creature features
The ladies of HML are in a bit of a spin this week with two of our absolute fave raves opening new shows this week. Long time readers may remember how we waxed lyrical about Kate Rohde and her mysterious little rococco worlds. We love any excuse to get on the road so we'll be heading to the land of cheese (ie Yarra Valley) to go to the Tarrawarra Museum of Art - one of the loveliest places in Victoria...
We are also catching the 96 tram to Uber Gallery in St Kilda this week to see new work by ceramic artist Vipoo Srivilasa. His weird and wonderous creatures are seductive, theatrical and always beautiful.



berry good breakfast

Public holidays are excellent, if for no other reason than you can drink your tea in bed, get up at a leisurely pace, and cook yourself french toast with organic bananas, berries and maple syrup for breakfast. Ramona on the other hand was off at the ANZAC Day dawn service, amongst the forty-thousand or so who made the pilgrimage to the shrine of rememberance this year.



Well look what we found in the mailbox, yes just as Beck hit the six month mark the first booty delivery arrives, hot of the needles of her Great Auntie Anne.That's her below, pictured in the garden packed and ready to head off on a Scandinavian cycling tour sometime in the 50's. The English ladies of Beck's family have all been crafters, from waaaaaay back. Apparently the pattern for the booties is the one favoured by her great grandmother, or "old nana" as Beck used to call her.
That's Lily Gibbs (aka 'old nana') below, with Beck's grandmother (aka 'young nana') below. Now apart from being a killer crafter, she was also a channel swimmer, married twice (the second time to a wayward tattooed merchant marine) immigrated to Australia in her 60's and up until her dying day was a very keen lover of the wrestling... quite a woman really.

and an excellent role model for the 'widget'.

road trip of the week

when good ceramics turn bad
Dandenongs are a funny place. a bit of a drive, a windy road and some jaw dropping forresty, tree ferny goodness. And then the township of Sassafras - with more devonshire teas on offer than you can poke a scone at (we counted 12 !)
Bad antiques, hippy magic shops, thousands of melbournites trying to get into Miss Marples tearooms for some very dodgy toasties and the weirdest teashop in Australia
it's enough to make you go quite mad....



Murphy's law
Richmond is one of those suburbs. If you don't live there you never go there. Which is kind of annoying because there is good things to be had in the 3121 postcode. There is plenty of pro Craft gallery action with Niagara, Charles Nodrum and Dickerson galleries all within walking distance...
the ladies of hml think it's worth the trek up the hill (after coffee at the Richmond Hill Foodstore) to Christine Abrahams for the new Fiona Murphy show. This gallery is probably the best commercial space to support ceramics in a fine art context (although we don't like how it is often sequestered into the smaller room)
We hope to se Murphy's ceramic wonders in the main space. They feel monumental and organic and deserve the breathing room. We'd also like to sit down on that excellent leather bench after trundling up that Lennox St hill (turn right at Gipps)...
show runs until April 28 - not long people!


tuber activity of the week

zen and the art of potato bonsai maintenance
We've been scouring the web all week looking for obscure potato related craft activities for you all to get into on the weekend, but this one really takes the kipfler...

According to the website the art of the Bonsai Potato dates back to 925 A.D., when an Irish emissary named Kieran McGlynn set out on an eight-year cultural exchange tour of Japan. When he returned to his native Ireland it was discovered that he had "poorer than average recollection," but he spoke of "stunted plants displaying great beauty and providing great tranquility in their cultivation." Though he could not recall specifically which plants expressed such beauty, McGlynn was determined to reproduce the results. The most successful medium turned out to be the one most available — the potato.

To his great delight, McGlynn discovered that by using potatoes he could closely recreate the "stunted tree art form" in months rather than decades. Even better, his plants did not require re-potting, fertilizer or even water. Hence, the groundbreaking Bonsai Potato art form was born. The Bonsai Potato continued to flourish for nearly another 1,000 years, until the Great Irish Potato Famine in the mid-1800s, which wiped out nearly every trace of this semi-ancient art form. Luckily, about 100 years later, a small faction of Bonsai Potato artists surfaced in a small town in Idaho. Thanks to these craftspeople, the art form is once again available to the entire world to practice and enjoy.

