From tie-dying and piñatas, to magical window displays, Christine Preisig meets multi-talented maker Lizzie King
Every day Lizzie King goes to her studio in De Beauvoir and makes things.
“For ages I didn’t know what to call myself. Now I just say, ‘I make things’,” Lizzie explains, listing all her different occupations. She is a prop-maker, artist, tie-dye enthusiast, teacher, knitter, sign-maker, jewellery designer and published author.
For a long time Lizzie felt she had to specialise and focus on one thing. But the different strands started to come together and combining them under one roof felt right. “It happened quite organically, without thinking of a business plan. I just get distracted by many things,” she says.
After graduating with a fine art degree in sculpture from Brighton University, she assisted a set designer for three years. Then she began to work for her own clients, choosing projects that she felt connected to. Teaching art projects at primary schools helped her support herself during those years.
Lizzie’s first big breakthrough came with an appearance on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, where she demonstrated how to make piñatas. That led to a wave of piñata commissions and more workshops, and demand for her colourful, scaly paper creations has been strong ever since.
The same can be said about her tie-dye workshops, which she runs all over the country under the name “Get Rich or Tie-Dyeing”.
Earlier this year she published a book with 15 easy-to-follow and fun tie-dye projects making her London’s foremost tie-dye expert.
Another one of Lizzie’s passions is window drawings. The bold large-scale illustrations that grace whole shop fronts or café entrances combine images from the ancient world with tropical vibes and loose hand-written signage. The windows convey a bright and happy mood, especially in these darker days of the year. The Christmas window drawings she is working on at the moment make her excited for Christmas.
“In set design you do all the Christmas shoots in summer and it feels strange wrapping presents when it’s hot,” she says. “So I really like doing the windows when it is actually Christmas time. It makes me feel very festive”.
As a prop-maker she creates decorative objects for events, adverts and window displays. Her favourite materials are cardboard and Posca pens.
Sometimes she struggles at first when given a brief, like one time when she was asked to knit a dial phone. She’s not scared just to try things out though and her not-so-technical approach often comes in handy in such situations.
Recently she has got into ceramics and makes objects like bookends or candlesticks. “It’s like drawing in 3D,” she explains.
Will she adopt more things as she goes along? “Most probably!” Lizzy laughs.
Watch this space:
Her book Tie & Dye is available on Amazon and at her webshop.
See lizzie-king.com for more information. Instagram: @lizzie_kingdom