After another long month in the writing, editing and finally photo shoot bunker we are now officially climbing out of the publication abyss and hitting the gallery, workshop, workbench circuit again.
Ramona's been off in Adelaide opening jeweller Sim Luttin's fab new show (which we'll more about) while I've been recovering in bed from the post photo shoot flu (which we shall never speak of again). But enough about us. What you really want is to hear all about the incredible adventures happening in the craftiverse's during the next month.


Anna Davern's new exhibition of contemporary jewellery is one worth making time for. Continuting her own practice of riffing on royalty, politicians, colonialism and the 'cultured' elite this new exhibition of works references the traditions of portrait miniatures skewered brilliantly with wit and design nous. Davern manually manipulates the highly regulated imagery of the British monarchy and upper classes by slicing and dicing in a way that distorts and dissects the traditional depictions of empire and social position. Clever clever collage.

May 11- 23 at E.g.etal
opens Friday 15th May from 5-7pm.

Exquisite Threads

Seriously important for anyone interested in needlework, feminism, history and culture (isn't that all of us!) This collection of english pieces from the 1600's to 1900's is a testament to the skill of the domestic crafter throughout English history. Over 60 works are displayed, each representing the integral place handwork held as both an educational tool and creative outlet.  Ramona hit this one up on the weekend and tells me its gobsmacking. Recommendation enough I think!

NGV International ground level, until July 15.


Somewhere between Old Gregg and Aphrodite lies the under sea neo-psychedelia of local jeweller Milly Savage. Her approach is unique, raw and mystical, simultaneously reverent of the culturally attributed 'magic' attached to precious metals and stones as well as playfully recontextualising their traditional vaulted placement into new bubblegum-hued underworlds complete with magic foam and iridescent foil. Her use of lost wax casting adds weight in both physical and metaphysical ways, adding an alchemical touch to works already brimming with vitality. Seriously cool stuff we can't get enough of. 

24/7 in the Craft Victoria window until June 2.


Tea x Zen and Chawan Fetish

Its fair to say that melbourne has developed a strong taste for all things Japanese and craft related, and while our reputation says 'coffee drinkers' we're also pretty serious about our tea. Slow Clay has come up with the goods again, marrying all three together in a pair of unique events presented by 'globe trotting contemporary tea master' and interventionist Adam Wojcinski. Tea x Zen is an authentic, hands on experiential workshop option while Chawan Festish will allow the enthusiastic and knowledgable Wojinski to regale you with rare and fascinating insights into the ancient art of the Japanese Tea ceremony. Interested? Find out more here 

Slow Clay
May 24 and Friday June 12

Clay for Nepal
Vipoo Srivalasa and Lynda Draper
This brilliant fundraising idea has been conceived and orchestrated Vipoo Srivalasa with assistance from Vicki Grima and Adriana Christiansen. All money generated will go to Oxfam Australia's Earthquake relief appeal.  This is an incredibly important event for the huge group of makers who have donated their works, but more importantly for the people of Nepal who's lives have been devastated by this tragic event.
vessel by wingnut and co
There is a strong connection between ceramicists the world over and in particular there are a number of local potters who have spent time working with their Nepalese counterparts. The list of participating artists is long and includes the creme of contemporary ceramics. Having both an Auction and buy now online shop, has allowed them to showcase works at all price points, so there is really no reason not to get on board.

The auction kicks off May 15 and closes on May 17. The works are amazing and the cause incredibly important so please support them in any way you can. See a complete selection and find out more about it here . Tell your friends, tell your family and let's make this a cracking success.

There's loads more to see make and do this month - listen up to Ramona talking all about it with Kulja and Dylan on the RRR's this morning at around 10am.  Happy Crafting people! Beck.



still breathing

We have officially become bad bloggers and we have no one else to blame but ourselves and one giganto manuscript that is so close to being finished we can almost start to breath normally again. We unchained ourselves from the computers on Friday night to attend a wonderful feast at the newly minted Popcraft Studio in Northcote. We'll be talking about that and other craft delights this morning on The Grapevine on RRR with the lovely Dylan and Kulja.

Unfolding: New Indian Textiles is another great reason to abandon work! Writer and curator Maggie Baxter has had the enviable task of exploring the textile traditions and contemporary style of India, with and extensive exhibition hosted by RMIT Gallery to coincide with her new book on the subject. Surface embellishment, colour, block printing, beading certainly make our pulse race and as we are on the precipice of booking plane tickets as our reward for a year of slog this may just be the inspiration we need in choosing our destination.

We cannot believe that this year marks the 21st anniversary of the Fresh exhibition at Craft. It has been such a pleasure to be involved with this show over the years. Both of us have served on the selection panel at different times and we've watched with interest as some of our favourites from these best of the best graduates shows have gone on to have extraordinary careers in professional craft. Still such an important exhibition on the craft calendar.

