hire the stylist!
We figure that now we've gone through our fresh picks, need to show a few of Beck's choice Japan snaps before we rush headlong into the advent calender.
So today, for your viewing pleasure we are starting proceedings with some of her top japan street fashion moments...

And as a final thought take a close look at the embroidered detailing on this chaps back pocket. Apparently we've been making these jeans in Australia since 1929, so if someone knows where they're being produced please tell us, so we can make it stop.


Pryles and Pryles of fun...

Dear readers this is the last of our images from the graduate shows and we knew you'd all like this one. Jeremy Pryles graduated from Painting at Monash by becoming a sculptor/maker. No matter, we really enjoyed his plaster cast dinner set for a number of reasons... It was well crafted - great attention had been paid to detail as you can see from the decorative surface and the almost fluffy interior of the soup tureen above. We'd seen a number of works that were great ideas poorly executed. This work look finished and a a result was wholly satisfying.
it was aesthetically beautful. The creaminess of the plaster was so seductive. Not that we aren't opposed to 'fugly' work - we like a gross out every now and then if it's done well. But objects should never look half baked (if you'll excuse the pun)
It was witty. So much of what we saw in both fine arts and craft departments all over town was so po faced and boring. It's always nice to see something playful.
The work considered its surroundings. No lumps of ceramic on badly painted plynths please! Pryles had used the communal gallery space to his advantage - you had to walk around and through the work to get a sense of it. Genuinely great.



So as we mentioned in our last exciting episode we did manage to see some super hot glass (yes sigh pun intended - you expected something different readers?) while on tour last week. This installation of glass bottles by Emma Lashmer was woven into the landscape and cyclone fencing out in the open on the roof of the glass studios and succeeded in blowing our tiny little minds. We were lucky enough to catch the work on a dreary grey wet Wednesday which of course provided the perfect cement hued backdrop and added enviromental elements to the work as the bottles fogged up with humidity and filled with rainwater. Ramona even anointed the work as the best in show. Top drawer Ms Lashmer our hats are off to you!


stay fresh

pretty in pink
The ladies of hml always enjoy the Monash Graduate show for a couple of reasons. 1. Its like a department store of craft (level 1 Jewelry! level 6 Ceramics! etc) 2. We actually get to go out to Monash - which for us city gals is a bit like visiting Geelong - a once a year proposition. But we are often left feeling a bit jaded by the whole experience. Everything starts blurring in together. Why is there no painting in painting? Where has the tapestry gone? Why did they paint the walls a disgusting shade of paste pink? The good thing about that is when we really love something it stands out.
We we quite taken with this paper necklace and paper boat by April Diak (on exchange from Rochester Institute NY). We know there isnt anything revolutionary about using paper but we thought the execution was lovely
We adored Tammy Lacy's charcoal and soap jewelry. Not so much for the jewery pieces but the impressions left on the tshirts
it became much more about textiles for us. Printmaking techniques, adornment, Mark making at a fundamental level
Her video installation was great too (she could have also picked up a degree in painting for that one ...meow)

More next week. We saw something in the glass dept that blew our minds....


park life

Today on our way to see the grad shows at Monash we found ourselves coming to a dangerously screeeeeeching halt in Ramona's little cherrymobile as we passed a shop window featuring this quilt. You all know how much we love the red and white folk action, and with the addition of a reverse polka dot border we decided Monash could wait while we investigated further...

as we turned the corner we found ourselves confronted by this nameplate...
realising we had stumbled across an online favourite fabric mecca we squealed like teenagers at a Justin Timberlake concert and ran for the door. Confronted by row upon row of super sized ric-rac, woven trims and walls of color coded super cute japanese imports, provincial linen stripes, op-art geometrics and vintage broadhurst style patterns we felt ourselves getting that oh my god oh my god i'm having a craft find hyperventilation moment. We quickly made a decision that we could only look properly once we found ourselves in possesion of empty diaries and full wallets. As we were patting ourselves on the back for collective sense and restraint on the way back to the car we also saw an extremely old school cake shop with a window full of doily clad baked goods that immediately had us salivating again, Ramona immediately penciled in a date with one of their custard tarts next time we're in the neighborhood, while I was all about the babka.

For those of you interested Patchwork on Central Park is not in Manhatten NYC (as we first thought when we saw it mentioned on a stack of other crafster blogs) but in Burke Rd East Malvern, or online at http://www.patchworkoncentralpark.com.au/


fresh cuts

paper, scissors, rock!
as we mentioned yesterday, we've been out and about checking out the graduate exhibitions around melbourne. So far we've managed the RMIT gold and silversmithing and third year RMIT fashion shows, and found some top items along the way.
First cut is this delicious acordian pleated jacket which used an incredibly well planned sequence of hand cut fusing to construct the pleating...

