Artist of the Month: Czech This Out with Petra and David Bachron

by Dr. Jessie Voigts / Dec 02, 2018 /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Gorgeous. That's the word I use (usually out loud, in an exclamatory fashion) whenever I see our featured artist this month, Czech This Out (Petra and David Bachron), on instagram. I love their work, separately and combined. I love their story, and I love their passion for art, and life. 

Petra and David are both from a small town called Sumperk, located in North Moravia region in the Czech Republic. Petra graduated as a teacher of Physical Education and Social Science, and David studies technology operating. They scratched their heads so many times to find out when their paths crossed for the first time, but they never found the answer. It seems like they alway have been around each other.

Featured Artists Czech This Out with Petra and David Bachron

Since they realised that they want to be more than friends, they put their short partnership under the acid test and moved to Scotland. David happened to be a part of a team working for Scottish artist David Mach, and he quickly realised that art and travelling would be part of his life forever. And Petra shared his passion.

So far, they have lived in Scotland, Slovenia, New Zealand, and, since March 2017, their home has been in British Columbia, Canada.

They both strongly believe that every person should do what they love. Do something which lets them to flourish their talent and passion. That is why they created Czech This Out in 2018. It is a project which combines their love of manufacturing, nature, and community work, and it is small space in this world which let them to be their best.

They are a part of New West Artists group and Art Council New West. Under these organisations they organise and attend exhibitions and art events holding around New West. 

Featured Artists Czech This Out with Petra and David Bachron

How long have you been an artist?
I believe that every kid is somehow an artist. The question is what remains when we grow up. I always loved art and craft, but I never thought I could turn it to something more than occasional presents for my friends. When we moved to Scotland in 2014, David happened to work on a massive project for one of the greatest Scottish sculptors, David Mach. That was his first time doing art, and he fell in love with it. He quickly became the one who worked on all the details, as his job was almost flawless. He was born to create with his hands, and what made him to be the best one in the group was his passion. I could see he did not think about it as work which pays bills, but he truly found meaning behind it. 

As time passed, he started working on his projects. The first idea was that I would just take care of his promotion, but it wasn’t satisfying. We both have a different work pace; he needs time to create and he takes thing as they go, but I need to have some plan, goals, and see the progress. At some point, we started struggling with that. I pushed him to spend more time creating, because I wanted to move forward, but at the same time I could see it wasn’t helpful at all. 

When we moved to Canada in March 2017, I decided to jump in and start working on my projects. That gave me an opportunity to create, and also it took a pressure from David’s shoulders. After receiving positive feedback from people around us, we decided to create Czech This Out in the beginning of 2018, and started working towards our goal to turn our hobby into business. 

Featured Artists Czech This Out with Petra and David Bachron
Tree sculpture. From Featured Artists Czech This Out with Petra and David Bachron

Is your art your full-time career?
We sincerely hope it will be one day but not yet. Wherever we were, we have always had a full time job besides art and craft. 

Metal Kiwi bird sculpture from Featured Artists Czech This Out with Petra and David Bachron
Metal bull sculpture from Featured Artists Czech This Out with Petra and David Bachron

Where do you work?  How long have you been there?
I graduated as a P.E. and social science teacher, but since we have been living abroad most of our adult lives, I’ve mostly worked as a barista. What started as a way to pay bills while we live abroad turned to my other passion. I love coffee culture and working in a cafe. I can work a full time shift and then go to hang out or illustrate in another cafe :). Luckily, David is the same kind of person. We do not drink or party a lot, but a great cup of coffee is always a part of our travels or a way to spend a rejuvenating weekend. Recently, I run a coffee shop in downtown, Vancouver as a cafe manager, and David works as a heavy duty mechanic assistant. 

Featured Artists Czech This Out with Petra and David Bachron

Do you have favourite places you like to create?
That all depends on what we are up to. David is limited by tools he needs. Back in the Czech Republic, he built his own studio where he could store all his welding and soldering machines. Although basically a garage, it was his own world. He could easily spend 13 hours a day there. Moving to New Zealand meant we had to rethink our projects little bit. David came with the idea of creating statues from chicken wire as it is a light material, it is easy to buy anywhere, and it requires very basic tools. In Wellington, he experimenting with creating on streets, which was a huge challenge for him as he loves when he can just close a door behind him and dive in his world. I like both. Most of my drawings were done in cafes, as the hustle around helps me to be more productive. Headbands and hats are mostly knitted during our long trips in a car when we travel, or during rainy, gloomy weekends when the only thing I want to do is stay in the bed, watch some great film, and knit.

