Tell us a bit about SALT and how it all started?
At first SALT was a small project where I was exploring materials and creating functional textiles, something I’d studied at university, it has since organically evolved into something larger. For SALT, I use traditional methods and work with sustainable materials such as natural dyes and deadstock linen and cotton fabrics. In a culture soaked in consumerism there is a humbleness about returning to these old ways, working with nature to create everyday objects with reverence and purpose. I’m inspired by nature and the philosophies/ritual behind traditional crafts, themes I’m exploring with more depth in my new work.
Tell us about Cleo and how she came into your life.
Cleo came into our lives in a very unique way. My partner Maria was filming in Italy when a small, black dog came running out of the olive groves near a disused discotheque called the Cleopatra. Cleo stole the crews sandwiches and hung around for most of the morning, when they decided to leave Cleo chased the car and got herself a seat. Back at the village, we chose to take her to the vets as she wasn’t looking great.
We learned we’d picked up a stray, who with some tender love and care would be back on her feet very quickly. We signed ourselves over as her guardians whilst we tried to locate an owner or find a rescue centre - after a long conversation with the olive farmer and some local friends neither of these were an option. Cleo was very gentle, slept quietly for the first couple of nights and followed us like a shadow. After a short conversation we decided to get her a passport and invite her into our lives.
Since then she’s settled into her new life. Learning how to eat from a bowl, wear a harness, some basic manners and the timing of squirrel season. She is mischievous, very loving and smart, and has bought so much joy into our lives. Naturally, she loves pecorino cheese.
How does Cleo fit into your general working day?
Outside of SALT I work freelance meaning each day can differ depending on the projects. Cleo is a sunbather she’s usually happy as long as she has a warm spot to sleep. We take her out for a long walk in the morning and finish the day with some playtime in the communal garden. Over the lock-down period having this structure was really helpful to keep me feeling grounded and motivated. If it’s a grey day she’ll rest on my lap whilst I do computer work (which I love).
When you’re not working where do you like to head out to with the dog?
We take weekly trips to Hampstead Heath to explore and run through the thicker trees. Cleo also comes with us when we visit loved ones in Dorset and Cornwall, she isn’t a swimmer but loves the beach - especially chasing seagulls and sniffing around the wet rocks.
What essentials do you always have on you when heading out for a dog walk, and what do you carry them in?
We always have our ‘Beautiful Joes’ dog treat tin and compostable poop-bags. Cleo has a lot of energy, so we don’t leave without a toy for her to chase. If we are going for a long walk, I’ll bring some hot tea or cacao to sip. I carry everything in a trusty Patagonia bum-bag that holds up in all weathers and leaves my hands free.
What adventures do you have planned with the Cleo for later this year?
Later this year we are planning a move out of London so that’s going to be a big adventure for us all. I’m very sure she’ll love the open and wilder spaces. I’d love to start doing some longer hikes with her when this happens.
You can follow Jordan and Cleo's adventures together on the SALT textile instagram page