draw, cut, print, repeat...
Now I do have a BA in Textile Design, but its been a looooooooooooooong time since I was in a print room. A long time. And despite my many varied career deviations (street press maker, cafe owner, craft adviser and retailer) I have never really lost that hankering to make fabric. The fact that I moronically became a weave major during my degree instead of following my heart into printing has also needled like the proverbial side thorn for years. So. Last weekend I headed out to Harvest Textiles in Kensington to partake in a refresher course in silk screenery.

Presented with a jaw droppingly good view of the city through huge light filled windows and a print studio to die for I sighed to myself and realised I had come home to my happy place. The fact that I wassurrounded by equally happy people and being guided through the process by the lovely Lara Davies no doubt added to the positive vibes filling the room. I'd gone in with very set ideas about what I wanted to print, but we began the day drawing pictures of dried plants and seed pods, so my city landscape plans soon turned into some decidedly abstracted mid century botanicals. This actually turned out to be a great thing becuase to be honest I think it freed me up to play rather than commit to a pre-concieved design. Six hand cut stencils and a selection of pre mixed colours later, I set about printing, my body slowly remembering the motions of plonk, pull, lift, repeat.

Not all of the results were 'successful' but really, it was totally awesome to get a whole day to spend mucking about without interuptions from the architect and the maxmonster. And I think a couple of the things I finished up with were ok. Which was nice, because if it had been a complete disaster I may have had to curl up in the corner in shame after having outed my textile beginnings earlier on in the day. And to be honest I have to say that the competition was fierce - everyone's work was completely different and all of it was pretty amazing!

Here's me ignoring all advice (surprise, surprise) and pulling my own screen while looking ancient and haggered ... it had been a long long night with a sick boy the night before. Oh and  Emma I hope you don't mind my stealing your photo.

And here is everyone else hard at work at the long table... (again thanks Emma)

This Saturday we're back in the studio working on repeat patterns and printing a length of fabric. Of course today I ran out of time to go get some nice linen to print on, so I'll have to take a look through the fabric stash and see what I can come up with in the meantime. This may be the one occasion I am thankful that i've gotten around to bugger all sewing so far this year! Woo Hoo Bring on the weekend!!!




You all know by now what massive fans of Anna Davern we are. So we're very happy that just as she leaves our shores for some an excellent european adventure a new group exhibition exploring featuring some of her most excellent works is opening. We're even happier that said show is open in one of our favourite little hole in the wall galleries. And that downstairs from said gallery is a dodgy asian food court. Triple threat no!
 Snip Slice Saw explores the fine art of cutting in paper and metal and includes works by Deborah Klien, Jennifer Bolhofner, Melissa Cameron, Deb McArdle, Lizzie Sampson, Christine Oakley, Kathy Fahey, Jake Burrell, Karah Sinden, Emma Grace, Tamara Dixon, Sarah Heyward, Anna Davern (as mentioned) and Penny Peckham. Be there, and while you're there try the lemon chicken, Ramona highly reccomends it.

Opening Thursday July 29 6-8pm
Hand Held Gallery
Suite 18, upstairs at the Paramount Arcade
108 Bourke Street, Melbourne, 3000


Julia Deville's new show Night’s Plutonian Shore borrows more than just it's name from Edgar Allen Poe's poem The Raven. This exhibition of embellished taxidermy actually features gloriously transformed Ravens wearing marcasite encrusted silver sparrow skulls amongst an arkload of bedazzled glamourous beasties including a delicately diamond and gold crowned gosling, a crystal encrusted piglet and a kitten-drawn funerary cart... genius.

Opening night Wednesday July 28 6-8pm
However it would seem that this is the hottest ticket in town and unless you've already RSVP'd don't think you'll be getting into the opening. It's already a sell out. Luckily the show runs until August 21, so you'll have plenty of time to get your fill of super glamour goth.
Sophie Gannon Gallery
2 Albert St, Richmond




a project, a parcel and a present...

The project addicted architect spotted a large cardboard box as part of the Craft Victoria pod display at Design Made Trade as we were lugging out and of course immediately thought "cubby house". So said box was quickly dismantled and packed into the back of the car and he's been working through his design ideas ever since. Last night he could resist no longer and managed to re-assemble, devise structurely sound door design, cut out door and engage in a little playtime with the boy inside. I'm off to print fabric with the lovely ladies of Harvest Textiles tomorrow, so the boys will be on their own all day, working on the cubby. Let's just say I won't be surprised if I come home to find a multi level cardboard duplex with underground parking when I return.

A while ago while perusing Gracia Haby's all too beautiful blog I happened to notice that she was asking advice on a new print project and giving away prizes to people willing to make suggestions... always happy to put my two bobs worth in I entered and to my absolute suprise and delight won the most amazing of moonlit tiger prints. This week said print arrived, impeccably wrapped, in a little post pak parcel on my desk at work. I am too too happy for words, not just because of the appropriateness of the print for an indiaphile like myself  (I love, love love it!) but because I have never, ever , despite years of trying, ever won anything before. Those of you green with envy may still be able to pick up one in Gracia and Louise's online shop. But be quick they'll no doubt be snapped up quick!

I love a belated birthday present, not just becuase it stretches out the birthday beyond the actual day, but because usually the late presents are the best. At the opening of Irene's Outre show I spotted a ceramic fez wearing tiki monkey cookie jar and went a little bananas, really could you tick more of my boxes in one object? Everyone else thought it was the ugliest thing in the joint but me, well I was in love.