Featured Artists Czech This Out with Petra and David Bachron

What does a typical day look like? Is there a typical day?
A typical day consists of working in the cafe, exercising, working on Czech This Out, and reading. If you break it down, it means making coffees, cafe paperwork, inventory, baking, cooking, cleaning, yoga, running, hiking, walking, rock climbing, knitting, jewellery making, illustrating, designing, photo shooting, social media, web, preparing for craft markets, listing on Etsy and Weshopcanadian, planning, and so on...whatever needs to be done that day. I realise I do not like a rigid routine; I love when my shifts at work change, and I try to juggle our craft around that. Sometimes, I want just knit at home alone, while another time I could spend whole day illustrating while sitting in a busy cafe. I feel that those activities are like small pieces of a puzzle, and one day they all create one marvellous picture of my life (after I master time management, I need to work on that :)). 

Pen and ink illustration. Featured Artists Czech This Out with Petra and David Bachron

What materials do you prefer?
David prefers metal, for sure. He works with metal rods of any size, metal chain, or chicken wire. I work with lots of different materials-mostly felt, paper, wool, and cotton. 

I like a variety of materials and craft activity, but it all has something in common. We use as much natural materials as possible. We also love to cooperate with small local businesses. I know we have a long journey ahead, but we want to support fair trade, direct trade, and locals as much as possible. 

Felted earrings. Featured Artists Czech This Out with Petra and David Bachron
handcrafted succulent. Featured Artists Czech This Out with Petra and David Bachron
Metal guitarist! Featured Artists Czech This Out with Petra and David Bachron

Where/How are you inspired?
Definitely outdoor. On hikes, by lambert fire, while skiing, rock climbing, canoeing, mountain biking, or just being outside.  Living in New Westminster, close to Vancouver, is perfect for the opportunities, but I need to escape to nature, ideally every weekend. Recently, yoga classes inspire me a lot. It is an ideal way how to calm my mind and let the ideas to show up when we cannot run away from the busy city. 

Featured Artists Czech This Out with Petra and David Bachron
Featured Artists Czech This Out with Petra and David Bachron

How do you know when your piece is done?
We usually have pretty clear idea of what we are going to make. Once it meets our expectations, we know it is done. The challenge is when it doesn’t look as we expected, especially when we try something new. This can be little frustrating, but it is a part of creative work. We cannot learn without mistakes.

We are also quality controllers for each other. When we work on something, especially for a longer time, it is easy to overlook some mistakes. That’s why we show new stuff to each other and try to constructively criticise our work. It isn’t easy, because it often means you have to redo some parts when you hoped you are done, but it is definitely useful. 

Hand-knitted headband. Featured Artists Czech This Out with Petra and David Bachron

Do you work on one or more pieces at a time?
David usually works on one piece at the time. I am the opposite. I feel like my way gives me the best opportunity to use time for crafts as much as possible. This also relates with our space demand. I can create anywhere, whereas David needs his studio most of the time. Some weeks, I don’t spend a lot of time home, so I focus more on illustrations, those I can do almost anywhere, whereas the next time a rainy weekend comes, and I can knit the whole day long. 

Hand-knitted hat. Featured Artists Czech This Out with Petra and David Bachron

If you were not an artist, what would you do?
I feel like art&craft is just one of the part of what we are, even though I hope it is going to be bigger and bigger part. Because we both have a full time jobs, I would call Czech This Out our hobby, and maybe one day the hobby will become a job. Only time will tell. We still have this dream in our minds: we would love to combine travelling and art& craft. Although we’ve lived in a few countries, and technically we can say we travel the world, and we are so grateful for the time in each country, but it is still not exactly what we picture in our minds. 

Our dream is to build a camper van and travel around Canada and USA, maybe even further, and work as volunteers and sell our things at craft markets. Right now, it seems more like we will settle down a bit in British Columbia for for another couple of years. But that’s exciting too, it is a real chance for David to move ahead in his career, British Columbia’s nature is spectacular, and people here support handmade a lot. I feel like we can juggle everything by focusing on our careers during the week, and travel around and sell stuff on craft markets during weekends... and meanwhile we can plan ahead our big adventure for future times :). 

Featured Artists Czech This Out with Petra and David Bachron
Featured Artists Czech This Out with Petra and David Bachron

How can our readers find and purchase your art?
We are regularly on craft markets in New Westminster, BC, and around. The best way to stay updated is to follow our Instagram @czechthisoutorg. We also have a shop on Etsy- czechthisoutSHOP and on weshopcanadian.com- CZECHTHISOUTSHOP. Last but not least, another way to contact us is certainly via our website, www.czechthisout.org.

Featured Artists Czech This Out with Petra and David Bachron

Would you like to share anything else with us?
I would love to thank you for the opportunity to share a bit of our story with your readers, and also thank everyone who supports handmade and local products. 

Featured Artists Czech This Out with Petra and David Bachron

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Czech This Out

 

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