Words: Kit Heathcock | Images: Supplied
Owner and founder of Eat Design, Caro de Waal, creates various projects merging food and art at Studio Caro de Waal. Situated in The Bijou Art Deco building in Observatory, the studio is a beautiful industrial space that Caro also hires out as a photographic studio, gallery and location. She tells us more about her work.
How did your business start?
I studied fine art and graphic design, then in my late 20s, I did the three-year Grande Cordon Bleu at Silwood Kitchen. I had my own catering business for four years, before going into food media. In 2013, when I was editor-in-chief of Food24, I was asked to do a sensory dinner for the Spier Secret Festival and the experience blew me away. It ignited my creativity and the inspiration for Eat Design began. Eat Design, and now Studio Caro de Waal at The Bijou is the outcome of all my studies, experiences and work. It’s a blank canvas where I can explore my obsession with the merging of food and art. The scope for food art and design is endless and is becoming a more accepted form of expression. People crave experiences, and food is an area where all the senses can be accessed in an experiential way.
Why did you choose this area for your studio?
Observatory is an unpretentious area where hard-working, creative people thrive. It’s raw and real, and very inspiring to me.
How did you find your premises?
I saw the premises soon after I started my business and always thought it was the most incredible space. The perfect studio came up in October 2017 and I moved in. By chance, an even larger space upstairs then became available and I couldn’t resist it. The natural step was to increase my business by creating a large studio space specialising in food, which I can also hire out.
Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?
It’s such a creative environment and the building is a living inspiration. The space can double as a photographic studio, gallery and film location, which allows me the income to realise personal projects. It’s a large space where I can set up and test my installations to scale – sometimes they are really big.
Who are your neighbours?
Conrad Hicks, renowned sculptor and blacksmith, has his forge and gallery on the ground floor. There are various creatives and a coffee shop called Run Rabbit Run that serves great coffee.
What are the rental prices like in this area?
Rental is a little less than what you pay in town and the new developments in Woodstock, which are mostly too small for my business needs.
How many people visit your business each day?
The recent upscaling and building of apartments in the surrounding area has brought in more traffic and there’s a growing energy.
Do you have any expansion plans?
I have expanded into this space, so now its all about making it work for me.
Do you operate online as well?
What’s your most popular item?
My work changes as each new project comes along. At the moment I love working with fynbos, crystals and fossils.
For more information on Studio Caro de Waal, phone 072 658 8801 or visit eatdesign.co.za