Ramona cannily sneaked back without my knowing and snaffled out the monkey for my birthday present and here he is in living colour and all of his glossy hideousness. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you Rambo, i'm beyond happy with your work, possible the best birthday present EVER. What a way to end the week!



God Bless Design

Most of us in Melbourne town have now got the Abbotsford Convent complex on our list as a place to visit, exhibit at, wander around in. The newly refurbished Mercator building which now houses some fantastic studios full of interesting creatives is hosting a Design Festival Event this Fri, Sat Sun so you you have to be committed otherwise blink and you'll miss it. Participating artists have responded to the history, architecture and spirit of the building they now call home. We are eager to see Katheryn Leopoldseders monumental work made up of plastic communion cups - irreverent maybe, beautiful definitely.

PS the Farmers Market is on there too on Saturday- be warned parking can be tough on those days so PT it if you can! RAMONA



Little Boxes, Little Boxes...
Those that have been wondering where the hell we've been all week might be interested to hear that we haven't been up to our armpits in sick children and housework we've actually been hard at work. Ramona has been meeting a rather large backload of orders for her wonderful Words and Pictures work and I have been making like Nannook of the North in a cardboard igloo at the State of Design's Design:Made:Trade. Last year it was Ramona making the most of the cardboard boxes and  launching her card range at this prestigious event and this year i've been doing my duty as Sector Development manager at Craft Victoria helping twelve lovely individuals and craftmaking teams show their wares to the visiting hordes. Here are some shots of said peeps setting up their stands...

Here's Ellie Mucke and Jessica  Morrison hard at work in fashionable high vis wear on stand eleven

and the lovely Lara Davies of Harvest Textiles getting busy with projection and paintbrush on stand ten

Everyone has come up with excellent small space design solutions, (just check out that miniature cardboard ladder by Lab 305) and I can't wait to see how all the stands look once the final flouirishes have been added.

Oh and here's the little Craft Victoria Cardboard Igloo ...stop by and say Hi, i'll be there all week.



Craft and Design as a Career

The ladies of HML want to let you all know that tickets are on sale as of today for Craft Victoria annual Craft and Design as a a Career seminar on the 13 aug.. We thought we'd tell you because this thing notoriously sells out really fast. Primarily aimed at students many of you more established makers may wonder what it has to offer. We think the calibre of this years speakers makes it well worth it. The one thing may craftspeople struggle with is marketing and publicity and with talks by Melissa Loughnan from Utopian Slumps, Jo Walker editor of frankie magazineLucy Feagins genius behind the The Design Files it'll be a really inspiring day. We should also add for the sake of transparency that Beck is the sector development manager at CV and I'm on the board. But we can honestly say that this day is well worth the price of admission ($30 for members/$60 non members). 
Buy tix here



Designed to Inspire

First up the ladies of hml would like to apologize for our sporadic posting this past fortnight. Again we find ourselves in the weird dreaded lurgy cycle that seems to beset every family with people under 5 in it. We are genuinely excited by the State of Design Festival, particularly the craftier elements that are in this year.

We are intrigued by the jewelery pieces of Yuko Fujita and will be descending the staircase of e.g etal this week to see them in the flesh for her new exhibition 'Kodama (return to me)'. Fujita has transformed domestic wooden objects into objects of great mystery and history. The look like worlds within worlds, echoing their past while embracing a new future. Show opens on Thursday and runs until the 31st July. RAMONA


SHOW OF THE WEEK part deux

woman overboard
We've heard that Louise Weaver doesn't consider her art 'craft'. We love her but we are going to tell her to suck eggs and call it capital C craft all the way!
If we were lucky enough to bye in Sydney this week we'd be heading to the Darren Knight gallery to bask in all the crafty glory of her new show Capsize
Show runs until 17th July. Don't tell her we sent you...



monster mash

The ladies of HML want you to know that we aren't totally ignoring the Tim Burton exhibition at ACMI, but we kind of are. We know it's important and we will get to it both virtually and physically but right now our eyes are fixed on other monsters. Namely those of printmaker artist Rona Green. We think she's genius and even tho the show is way out at Deakin University we are going to make the effort. A world littered with freaks and zombies inspired by science fiction, horror movies and tattooing. And you don't have to pre-book tickets or stand in a queue for three hours! Looks like Rona has also made some soft 3d work too. Creepy craft. love it.

Rona Green: prints and poppets 2000 – 2010

2 June – 10 July 2010
Deakin University Art Gallery
Building FA
Holland Avenue (entrance 1 from Burwood Highway)
Deakin University
Melbourne Campus at Burwood
open: Tues to Fri, 10am – 4pm and Sat, 1–5pm



sea of love

You all know what big fans we are of our friend Irene. Described, amongst many other superlatives as " artist, ceramicist and dreamer " Irene is one of the best porcelain peeps around. Her work festoons many a surface in both of our homes, as well as hml hq. And they weren't all freebies.

This latest collection of works "traverses the high-seas, shipwrecks, mythological creatures, mistaken identities, and love beyond time and space." Cats cast adrift in broken down boats, deep sea divers suffering from more than the bends, and skull covered swans swimming in seas of tears. Romantic, poetic, dark and dreamy. Like we said, completely and utterly unmissable.

This showcase at Outré will bring together mix of the best of her one-of-a-kind artworks, limited edition sculptures and a  wealth of her Iggy and Lou Lou collectibles. Here's hoping this was payweek for everybody.
I THREW A KISS IN THE OCEAN by Irene Grishin-Selzer
Outre Gallery
249 Elizabeth Street Melbourne
3 July – 18 July
Opening Night, Friday 2 July from 7pm