Apprently devotees of this ancient art in the US also run an annual competition, and the first taking place in Seattle in March 2000. Local celebrities judge dthe "Official, First of the Millennium — Bonsai Potato Growing Competition", and first-place title was taken home by 80-year-old Barbara Hilty with her entry, "Tattered Taters" below.
The name of Hilty's Bonsai Potato does not accurately represent her highly gifted growing and training skills. According to the judges, "Tattered Taters" received top honors for its "windblown effect" and for staying with the traditional Bonsai Potato art form while also playing with the potato by products for added decorative effect. Big props go out to Babs for her effort from all at HML, we' hope you're still out there weaving that oriental irish fusion.


progress of the week

little potatoes

good thing about small people. they require small projects. onesies, bibs,singlets, blankies. All very good managable canvases for a simple spud printing project.

results revealed at the end of the week...because the first three were terrible. hey we never claimed to be genuises. Off to coles for more $3 bibs ha ha...


Vegetable of the year

hot potato

We here at hml headquarters like to keep you, beloved readers, informed of the worlds events and so it is with some regret that we were not made aware of this sooner:

2008 is officially the United Nations Year of the Potato

The ladies of hml have long celebrated the humble pomme de terre with many a crafty printing project, not to mention an excellent shephards pie. So all this week, to get us all in the spirit we will celebrate all things spud.

visit the official website. coolio!


craft gifts of the week

two for the road
A friend who recently went to Japan remembered the hml passion for all things Moomin and delivered these super cute toys to the office yesterday. We believe that's Moominpapa sporting the police outfit and a very grumpy Hemulen with the sherlock frockage.
As always the Japanese have outdone themselves with the packaging. We do indeed want to live in moominvalley - we doubt these toys will makes us feel that we are already there, we can but dream! Visit the moomin site for more Finnish fun...



twice as nice

Lucy Folk
Given the brief we are expecting great things from the Pieces of Eight earring show. Twelve jewelers, five pairs each -unlimited scope. That's the kind of curatorial flair we like - choose good makers and see what they can do. (Lucy Folk tempting us with salami earrings mmmmm...)

Elfrun Lach

Both ladies of HML are absolute suckers when it comes to the work of Elfrun Lach and so that's what our eyes and visa cards will be drawn to first

Melanie Katsalidis

And we are thrilled to see new work from POE Director Melanie Katsalidis - her use of colour, the balance and simplicity of form and the wearability of her work always leave us wanting more. Stay on the tram 112 tram til it crosses into St Georges Rd - well worth it and its on til the 26 april so there is plenty of time peeps. no excuses.



missing the point...

Last year Beck was blown away by the work of young Japanese artist Etsuko Fukaya’s tiny intricate etchings in Tokyo last November when she went to the the Future Beats in Japanese Contemporty Arts at the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi. Fukaya’s minature needlepoint etchings were the highlight of the show, intricate images weaving together the patterning of flowers, plumage, leaves and hair in dark fantasies from the deep, dreamy thickets of her imagination. An almost medieval hallugenogenic land where the falcon and unicorn make friends with flying sheep, perplexed deer and sturdy yaks. In short Genius with a capital 'G'.
Imagine her surprise to find that there was an exhibition in Australia RIGHT NOW where she could see more, and then imagine her dissapointment when she discovered it was actually at in Sydney, and she couldn't get there !!!!! Unnervingly beautiful, immaculately rendered and only in town for three more days. Unmissable. If you're in Sydney of course, if not you'll have to suffer along with Beck and look at these pictures as some small consolation.Etsuko Fukaya 8 March - 5 April 2008

Darren Knight Gallery
Top Floor 840 Elizabeth Street
WATERLOO Sydney, NSW 2017