In working on The Fantastical Factory of Curious Craft show, I was lucky enough to be cast alongside my co-judge, Zak Khchai. Zak is an amazing Parisian who is an artist entrepreneur and the king of crochet and dance. Zak and I had a lot of fun on set doing impromptu photo shoots and getting dressed up when we weren’t on camera! He was the perfect co-judge, throughout the show we would walk the floor trying to get an idea of what will come to life and huddle constantly, discussing who we think is displaying their crafting prowess the most. It got a little tense when we spotted tricky little mistakes or poor time keeping as we so wanted everyone to do their best and be happy with what they made! I just know you're all going to love Zak as much as I do so we invited him to answer a few questions on everything from being on The Fantastical Factory of Curious Craft set to his future plans to mix craft and dance which we're 100% here for...
Hi Zak, It's so great to have you as a guest on our blog! Can you sum up what you do in five words?
Needle art (crochet, knitting, sewing, embroidery)
What does a day in the life of Zak look like and what’s your favourite medium to work with?
9:00 – Oat milk latte, scrolling on my phone and social media.
10:00 – Americano, phone calls and emails.
12:30 – Kale poke bowl, Netflix and chill.
14:00 – Rendezvous outside.
16:00 – Gourmand break and DIY projects (it depends on my mood, I love to change medium everyday).
18:00 – Sneakers, shorts and tank top on! It’s time to teach dance.
21:00 – Shower, dinner, relax, sleep. Repeat.
How did it feel when you found out you were going to be a judge on The Fantastical Factory of Curious Craft?
I remember Kim (TV producer) calling me on the phone to announce the good news, but I had a bad reception. Kim was very happy and excited to tell me “You’re in!” but I didn’t hear her too well so I just answered something like “hum hum ok… and….” she said: “AND WHAT? You’re in, you’re one of the judges my love!” And I remember shouting and jumping all around my house! It was such a good, funny moment!
What was it like being on set?
It was amazing! It was like being in a dream 24 hours a day! Colours, glitter, sparkle, craft everywhere!
Tell us the goss’! Any funny stories about working with Harriet? We heard you dressed up as a craft king complete with regal sheep… anymore behind the scenes secrets?
Harriet was a friend, a sister, a precious ally to me! She helped me so much to find my words every day, gave me English lessons, and corrected (always kindly) my mistakes. We had a wonderful chemistry on set, always laughing, making things. I remember that we were always, no matter what, together all the time, supporting each other, eating in my wardrobe (it was better and lighter). At night, back to the hotel, we had a ritual: drinking (litres of) Spritz and eating chicken tenders with jalapeños!
Sounds like you two really were the dream team, having fun at work is what it's all about! There must be something you can spill... How bad was Harriet's French?
No she’s quite good actually, she has a very good pronunciation! You should hear her!
Impressive! We'll be asking for demos on our next video call.
Where do you look for inspiration?
In my heart first, if it makes joy in it, it’s definitely right. Then I think inspiration is everywhere: in people’s laugh, walking on the street looking up to the sky, architecture, traveling, meeting friends in a coffee shop with a blank notebook, choosing a word and starting to picture everything around it! Also, the internet is a great source of sharing and inspiration. Ah and like everyone else, my better ideas come when I'm off to bed!
Favourite piece you’ve ever made?
I have worked on an intense project. I was in Munich working on a buddy bench project mixing different techniques: weaving, crochet, arm knitting, embroidery... with children between the ages 6 to 10 during just one week. It was amazing, I loved working with kids, they are full of love, and they see colours and happiness everywhere! I felt close to them during this intense week of sharing and learning. We finished the project with a buddy bench yarn bombed and a schoolyard full of wool. I like inclusive, supporting, artistic and intergenerational projects.
What is your advice to people making at home or ones who want to get into making?
Never forget the joy of making! Always craft with passion and love.
You're a hot dancer! Except when you dance around at the end of the show, have you ever combined craft and dance?
I really should, once I imagined myself wearing a wool sweater that I unravel by dancing in a cabaret show… Stay tuned!
After watching your Instagram dance videos... we're first in line to see that!
Which Tatty Devine piece is your favourite?
The Bloom Boom collection is everything I need in my life.
We're surprised it's not the Banana Statement Necklace and Dental Bling Brooch duo you rocked on set, we think this is a rather dashing look!
Finally, what are your plans for 2020?
Keep on shining, rocking, spreading love, good vibes, craft. Oh, and why not a collaboration with Tatty Devine for a capsule collection… ;).