So once again we've been off the radar for a few weeks, but this month we've actually been out and about learning more about making ceramics, seeing new exhibitions, launching new creative endevours and putting the finishing touches (at last) on the Craft Companion. We hope you're all looking forward to August which as usual promises to be THE BIG ONE for the Craft community in Melbourne with the launch of Craft Victoria's annual Craft Cubed festival. We're on The Grapevine RRR again this morning around 10:15 and we'll be bringing you a choice selection of what's happening in the craftiverse.


Theres a new school in town. Shane Kent, one of Melbourne's premier ceramicists is quickly becoming the poster boy (man) for modern artisans - regularly collaborating with chefs on large commercial commissions, maintaing a vibrant personal artistic practice and encouraging and inspiring aspiring clay mavens through both formal educational settings and short courses in specialist clay centres and continually showcasing the kind of life that can be sustained through creative endeavour. The latest string to his bow is the new School of Clay and Art which is offering up a unique mix of wheel thrown and hand building classes as well as career advice and perceptual skill building. We're excited and we will be signing up.


One of Melbourne's finest (the lovely Ms Meredith Turnbull) has curated a new show called Form and Flex which we are really looking forward to. Makers who create interactive wearables that examine the physical connection of body, ornament and environment really push our buttons, often literally, playing with notions of performance, functionality and adornment. In this exhibition the spotlight will be on the conceptual artistry and manual skill of Bridie Lunney, Sanne Mestom, Anna Varendorff and Benjamin Woods as they take centre stage. We can't wait.
Opens Tuesday July 28, 6-8pm
Pieces of Eight Gallery


This August will see the second iteration of this wonderfully curated temporary retail space that focuses on a select range of works that skilfully embody the skill and inherent beauty of purpose built functional objects. Baskets, ceramics, metal, wood and textiles come to life as hand dyed, hand sewn and hand wrought tableware, napery, aprons and utensils. This year sees the original collective of Sophie Moran, Bridget Bodenham, Sandra Bowkett, Adriana Christianson and Vic Pemberton expand to include a new list of makers joining the team presenting a selection of modern classics that will be seriously hard to resist. We highly recommend getting in early.

Opening night Wed August 5 6-8pm
466 Smith St. Collingwood
Runs from 5-16 August, Wednesday to Sunay 11-6pm.

Northsiders with a liking for fibre arts and baking can combine their activities for a good cause this month. Pop Craft are hosting a cake sale to both raise money for their Craft Cubed chunky weaving public access project. The results from which will be auctioned off once complete to raise money for both The Lighthouse Foundation and the ASRC. Sign up your support here and get your apron on! We should also mention that the fabulous monthly feast has a Caribbean flavour this month and takes place THIS FRIDAY the 31st of July. We'll be there enjoying the festivities and no doubt drooling stoop idly at the deliciousness NOM NOM NOM.


CRAFT CUBED (the festivus for the restofus)

Make no mistake this festival is a big deal for anyone involved in the craft sector. This is sixth year Craft Victoria has presented Craft Cubed and it will bring together over 150 events all over Victoria during an extended 7 week schedule that starts on August 1 and finishes up on September 22. For a small arts organisation that literally runs on the smell of an oily rag, the scope of the festival is enormous and its impact profound. All media, all skill levels and all makers are celebrated and encouraged to participate in a program rich with exhibitions, open studios, public events, skill sharing, markets, open access activities, a curated window walk, Koori Showcase at Fed Square, collaborations with Radiant Pavilion and the inaugural Victorian Craft Award.

This year the festival finally has its own mobile friendly website making it even easier to work out your own program of must sees, which we advise doing in advance because the program is HUGE. It has been incredible to see the development of this event into one that is completely unique and that attracts an audience of over 150,000 visitors! It would be even more fantastic to see it receive a whopping great lump of cash (are you listening Mr. Brandis) to take it Australia wide in the future. But enough of our grandstanding… whats on!

What can we say - this will be amazing. A selection of over 100 of Victoria's top craft works running at 4 different venues and featuring some of the most skilled craftspeople across all media. This is a unique event showcasing the best craft our state has to offer and is the first of what will become a biennial event. The prizes are big and the stakes are high. Unmissable. More information on the craft website here 1-15 August


Fellow window shoppers rejoice! This years festival will feature a series of collaborations between leading artists and retailers to present site specific exhibitions and in-store events that showcase some of our favourite makers in some of our favourite spaces. Like The Golden Opportunity Shop (pictured above) which includes live gilding of op shop finds at Alpha 60, Volcanic Landscapes by the incredible Megan Nicholson at Print City (pictured below) and Dear Plastic's Peace Bunnies Victory Land  at new docklands book hub Library at the Dock.

The list is long and pretty much everyone in the community has something on or is opening their doors. If you've ever had even the slightest interest in finding out more about anything about local craft nows your chance.

Some of our top pics include Wild Weaving at Pop Craft and Twilight Textiles at the Handspinners and Weavers Guild and the welcome-home weaving project at Home Work in brunswick.

Newcomers Handmakers Factory  are putting on some Mini Workshops  that have us hooked as well as the Upcycling jewellery class with the Ethical Makers Movement at Radiant Pavillion.

For clay lovers the best known learning centres Northcote Potters, Carlton Ceramics and Slow Clay Centre but a raft of smaller studios as well as the new School of Clay and Art in Brunswick are also opening up for public viewing.


Too many to mention. Just go on the website and look - we're not kidding we couldn't possibly fit them all in. Collage, books, photography, jewellery, ornaments, glass, ceramics, jewellery, wood, mixed media, jewellery, ceramics and textiles, textiles textiles. Emerging makers to the most revered masters of their craft offer up works showing the diversity of concerns and skills present in todays contemporary craft landscape.

Our short list already includes ElectricElise Sheehan, Anna Varendorf and Meredith Turnbull, Roseanne BartleySurface and Structure, Illuminate, Multiple Signatures and Hothouse. The list is sure to grow as our families become festival orphans once again.


As part of the festival there is also a flurry of discussion groups from small highly specific round tables to key note day long seminars (our top pick - Craft and Design as a Career), and Craft The Australian Story presented by the World Crafts Council at which our very own Ramona will be speaking. Scan the festival guide and find your topic or people and get on board. Nothing like being among like minded people discussing the intricacies of your favourite hobby or profession. There is also the super expensive and highly contentious Parallells gab fest at NGV timed to coincide with Craft Cubed but presented by the NGV and the National Craft Initiative that is causing conversation ripples (make that tidal waves) of its own... But that's a whole other story we'll get to next month!

Don't take our word for it though, head over to the website and see for yourself.