I recently spent a long weekend at Wilson’s Promontory National Park (again). I’ve long felt that the Prom is my spiritual home, and I feel more myself when I visit this magical place.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Sunday, April 6, 2014
The Planthunter is a new(ish) online publication devoted to a subject that is close to my heart: plants and the way that we interact with them. Founded and edited by talented landscape designer Georgina Reid, so far it has featured stories and images by many great contributors, including the lovely Anna Thomas, the clever and mysterious Birdie and natural dyer extraordinaire India Flint.
(Image and tattoo by Stanislava Pinchuk).
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
I’m happy to announce that I will be teaching a workshop at The Craft Sessions weekend retreat in the Yarra Valley on 5-7 September.
In this day long workshop, Modern Weaving using Traditional Techniques, you will learn about the different types of weaving equipment, how to warp a loom and design and create your own woven masterpiece using traditional tapestry techniques. I'll teach you how to use lines, shapes, patterns and textures, and because the class is a full day (and a maximum of 15 people) you'll get plenty of time to take advantage of my knowledge and get one on one help from me with your piece.
You'll also get access to my outrageously fantastic personal yarn collection to weave with, and take home your own loom and weaving guide so you can continue to weave as much as you like after the weekend is over.
This weekend is going to be amazing - 2.5 days in the beautiful natural surrounds of the Yarra Valley where you will be able to learn different crafting techniques from people who are passionate about their craft. Everything is taken care of - workshops, demos, drinks, food, accommodation, daily yoga - all you have to do is bring yourself and your creative desires.
No prior knowledge is required for most of the workshops - this weekend is designed for people who want to learn and connect with other people who love to make things with their hands. There is an amazing lineup of workshops across the weekend, including natural dyeing with Julia Billings, embroidery from the natural world with Melissa Wastney and two knitting projects with Kirsten Johnstone.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Last Sunday I visited the studio of local ceramicist Peter Accadia. Everything that he makes is incredible, but this particular teapot caught my eye and after Peter told me the story of how he came to make this piece I knew that I couldn't leave without it.
Some time ago, one of Peter's teachers became unable to continue to practice his craft after developing a neurological condition. This made Peter consider his own ability to practice ceramics. What would he do if he became unable to throw clay as he has been doing since he was 13 years old?
So he decided to reverse his pottery wheel so that it was moving in an a clockwise direction (as opposed to the an anti-clockwise direction that we usually have them moving in Australia) and try using his non-dominant hand to throw, in case he might one day be unable to use his dominant hand. The result was this teapot. Inspired by the spiral shape of eucalyptus trees that he saw around Healesville, Victoria, this teapot is glazed with a nezumi shino glaze.
Peter’s story has made me consider my own creative activities. How would I feel if I were unable to work with wood or clay, weave, dye, knit or sew? Or if I were for some reason unable to collect the natural treasures that I search for and arrange on an almost daily basis? These activities have come to define me as a person, and I feel sure that would feel lost without them.
I like to think of myself as adaptable and able to find happiness in any life situation, but this would test me. However, as I consider this I realise that I have something that Peter may not have – a passion for working with different mediums and eagerness to try new ways of expressing my creativity. My regular creative pursuits span from poetry to woodwork and textiles. I am constantly trying new mediums and when I do I quickly find myself getting lost in them.
Peter’s experience has sparked a new train of thought in me, and this teapot, which I will use regularly, will continue to remind me of his story and my own ability to be happy wherever life takes me.
Friday, March 21, 2014
This weaving, inspired by the wildflowers that I discovered while exploring the Brisbane Ranges in Victoria last spring, is now in my online store. The contrast of the flowers against the deep coloured backdrop of the forest just before a thunderstorm was breathtaking, and it has not left my memory since I returned to the city.
This piece is hand woven using all sustainable, natural materials: found, vintage and reclaimed cotton and wool, and reclaimed wood.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
New in the store: a new, limited edition style of pit fired ceramic necklace.
This necklace is inspired by the tidal detritus that I've discovered on the beaches of south eastern Australia over the summer. The beads are hand formed using found clay and pit fired with wood, bark and leaves from native trees, seaweed, shells, natural oils and other found objects.
The beads are assembled on a natural, undyed linen cord and finished at the neck with soft, off white cotton twine.
As with all of my work, each piece is one of a kind, and this larger bead style is limited to three pieces. A smaller version is also available at High Swan Dive (@highswandive on Instagram is the best place to contact them while they get their website up and running) and Otis & Otto.