It is easy being Green

We are really quite crazy fangirls of local printmaking heroine Rona Green. Her world is inhabited with pop culturally familiar cats, dogs, bunnies, birds. But far from the woodland cutesieness that has overun the post-hipster art craft and design world Rona's animals play tough, their bodies emblazoned with skin art that tell us about their sense of identity and autonomy.

Her new show No Cure for Life opened last night at Australian Galleries in Collingwood and runs until September 15. This Saturday there is a free artist talk at 2pm where you can see Rona in person and ask her some pertinent questions about her amazing work (unlike us who will just stand there gawking saying we luvs your stuff Rona Green!) RAMONA



bejewelled and bedazzled

Such as shy star Ms Emily!
The ladies of HML were so excited to attend the opening of the studio show of Fitzroy locals Victoria Mason and Emily Green. We've been keenly following Victoria's adventures in enamelling on Instagram and got quite delirious over the new collages by polymer queen Green.

Victoria looked as lovely as her jewellery

As much as we love Instagram let us assure you that the new pieces look even better in real life and so it is well worth the trip this week to peruse their delicious new works and meet these to amazing makers who have so generously swung open their doors

This Wed-Fri 10-6 and Sat 10-4
5/19 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy.




As announced last December this really is the year of the workshop - if for no-one other than ourselves!  Team HML are pretty besotted with the ladies that run the Top Knot workshop series, we loved their macrame masters class earlier this year which has us knotting up pretty much any spare cords into plant hangers, neckpieces, wall hangings ever since... So when we saw they were doing a kokedama workshop at the lovely Artifice of Williamstown we signed up immediately.

So hot right now Pinterest favourite and plant craft of the moment, (Google Kokedama we dare you) these botanical balls of goodness are actually hanging bonsai - colloquially known as poor mans bonsai and we love a bandwagon so as if we're not completely on board. Surprisingly easy in concept, but perhaps not so easy in execution we ripped through our first herbie versions (Ramona went mint while I went Rosemary) and found ourselves making grand statements to the effect that we'd soon be whipping up room-fulls in while waiting for the kettle to boil in HML HQ. 

The second attempt involving my indoor nemesis the dastardly cyclamen (see above) and little pieces of moss rather than big sheets - and we quickly realised that the more delicate the materials the more difficult the process. Enter two decidedly quieter and more focused ladies realising they had a LOT more practicing to do.

Still we're pretty much sold on this as a craft project - its cheap, fun and what's more useful! Here's Ramona's duo fancying up her hutch...pretty awesome for a first attempt I say - and hey, i've even managed to keep my cyclamen alive for nearly a week - a record so far!!! BECK



take flight

Two of our favourite artists/collaborators have been so so very busy this past few months. Gracia Haby and Louise Jennison have achieved what would be impossible for us - have work ready for a new show and go to over 40 films at the recent Melbourne Film Festival. Do they ever sleep?

Geelong Gallery plays host to their latest show 'All Breathing in Heaven' which continues their exploration of both animal and human worlds and where they intersect Through the time honoured traditions of collage and drawing these two magical makers have created a world of their own that is totally beguiling.

The ladies of hml are big fans, having bought journals, zines, prints and collages in the past so we cant wait for the road trip. How amazing to see so much of their work on display. We often joke that in some parallel universe we would be as talented, intelligent and beautiful as these two and produce work as seductive. We will have content ourselves with being fans and collectors. RAMONA




I couldn't let this week past without urging you all to go and see a fantastic show at North Carlton Ceramics. The ladies of HML are long time fans of Valerie Restarick and I swear one of these stunning mummified cat pieces from her latest show 'Ushabti Figures' is coming home with me.

These funerary figurines are sad, sweet, and funny. The surface rich with texture and their faces imbued with character and poetry.

I can't help thinking that, in the age of grumpy cat memes and internet feline stars like Maru, the cat has reclaimed its place as a symbol of something. I'm not sure what and I'm not sure the ancient Egyptians would approve but an important cultural icon nonetheless. This show is a highlight for us of this year's Craft Cubed Festival. RAMONA

North Carlton Pottery
87 Fenwick street
North Carlton
Open Mon -Sat 10-5
show runs until Aug 31



rollin' on a river

I've just returned from a 9 day trip to Margaret River in WA. Despite heavy rain and a bad head cold I can attest to the claim that it's one of the most beautiful places in the world. Combining forests, vineyards, rolling beaches and generally lovely people it was quite special. We were there for my beloved's family reunion, with cousins, aunts, uncles, parents,brothers, friends all descending on a rambling farmhouse nestled in beautiful forest. Being the odd one out I was grateful for my little bag of craft supplies.

I started on my Christmas list with some beads for ***** and a stitched tree decoration for *****. I was reminded what a unifying thing craft is as one by one the younger members of the group joined me at the table to play with beads and wool until I had a table full of kids all happily making stuff together.

Not all my craft was successful. The wonky embroidery was meant to be a Christmas bauble-inspired present but I think the lines should be curved to give a rounded effect, instead it's just a bit haphazard. But I think being on felt I'm going to use it as an elbow patch on a jumper. The weaving, well let's just say I'm still learning.

