The designing and weaving of Time Out was certainly a long time in the making. Drawing heavily on the 1950-60's jazz music era, Time Out was created based on artwork by S. Neil Fujita and his work for popular jazz record covers such as The Dave Brubeck Quartet album. My fascination and training in vocal jazz music combined with tapestry weaving forms the idea behind this current body of work. The following are images of the process of weaving from my home studio in Melbourne. All images captured by one of my favourite Melbourne creatives Samee Le Pham. The series was shown in Boom Gallery.
Back in August I did a workshop with The Australian Tapestry Workshop in South Melbourne to learn about the considerations that we should think about when creating a small tapestry piece. What is actually considered 'small'? My answer was doll house scale. Turns out 'small' is abit larger than that (~10cm-15cm). The challenge was that I needed to design, prepare then execute the completed piece within the 2-day workshop. Two thirds of the way in, I almost gave up. Thankfully my teacher's voice kept reminding me "You can finish this. You can". And how right she was! I was exhausted physically but my mind was buzzing from excitement and the rewarding feeling of accomplishing something I didn't think possible. Thank you Cresside! Here are some images of my 2 day journey. Plus some extra pics of the incredible studio space. Enjoy.
I'm so excited to announce the next weaving workshop for 2016. It will be a Beginner's class but will be jammed packed with skills that can take students to the next Intermediate level if they choose too. This particular workshop will be a special one because I have been working with a very kind hearted friend, Paul Griffin, who has created the 'Boom Loom' for this particular workshop. For the past 6 months, I have been developing ideas with Melbourne maker Paul so that students in this class will get to take home a unique loom that will allow them the flexility to warp up at any width. Which means that small-scale projects such as doll house rugs etc can also be made on this loom.
Next workshop Date: Saturday 19th November 2016. More details and bookings on workshop can be found here.
Here are some happy moments captured by my wonderful assistant Kathleen Cunningham of our last workshop in June 2016.
Yes..this is actually my bathroom. In summer time, this is how we roll. Bath time for one means bath time for all.
When it is warm, I find it much easier to move everything to one place and water them at once. The bathroom is already a place that gets wet so it's not messy either. Our home doesn't get too hot in Summer but once the plants dry out I've noticed the leaves droop quite rapidly. Plus it saves water when all the pots are in the sink with the drain plugged so while you are watering from the top down, the water collects and also waters from the roots. That allows me to leave it to soak for a couple of hours and unplug the drain so they can dry out.
As we are heading into Spring next week in Melbourne, here are my top 10 watering tips:
- Not EVERY plant needs a watering at the same time with the rest of them. The ones that like to stay dry (eg. cactus, succulents and some hoyas) should be allowed to skip a bath or two while the others have regular ones.
- I typically water everything every 3 weeks in winter and every 2 weeks in Summer.
- In warmer months I give my airplants a full soak in the sink every two weeks and mist in between weekly. I find that they have pups faster with this routine.
- I am not lazy- I never leave the plants in the pot holder and water. Root rot is one of nightmares. Always take them out and allow them to drain the water away completely. Even if you choose to leave them to soak, give them time at the end to dry out before putting them back in their pots.
- Water slowly. I use a 250mL glass beaker and allow the water to absorb through the soil. Once I can see the water come through, I give another pour. A 250mL beaker is also quite handy because it gives me an estimation of how much water I am using. For a good decade, Australia's drought conditions taught me to be mindful with water consumption.
- Notice the types of pots. I find that if I have grown a plant directly in a ceramic pot, they tend to dry out quicker than keeping them in the original plastic pot. Depending on how porous the clay is and what kind of glazing is used, the more raw finishes absorbs more water and can dry out the plant quicker.
- Water the soil evenly. Make sure the soil surface is completely wet. Overtime, if there are parts of the surface that are not watered they can become almost water-resistant and don't allow the water to absorb or drain through.
- Check the soil is dry. How do you actually know if the soil is dry? They tell you to stick your finger about an inch into the soil to check. Well I don't do that. It's gross. I don't want fertiliser and dirt in between my nails and potentially ruining my nail polish. So I have a stick the length of a pencil. Light coloured. When I stick it in, if it comes out without dirt or moisture-then it's dry!
- Misting. It's always fun and rewarding. On particularly scorching hot days, I walk around the house misting everything that is green. Just to give the plants a boost in between bathing sessions.
- It is much easier to fix an UNDER-WATERED plant than one that has been over-watered. So the overall rule is to wait until the soil looks dry before you water again. Trust me- you'll have plenty of time to see the signs of death if your plant is so thirsty for so long that it dies. But enough about death! Go forth and cultivate a green life!
My husband and I packed our bags and dropped Brian and Harvey off at my mum's for the ANZAC weekend thinking we would really miss them. Well....We did BUT not as much as we thought we would! A mere 2 hour flight from Melbourne, Sydney seemed so close yet so far since the last time we visited solidified childhood memories that weren't much of anything really. In our thirties, enjoying art, culture and food, this visit gave us so much more than we hoped for. In the middle of the 20th Biennale was an exhibition of a master weaving queen, Sheila Hicks. Yes. I took heaps of photos.
Thank you for having us Sydney.
I am forever speechless when it comes to local artist, Ellie Malin's work. I only have one small piece of her work in our home but I find myself enjoying it as much as any other large scale artwork we have. The intricate texture and lines leave you finding yourself lost in time. Her new exhibition is currently on at Modern Times until the 12th of May. If you're in Melbourne, well worth checking out. Here are some snaps I took at the opening night.
Nothing I love more than local prints and publications of beautifully illustrated plant life. Here are some helpful tips to keeping your own green babies thriving. The First two pages are from issue 1 of the 'Community Journal' by Hunting for George. They interviewed Rocky Pepper from GlassHaus Nursery . The six pages following this are from a publication by Loose Leaf and Milieu Property that have come together to create a small guide on finding the right position in your home for some popular indoor plants. Enjoy Anna Skeels illustrations.
This was the opening night of the 'Thread & Colour' tapestry in exhibition on the 23rd of April. It was held at 'The Gallery' in Paddington, Sydney. There was a fantastic collection of Australian artists involved. I felt very grateful to be involved and whether or not my work was part of the exhibition, I had to fly in for a visit. And I'm so glad I did! It was a celebration of colours and fibres that had been put together in the spirit of encouraging artists and makers to do what they love doing. Thank you to Natalie Miller, Style Brief Hong Kong and KPC yarn for making this happen. Here are some pieces of artwork I managed to snap some shots of.
This recent visit to Japan left me feeling very humble with gratitude. My first visit to Japan was in my twenties. Coming back in my thirties, I have been pleasantly surprised with how much I have changed. In my twenties, I was focussed on collecting designer handbags and admiring large fashion house brands (which have all ended up at Leonard Joel auctions), while this time, I exhausted my time into finding small artisan shops that fulfilled my current school of thought; pared back mindful living. These quiet towns have given me the perfect gift: thinking with clarity.
My husband and I along with our two friends started our snowboarding journey in Hakuba, made our way over to Nagano and concluded the trip with a food adventure in Tokyo. My husband is a real foodie and this was a must Two Forks Please.
The Marimekko design house has been a source of inspiration for me for many years now. In June this year, they made a video that captured the beauty of what the art of print making means at Marimekko in Finland. They have many videos that are mesmerising to watch but this is one of my favourite videos because it takes us through the design process as well as the production and end result. An entire journey captured in 2 minutes. Some food for thought as we enjoy the fabrics and homewares in our own homes. Enjoy. Haily