We urge you all to make a trip south side to see the new group show Fertile Ground at the Australian Tapestry Workshop . Their Artist in Residence program has grown from strength to strength and last year was a stellar line up. You can see the fruits of their collaborative labour, explore the workshop, and pick up some delicious tapestry yarn while your at it. their 2015 calendar is just as exciting. We are looking forward to hearing one of our craft favourites  Phil Ferguson aka ChiliPhilly discuss his residency on the 7th of April.

For those of you looking for a road trip we highly recommend heading north (if you are based in Melbourne) to Ararat Regional Gallery for an embroidery group show (yes embroidery!) This is a kind of craft blockbuster that is well worth getting in the car for.  Slipstitch features recent work from Mae Finlayson, David Green, Lucas Grogan, Alice Kettle, Tim Moore, Silke Raetze, Demelza Sherwood, Matt Siwerski, Jane Theau, Sera Waters, Elyse Watkins and Ilka White. It's rare to get a discipline specific textiles show so this is a must see. 

If we have time we'll also talk up Easter and school holiday craft. We'll be doing a lot of making over the next two weeks in preparation for our book photo shoot - wish us luck! 
Well be on air around 10.15 1027 on your dial or streaming at RRR.



we're baaaaaaaaaaack

After what seems like an eternity, we are back on air this morning with the wonderful Kulja and Dylan of The Grapevine on RRR (102.7 on your dial!). We are really looking forward to getting back out into the world after a solid three month stint in the Writing Bunker we need to stretch our legs a bit and see what's out there. 
Lucky for us the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival has a bangin arts program this year with some shows already open despite the festival still being a couple of weeks off. We checked out We Wear Future at BSG on Saturday. A sprawling show of 20 artists and designers that, despite being a bit hit and miss, has some real gems. We kinda loved the 'morph jackpacks' by Cadia Belante(above). Turns out we missed a whole floor of this show, doh! A return visit for sure.

Stephen McLaughlan Gallery continues the have sneaky brilliant shows that slip under the radar, the latest is no exception. The Useful Set brings together some of the best ceramicists currently at the wheel (see what we did there)? Jane Sawyer, Prue Venables, Sophie Moran, Elizabeth Masters, Zak Chalmers, Phil Elson and on and on. With the addition of beautiful still life paintings by Lisa Banks this is quite a quiet gathering of marvellous minds. a MUST see.

We'll be talking more about White Goods, the current show on at Craft, later in the week. Suffice to say it's a beautiful meditative show - perfect for hot summer days. We'll also talk a bit about the mysterious National Craft Initiative and the new announcement of a Victorian Craft Award

We'll also tell you more about what we've been doing while on hiatus (a lot of hunching over our computers to be honest) but more excitingly what we are about to do! It's fever pitch here at HML headquarters with a kind of marathon of making ahead that will test our craft mettle to the core. It's nice to be back, we missed you! Happy New Year Everyone… RAMONA & BECK



There is nothing worse than when a blog you know and love goes quiet. You wonder what has happened? Have they lost interest? got sick? died? Well we are popping in to let you know that we are fine. About 2 years ago we were commissioned to write a VERY BIG BOOK. Our deadline is looming (one month to go) and we have gone into the HML bunker to finish it. We will be back February 16th. Wish us luck! See you on the other side
Beck and Ramona



It's that time of year already? Yes this morning is our last appearance on The Grapevine for 2014. We've been sharing craft goodness with Kulja and Dylan all year so we though it fitting to have a bit of a wrap up of the year that was and give you the low down on the year that will be. 

We'll tell you all about what we've made for Christmas. We not completely sure where we found the time and energy to whip this haul up, but we do know coffee and panic are great last minute motivators! We actually managed to pull together a one day craft marathon where presents were made for just about all our nearest and dearest (see above) so it just goes to show that last minute miracles are possible and it pays to keep your craft cupboard full.

We'll look back on our workshop adventures and tell you which ones have sparked new craft love and what we hope to learn in 2015.

We'll tell you our top five craft shows of the year, but seriously we could actually give you a top 20 it was that good. 2014 was one of the best years we've seen for professional makers in an exhibition context. Beck has crowned 2014 the Year of the Textile and looking at our top 5 I tend to agree. Which is not to say that our tiny minds weren't blown by other media and methods, just that there is definitely some fibre fuelled magic going on at the moment.

We'll also cast our gaze ahead with our craft forecasting antennae up and ready. What will our predictions be? Listen in to 102.7 at around 10.15 this morning to find out. On a personal note we'd also like to say sorry for the long gaps between posts. We are writing a VERY BIG BOOK and are pretty close to deadline, so you'll have to forgive us. We'll be back to full strength in the new year. RAMONA& BECK