The second was this rain-jacket by Kara Turner who had constructed her garment from heat and pressure treated recylced plastic shopping bags. A sophisticated and ingenius nod to climate change.
On the jewellery tip, we were very taken with the wooden stylings of Natalia Miloz-Pierkarska who managed to hit just the right notes with her combination of found object, oxidised copper and timber in her "Fortunatus Altisis, as well as her "Wind up Bird" in silver, wood, enamel, copper, brass and paint.

and the most covetable for our own jewellery box award goes to Karla Way for this delectable neckpiece from the "Ludmilla's Parture" grouping, but to be honest we would have happily snapped up any one of the works from her series which artfully managed to combine such disparate materials as jarrah, sand, cubic zirconia's and perspex.
Karla was also responsible for these beautiful vessels in perspex, copper and gold plate. Top Drawer as Ramona would say.
We were also quite taken with the colorful whimsy and geometry of these pieces by Katherine Brunacci who incorporated one of our favourite media (the hansa tile) into her "Bring into Being" series of brooches and hair pins.

keep watching people we've still got NMIT and Monash to go!!

Fresh is Best

Seeing graduate shows is always a bit of a mixed blessing. Full of optimism but also tinged with a little fear of the unknown. It can be exhilarating and depressing all at the same time. As Beck does the rounds for her duties as committee member for the Craft Victoria Fresh Award (worth big bucks to the winner) Ramona is tagging along for inspiration and, well, because she likes to tag along.
This week we'll be seeing Box Hill at the Meat Market in North Melbourne, Monash at Monash and RMIT Gold and Silversmithing at 45 Downstairs.
We always love the RMIT show and will have pics for you all pronto of some of the highlights. If you can get out there and support the kids we highly recommend it -you are seeing some of them at the end of their craft careers as they head off into other directions and some at the very beginning. The next Susan Cohn is out there somewhere...



Christmas came early!
The ladies of HML have worked out the most perfect arrangement. Beck loves to travel and is a well seasoned adventurer. Ramona on the other hand goes to great lengths to stay at home as much as possible. So Beck goes overseas and has a splendid time, while Ramona waits patiently for the presents...
And really who is getting the better end of the stick? Because it can be said with all honesty that Ramona would not swap this gorgeous Moomin plate for all the overseas trips at Flight Centre



It's not often that you see something beautiful on Bell Street in Preston but this morning poetry appeared before our eyes. And you know how the ladies of hml like their poetry. We thought you'd all appreciate this one...
The beauty of it being that once the wood was dismantled the poem would be gone forever. All hail the wood yard worker who thought it a good idea to send out this cryptic and yet optimistic message... Also spotted in Fitzroy this week was this rather contemplative graf work, noice one peeps...



Past and present students of Robert Baines (head of the RMIT Gold and Silversmithing dept) will have more than a passing curiosity in seeing his new show opening this week at Gallery Funaki. It is a rare treat to see his work - despite being highly respected the world over the good Professor rarely shows his work and Funaki is such a terrific space to see pieces by this jewelry virtuoso.
We are also curious to see the work of Savina Hopkins at Seventh Gallery. Hopkins works as an illustrator specialising in science and nature (her beetle drawings rock). Her fine art work reflects her other specialist skill - mosaic - and we really love the look of this collage based work.
The ladies of hml are also very curious about this installation at Uplands by Sharon Goodwin. We've never been to this supercool space - to be honest with you it's a bit intimidating, but we may just be lured by this one.
It's going to be another beautiful week weatherwise so there is much to be done 'out of doors' - bbq action, a drive to Sorrento, and the finishing (and starting) of a couple of Christmas projects(more on that tomorrow). Beck arrives home from Japan - so expect lots of pics in the coming days. Happy Spring everyone!


Happening of the Week

We were full of good intentions last week. We bought a good shaped pumpkin at the market, we pulled out every October issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine since 1994, we stocked up on paper bags, lollies, orange spots, witchy stamps and (dare I say it) lots of black glitter...
Unfortunately work, flu, loved ones arriving and departing and a general feeling of blah meant our pumpkin sat languishing in the living room, uncarved and unloved. Not suitable for eating (especially bred for carving) it was headed for the compost when the Intern had a top drawer kid idea "Lets chuck it and see what happens! That'd be cool!"

And so we did. Halloween Craft...HML style.