beady little eyes

While Ramona has been busy with gods eyes and i-chords and keeping everything running smoothly at HML HQ I've been working on a secret project for a few months that has had me beavering away in the wee hours of the morning. Unfortunately I was sworn to secrecy during production which regular readers will know was a kind of torture for me, but now i'm happy to announce the veil has been lifted and I can blab away with impunity!!!

Incredibly talented and gutsy friends of mine started up their own fashion label Huudaverti last year and launched their first collection at Fiji Fashion Week. They got such a great response that this year they were invited to showcase a capsule collection FFFWeek in New York.  Unbelievably they then asked if I was interested in collabbing and could I whip up some accessories to go with. 

Those who know me well are acutely aware that this clearly presented a major bucket list tick moment, because all I wanted to do as a kid was be a fashion designer. Seriously people ITS ALL I WANTED TO DO. As you can imagine the prospect of anything of mine appearing on a runway anywhere let alone NYC was clearly too exciting to say no to. The job was also made all the more attractive by the fact that I really like what they do, we've been friends for over 20 years and we can pretty much pick out each others favourite outfits in the dark, so working remotely was never going to be an issue.

Charged with the responsibility of coming up with at least one piece for each of the 12 looks, as well as a special something something for the ladies for heir victory runway stomp I got busy. Evidence of just how much I got caught up in this project is probably best articulated by the fact that I happily worked every night from the minute the kids were in bed until my eyes literally closed at the kitchen table/studio workbench for over a month without complaining once.

In the process I learned loads, found a new groove and discovered yet another affirmation that making stuff is deeply ingrained in my DNA. I also discovered the frustration of being creatively limited by limited skills - which I'm sure pretty much everyone moving from amateur to pro will be familiar with, and became very aware of the inherent challenges in using a popular domestic material with specific physical limitations to develop work that both met the brief and spoke with my own voice. 

Still I soldiered on and to be honest I was pretty happy with the results, I'd pushed myself night after night and all that practice was clearly paying off. I was starting to dream about new pieces, new shapes and new materials... (although in retrospect that may have just been exhaustion related delirium). Finally I had a wall full of bangles and baubles ready to go, just in the nick of time, and with a self - satifsfied sigh I pushed myself away from the bench. 

Hoping that all would meet the ladies needs I packed up the goodies ready to post...only to receive a last minute invitation to hop on a plane and help style the collection and catalogue photo shoot in Fiji just days before the crew headed to NYC to hit the runway. OH MY GOD ARE YOU FREAKING SERIOUS - FOR REAL!!!!! Obvs tiny little mind blown. Passport in one hand, baubles in another and blowing a kiss to family and friends I raced to Tullamarine.

Next stop Fiji. BECK



the eye of the beholder

We've all been there I think. You see something amazing on Pinterest or on a blog and you think 'I could make that!'  There are now blogs dedicated to sharing these craft failures which I enjoy enormously. It's important to acknowledge that sometimes it's just not as easy as it looks. Professional makers are plagued by people looking at their work and assuming they could just do it if they had the right supplies, completely dismissing the skill needed to create the work.

Now I have to admit that I am guilty of this too! But I am here to confess. Last week I saw these amazing God's Eyes made by a maker in the US. Jay Mohler has been perfecting these for decades now but kindly put together a comprehensive pdf on how to make one for upstarts like me.

His work was amazing but I thought how hard could be? sticks and wool? I could make that! Pretty quickly too, and then I can put it on HML and everyone will oooh and aaaah at my brilliance....not.

I also looked at his impressive Etsy store and thought how could he charge so much for what is essentially a kid camp craft? Yeah, I'm an idiot of the highest order. These are really really hard to make, Even following his instructions and looking at youtube clips it took me nearly an hour just to get the first diamond started. Then to connect two sets of sticks together evenly? good grief!!! So take a look at Jay's amazing work here, read more about him here and now look at my valiant but failed effort below.
gods eye? yeah I don't think so
I'm not giving up though, because once I got going it was so much fun, if I get better you'll be the first to know!  RAMONA



rockin' the suburbs

The wonderful jeweller Vicki Mason is in the throes of installing her latest show at Craft Victoria; Vignettes from a Suburban Front Yard. Think about it for a moment. Lawns, manicured trees, rows of box hedge, native versus introduced. Our desire to create a natural idyll in our urban settings. The topic is ripe for the picking off the cumquat topiary.

