Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sea Sew

We've finally unpacked our suitcases and have settled into a new home here in London, which explains why it's been a tad quiet on the blog lately. Although we didn't have much to move besides a couple of suitcases we've been busy criss-crossing town picking up stuff for the home, all the major things have been taken care of (kettle, tea and toast!) and its slowly starting to look like our place.

We've been on the look out for some brightly patterned textiles to make the place look cosy and we scored a great knitted throw from the Bethnal Green Vintage Fair on the weekend. If anyone can recommend any great second hand stores in East London we're keen to collect a few more bits and bobs for the house - crockery, cushions etc.

Besides moving we've also been busy sewing - we've got a few exciting projects we can share with you now. A limited edition pop-up book is being produced by Katana and created by the very talented Benja Harney for Kylie's Aphrodite Les Folies Tour in Australia and we've been asked to contribute some sewn illustrations for the book too. Below are some process pics and here you can read all about the making of the book. Look out for the wonderful illustrations by Jon Zhu!

A couple of weeks ago the etcc exhibition rolled into Sydney as part of the Semi Permanent design conferences. We posted a little about the exhibition earlier and here are some pics of the show. Below is our work and the creative commons licensed image that was the inspiration.  Images courtesy of aMBUSH Gallery.
We've also got an interview up on The Creative Haven where we give a bit of an insight into our work process, how we got into doing what we do and the people who inspired us in the first place. Thanks Carly for featuring our work!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


We caught the last day of Craft Council's Collect exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery on Monday and
boy am I glad we got in to see it before it closed. I would love to collect a few of the pieces on show but alas will just have to look longingly at their websites in the meantime.

Below are a few of the artists that were standouts for me. I was taken in by the colours, patterns and textures of their works so although they are seemingly simple in their shape and form there's a lot going on when you get up real close.

Steffen Dam - Cabinet of glass curiosities. From afar his jars and glass cabinets seem to hold delicate aquatic specimens frozen behind the glass. Instead each piece is exquisitely rendered entirely in glass using a variety of techniques with some effects created through glass blowing processes that are traditionally seen as mistakes or faults.

"During my first ten years of glass making I was practicing and experimenting with all the different techniques to become a good craftsman. While doing so, I discovered a new kind of beauty in the fringes of the well crafted glass I was making. In the area of mistakes and faults - the unwanted air bubbles,
ash marks, soot, cracks and crookedness - I found something that cannot be predicted or sketched beforehand. I set the established and traditional techniques aside and started making glass all "wrong" in an attempt to capture the good in the bad. Out of these experiments came the "Fossils", "Plants" and other objects - like frozen extracts of chaos to be watched undisturbed" - Artist statement from exhibition.

Maryrose Watson - Textile geometry and reflections of light. I loved the colours and intersecting lines that caught the light in her works. And I like how they were presented. It may seem like a simple element, a formality at the end of the creative process, but framing and the choice of mounting can really enhance a piece. It's something I don't really think about enough when I'm creating work but it ends up being a very important element when the piece is finished and on display. In Maryrose's works the woven threads wrap around heavy oak frames which are then mounted onto a second layer of oak. Giving the impression that they are suspended - floating on the wall.

Liam Flynn - Turned wooden vessels. Very beautiful and exquisite pieces, I could happily stare at one for hours and be absorbed by all the quiet details in the grain of the wood. These were some of the pieces I was itching to run my hands over!

Philip Moulthrop - Beautiful patterns and colours laid bare. Loved the splashes of unexpected colour and the intricate patterns uncovered in the wood.

David Pottinger - Woven patterns rendered in clay. Since ca and I go crazy over woven textiles normally it's no wonder we love Melbourne artist's David Pottinger's ceramic pieces whose patterned surfaces evoke the texture and detail of textile pieces. Here is an interview and studio visit posted on
The Design Files.

Jack Doherty - Ceramic alchemy. "One Clay, One Colouring, One Firing" a restrictive process but
the works themselves had a variance in colour and texture that belied this technique.

Jennifer Lee - Ceramics. It's difficult to put into words the beauty of Jennifer Lee's work, there's a
quiet quality to them that does not shout out and call attention to itself which is perhaps why I'm struggling. What I love about them is that each one looks perfect, the balance and their delicate forms seeming in contrast to the rough and subdued earthen texture of the clay.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Etcc Exhibition

Hello again, I have some news to share about a group show Co and I will be taking part in called etcc. "etcc is a remixable art exhibition that seeks to explore ideas of creation and appropriation in the visual arts sector."

It opens next Friday at Ambush Gallery and is touring as part of Semi Permanent. There's an awesome line up of artists and it's also a pretty interesting format for a touring exhibition. Contributing artists selected a Creative Commons licensed image to base their artworks on. These new works will then be passed onto the next line up of artists on the tour to remix in turn.

Full details for the show can be found here.

Here's a sneak peek of our work. We'll have to beg someone to take some better photos for us on the night!

Show n' tell

I finally got around to scanning and photographing what co and I got up to at our class the other week so we've got a bit of show and tell for this week's post. The second day of letterpress class saw us work with wooden type to create 2 colour overprints. I played around with 'O' & 'As' while co got a bit tricky with her prints and offset her overprint to create a really nice xx pattern.

On our third and last day our project was to create fantasy business cards. I really love the new cards Hungry Workshop created for us so thought of creating a limited edition UK souvenir batch using one of our favourite catch cry mottos printed onto our existing cards.

Last weekend we headed to the Ephemera Fair on the lookout for vintage craft books, embroidered greeting cards and anything typographic and we didn't come home disappointed. I eyed some embroidered cards that I found at the very first table I found myself at. I though really hard about whether I could afford one (or maybe two) but contented myself with just the small booklet of stitches. We went on to discover a friendly retired printer that had an amazing collection of printed ephemera, antique labels that were as vibrant as the day they were printed. We also found another embroidery book and this lovely patterned annual report for the Society of Compositors. I thought the title referred to musical composers until co explained it meant type compositors/printers which explains the awesome printing.