows, store window installations, stage design and sets for photo shoots.  Because Ho and Andersen's work is so labor-intensive in many cases it can take weeks to design and build. "Our part is often making pieces to add to the space. But we love the opportunities we get to really work with a space and create a custom installation that takes the architecture, mood and audience into account. Most of the people we work with have been great.  They really trust us and let us run with our ideas," says Ho.
 
Along with the great opportunities come the challenges -- like working with retailer Urban Outfitters’ PARTYPARTY line, which proved to be a learning experience about mass production and having work translated by someone else. And there was there was the task of creating a six foot piñata for United Bamboo’s Fall/Winter 2009 show. According to Andersen, "It’s always a fun challenge to create something for an existing space. You envision something in your mind as you’re walking through an empty room and then go back to your studio to physically create it.  You never really know how it will work in the end, but it all comes together the day of the installation which is really exciting.  It allows for a bit of spontaneity to take part."
 
Andersen and Ho recently completed a window display at Opening Ceremony. Although they offer no specifics, they they're hard at work with their scissors, tissue paper, and other accoutrements for their next collection. 
 
To learn more about ConfettiSystem, please visit www.confettisystem.com

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