Vicki is a keen observer of the natural world and has strong sense of shape and colour. her combinations of precious and non precious materials and her meticulous finishing technique always give her work a sense of completion. She thinks deeply about scale and motif and takes care to  never over cook an idea or wander off into kitsch.

These are the shows we really enjoy at HML. The sense that the maker has created a body of work for exhibition and imbued it with ideas and narratives. It is a beautiful garden Vicki Mason has tended and we plan to give her a congratulatory bouquet when her show opens this Thursday night 6-8 at Craft

Show runs until 27 July.



cast your vote

You may recall a couple of months ago the ladies of HML participated in a fantastic 2 day concrete casting workshop hosted by the brilliant Kirsten Perry. She is repeating this fantastic class over the next two Sundays at Artifice over in Williamstown and we can't recommend it more highly!

bubble wrap texture on my planter

You do get a bit messay and you spend quite a bit of time concentrating very hard which we found exhausting but so so much fun. it's a great opportunity to learn something new and be inspired by a really lovely artist at the same time.

Beck's brutalist inspired giganto block
You can read about our concrete adventure here and you can get in touch with Artifice here. RAMONA



just can't get enough
The ladies of HML are huge fans of Kate Just. We wrote about her amazing show at Craft Victoria back in 2011  and even her encredible show last year was one of our favourites. It will be great to look at her development between 2010-2013 in her latest show at Glen Eira Gallery. This showcases Just's PHD work and promises to be just as clever and witty as we've come to expect (anyone for knitted burial suit?).
Just is one of those visual artists who use craft technique to explore not just form, function or fashion but social commentary and women's history. As you can imagine we are HUGE fans at HML
The show only runs until June 16 so you better get there on the weekend or you'll miss out. Gallery is open 1-5 so take an afternoon to go southside and check it out (I'll be there Sunday - last minute! But I am determined!) RAMONA



days of Yore

Just a quick note to you all about the recent controversy surrounding complaints made against Linden Gallery and artist Paul Yore for his contribution to the Like Mike exhibition. Having met Paul I can tell you that he takes his art (and his craft) very seriously. Yes his work does challenge, does push the boundaries of acceptable taste and can make you feel very uncomfortable. Isn't that what artists are meant to do? One of the major social issues of the day is the sexualization and modification of children in the media, and we are glad that there are creative people out there exploring this darkness to perhaps bring us into the light. Here's hoping that instead of 10 years jail, Yore receives a gigantic Ozco grant to continue fighting the good fight. grrr. RAMONA



put your stampel on it

We are loving the current trend for retailers enriching their spaces by including well curated exhibitions by stockists/artists. It gives us the customer a chance to become audience and just soak in the aesthetic. It makes us understand the retailers perspective as much as the makers. We've seen this recently with show at Hut 13 and Mr Kitly and of course Dagmar Rousset have had some great shows, including the wonderful Eddy Carroll's show last year. This time it is the lovely Andrea Shaw of the brilliant Stampel label who is flexing the creative muscle with a series of new textile works (like the magical one above). Andrea is a whizz with colour and intuitive stitching  so we cant wait to see what's in store and in store (get it?) RAMONA

Stampel + Dagmar
Dagmar Rousset
157 Gertruse Street

Show Opens this Thursday night




Get your diaries out because there is so much on this week our heads are spinning. Great shows 
opening, we've been making things too that we'll show you in our own dorky way and some shopping just for fun! We are so pleased that this year's Box Hill jewellery are holding their silent auction in town- at New Guernica no less. So the ladies of HML will be there to bid on some baubles and throw some cash at an amazing group of emerging makers. You should too! Blink or you'll miss it this Wednesday at 6pm (lucky ducks announced at 730 pm). RAMONA