HOPEWELL is the design workshop of Eliza Kenan and Claire Oswalt. The spirit of the studio stems from the Hopewell Exchange System, a Native American trade route through which materials from far and wide were transformed into handmade goods, then traded.
Eliza, an art director, and Claire, a fine artist, came together with a simple idea: combine skills to make new products, all of which bear the artisan's mark. Growing up in the studios of engineers and painters, they carry a deep respect for the crafts. Between the two, Eliza and Claire have experience in woodworking, ceramics, sculpting, knitting, quilting, and painting.
Eliza grew up in New York City and rural New Jersey. She received her Bachelors in Architecture at The Cooper Union, then continued down a path of creative endeavors working as an architectural designer, seamstress, and most prominently as an art director for film and animation. Non-professionally Eliza has been a quilter for 11 years. She proudly continues a family tradition of quilting that dates back to her 18th century Indiana Quaker roots.
Claire, a seventh generation Texan from Austin studied creative writing and fine art at USC. She is the third generation of painters in her family. Visits to her grandparents' studio in the hillcountry created lasting memories that greatly influence her work today. Her grandfather assembled stained glass and wove textiles on the loom, while her grandmother filled the floor above with canvases of Texas wildflowers and landscapes. Claire's work has been widely shown, most recently in Los Angeles and Marfa, Texas. She was the 2011 recipient of The Peter S. Reed Foundation grant, and has recently finished a collection of paintings for The Line Hotel in Los Angeles.
HOPEWELL has been a business in the making for some time, hatched out of a long friendship between Eliza and Claire. They met in 2002 at a picnic in Central Park, and they continue to have picnics with their husbands and children in the Hollywood Hills.
Los Angeles, California