Thursday, May 27, 2010

My good friend M. is reading The Artist's Way. She's got me doing morning pages and talking about our ideal (or perhaps fantasy) creative lives. She suggests that one day I will pack up suddenly and go to Paris, to write a long thesis on the colour red. It was a lovely throwaway line... but it's caused me some mental turmoil.

Why Paris and red?

Why not New York and yellow, or Alexandria and blue?

Monday, May 24, 2010

This is the leather lunch bag.

Wendy came up with the idea when we worked together for a design festival project a couple of years ago. I made it up as close to the design of an ordinary paper bag as I could, using imperfect remnant leather. Several heinous leather jackets have since been made into quite nice bags.

Originally, I didn't worry a great deal about whether or not the lunch bag could be used (or used regularly) because it's really just a nice object - there is an affinity between the original item and the simple replica that is pleasing - but I've always vaguely promised that I would come up with a more practical version, something a little bit more robust, with a detachable strap and a different closing mechanism. I've never been able to visualise this reworked bag in a form that convinces me... until this morning, when I think I caught a glimpse of it, in the shower.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Earlier in the week, there was a documentary on SBS about a fin whale that had become beached on an Irish coast, and not made it back to sea. It's premature death on land presented a rare opportunity; the world's foremost whale anatomy expert was flown to the site to dissect the creature, which she did zealously - working very quickly - feeling her way inside the giant body with great acuity to locate specific organs and bones.

Don't click here unless you want to see a picture of the whale's intestines, which Joy Reidenberg lugged out of the whale and onto the beach.

Do click here if you care for a factual reminder about the wonderful fin whale. Their reality is shocking to me. Prehistoric beast, yes. Television spectacle, yes. But sixty thousand or so real fin whales - calling, clicking and whistling to one another through the ocean deep on this same planet? Shudder.

I can't remember where exactly I photographed these funny mosaics. On the walls of a charming toilet block, in a Victorian coastal town. Mosaics have been stigmatised, I think, (quite possibly because of this kind of application) but I quite like them - big, clumsy ones and also fine, dainty ones made from broken teacups and that kind of thing.

Stingrays and sea horses are among my favourite ocean dwellers. I think this sea horse, though, was the weak link on the walls. They don't swim like that, do they? Perhaps it's a pipe fish.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Thanks to Kim and Nella of Craft Vic, pictures of my rosettes (made for Insert Coin Here) were published at The Design Files. Then - thank to Lucy of TDF - I received a commission from Megan Morton to make four more rosettes for Bea's christening. There's a little, delicate one for baby Bea, and three funny larger ones for three fairy godmothers. I took these photos in a rush before leaving to deliver the pieces to Megan, while she was in Melbourne doing book-related things.
I worked with muslin and silk organza (and miscellaneous remnants). Naive designs painted onto the under layer were inspired by this most beautiful Kandinsky book. I learnt how to do the French knot.
I came across the Rittenhouse x Husmann/Tshcaeni collaboration in the midst of making, and was able to go to Incu while in Sydney last week to see the pieces in person. The imagery is both sweet and sensual (to me).
Bea's piece is just a single layer of organza, with some fine old lace that I bleached.
After I'd finished, my head became full of the idea of my new career as full-time French-knotter, and I bought this needle-case from Penelope Durston's Cottage. It's made from vintage fabric and the design is based upon a thing of the past.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Having a little love affair with this face.