At first I was panicking about a. being so far from home and b. not having wifi but even a homebody like me can be seduced outdoors when they look this good. All these shots were no more than 10 minutes from our holiday house so when the sun broke through I was always tools down, boots on and outdoors. Lovely! RAMONA



Open Up

Oh we could not be more excited about the Australian Ceramics Association Open Studio weekend. There is nothing we like more than to peek into the workspaces of our favourite makers.

The wonderful work of Vipoo

As expected Victorian makers are spread far and wide. We'll be concentrating on the South side with a visit to Vipoo Srivilasa, who hasn't opened his studio for ten years so there is sure to be treasure there!

master craftsperson Stephen Benwell
Also the amazing Stephen Benwell who currently has a major exhibition on at Heide Museum of Modern Art.  What a treat to see behind the curtain. We'll be interested to see his sketches and notes (do you think he'll let us peek?)

glaze master Gary Healey
Then Christopher Headley whose installations have always intrigued us. Then a duck into the eastern suburbs to see Gary Healey in Balwyn before heading home. This is just day one for us. We'll tell you more about day two on Friday.

the always witty Christopher Headley
There seem to be pockets of activity northside and in regional centres too so make sure you plan your trip wisely and go and support our wonderful ceramic artists. It's a big deal to open your studio door, and it takes more than just a quick clean up the day before. Can't wait to see you all out and about on the weekend! RAMONA

If you go here you'll see a full nationwide list of who you can visit. 



24 hour party people

Today we're doing our bit to get you to come to the party currently being held by the best radio station on the planet. Yes we know we're never short on hyberbole here at HML, but seriously RRR actually is, and not just cause they let us on once a month to waffle on about the craftiverse. We love crafting to movies, records and to be honest the sound of our own voices, but as we have recently discovered there are a number of crafts that are damn near dependant on good tunes and knowledgable presenters to keep the mind sharp and the eyes on the task at hand (yes needle-felting we're looking at you!) So listen  up people, and open your wallets as well as your ears and subscribe. BECK and RAMONA



don't stop til you get enough

If your weekend isn't already booked up the wazoo with family gatherings, kids playdates, shopping, washing and ironing, newspaper reading and gardening you might want to think about making some stuff at any one of the multitude of craft related weekend specials taking place as part of the festivus for the restofus Craft Cubed.

If you (like us) are a sucker for old school type and hand drawn fonts then look no further than the Old School the New School of Design and Typography's hand made type and tea event. To be honest I'm so in love with this joint that it almost breaks my brain and I'm still promising myself a little short course once our big HML project is tucked away. This event will give you a chance to create your very own new and original typographic characters and make your own typo poster in a special hand lettering workshop that will also include some seriously delicious rhubarb related baking and hot tea. WHAT COULD BE BETTER!  
10 Grey Court, Coburg 

For 'the young and young at heart'  looking to recreate their own little Moonrise Kingdom (isnt that all of us?) there's Thread Den's Weekend Craft Camp.  Select one or all of the six different craft activities over saturday and sunday ranging from granny squares to artist appliqué. Brilliant idea - we're hoping to get on board at least one, although we might not be wearing headbands.
Unit 3D,
26 Wellington Street, Collingwood.

The one we're REALLY interested in however (because we love to make stuff we can wear above all else) is the NEON WRAP workshop with the amazing Anna Davern this Saturday at NC4. Call TODAY and see if there are any seats left at the bench for this one - only $25 if you are a craft vic member, plus $5 for materials AMAZE!!! This workshop will totally set up your summer accessory wardrobe and I for one am beyond excited.
61 Weston Street, Brunswick.

There's loads more on too - check out the festival guide here and make your plans - just remember to keep next weekend free too for the ceramics and craft cubed open studios! Craft - don't stop till you get enough. BECK



Colour By Numbers

Its Craft Cubed time, so yes theres a LOT on. We've already mentioned a couple of satellite events we'll be attending over the next month but here's a couple of hit picks we have our eyes on for this week.

Centre of the ceramic plant universe Mr Kitley just keeps on delivering the goods. Their new Exhibition of Vases and Flowers features the work of one of our absolute favourite clay masters Cecile Daladier, and is jaw droppingly dreamy. Vessels built with the image of specific stems, blooms and arrangements in mind, they remind us of the best of old school ikebana and obscure european flower arranging devices like the tulipiere. Seriously Brilliant. Needless to say we want all of it, as no doubt, does the rest of Melbourne!
Mr. Kitly
Upstairs 381 Sydney Road

Second cab off the rank is the color coded installation at innovative  SO:ME Space. Entitled A Collection of Colour this plays to the retentive gene Ramona and I both share which sees us both re-ordering our respective collections on a regular and increasingly obscure basis. Brain child of The SuperCool's Kate Vandermeer, this installation showcases the everyday objects of South Melbourne Market retailers and plays with the emotive and cultural associations of colour to imagine new relationships between and tell new stories about, the objects, their use and owner. A great show for collectors, nosey parkers and organisers alike.

SO:ME Space
South Melbourne Market

And if you are looking for an insiders view of making then look no further than The Design Journey on until August 31 at Brunswick's Arbor. The premise for this show is one of our favourites - get a bunch of super talented locals together and offer people a peek behind the creative curtain, into the mind and onto the bench as the artists explore and document the processes behind their work. Includes the work of Tara Lofhelm and Melissa Miller (above). A corker. 
Shop 12 Sparta Place

More updates on workshops, free events, and makers coming up this week - in the meantime Happy hunting, BECK