CRAFT CUBED: ANNA FROM ONEPINKPLUM

Anna of Onepinkplum is drawn to the meditative qualities of embroidery and textile making. These processes cannot be rushed, and demand a level of concentration and patience often missing from our fast-paced lives. Anna will be holding embroidery workshops as part of the Craft Cubed Festival for those who would like to learn and create a relaxing new skill. 

What’s the significance of the handmade to you?

The handmade has been a constant throughout my life. I need to create something with my hands, it helps me to refocus, relax and also connect. 

Our world today is so busy and chaotic with so many choices for everything. Making with my hands is the complete opposite. I have to slow down and think one stitch or one step at a time as I focus on the process. In a way this slower pace always me to reflect and consider what I am doing, what is happening in the world and also what I would like to be doing next. When I have had major stressors (finishing a doctorate) or life events (hello motherhood!) being able to take a few moments to focus on what I am making with my hands has been the biggest blessing for me.

How would you describe your craft community?

Crafting is often something I do at night or on a Sunday afternoon or while the kids play for a few minutes. As a quiet maker, I have found Instagram and the online community to be wonderful as a way to connect globally with like-minded people. 
Teaching embroidery workshops over the past 18 months, has been a wonderful way for me to connect in person with other people. I have gained so much from these interactions.
I started studying textile design at RMIT this year and my community has grown tremendously over the past 7 months as a result. My eyes have been opened up to the possibilities as a textile designer and my head is swirling with ideas from being part of this community.

What is your earliest craft memory?

I was given a small tapestry loom and then a knitting Nancy wool tool when I must have been about 4 or 5 which led to an early love of everything textile. I have distinct memories of sitting in my grandparent's lounge room passing the shuttle over and under and over and under as patiently as I could at that age.
I developed a love for embroidery when along with a group of friends in my 4th grade class, we persuaded the owner of the gift shop, sandwiched between the IGA and Chinese restaurant, to teach us embroidery in the shop's tea room. I remember learning the basic stitches and struggling with the elusive French knot.

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What is your philosophy or motto when it comes to creativity?

In many ways my creativity is about the process. It is about slowly trying new ideas and seeing where they go, how the ideas can combine and recalibrate until I have a design like that I imagined. Another part of my creativity is about practice and repetition. For example when I'm knitting or covering a piece of fabric with the same embroidery stitch, the rhythm can help me to refocus and ground myself. In this way anyone can be creative through time and practice.

Where do you go in Melbourne for inspiration?

As a mother of two small children I find seeing the world through their eyes encourages me to see details I would often miss - the way the bird moves or the colours in the weed on the side of road. We spend a lot of time in gardens and parks which provide amazing colour and pattern inspiration. 
I try to visit as many galleries and art events as possible with my children so we can discuss art and design together - I find I learn so much from their questions and the details they are attracted to. Recent favourites have been the Australian Tapestry Workshop and the now finished biennial at NGV (which we visited many times).

What are you reading OR listening to at the moment?

I just discovered the podcast rough translation which I'm enjoying as well as the invisibilia podcast. 
I have almost finished reading A Little Life, a very engaging but serious and long read. 

How would you describe your studio or making environment?

I do most of my making at home. I have my floor weaving loom, sewing machine and too much wool and embroidery thread in our spare room. I have a basket with my current projects in it, that travels around the house so I can sneak a few more stitches in around my children's activities. 
I also have the pleasure of learning and creating in the amazing textile studios at RMIT.

What other Craft Cubed events are you excited about? 

I'm looking forward to attending the festival of natural dyes.

CRAFT CUBED: KATHERINE MARMARAS

Multidisciplinary artist Katherine Marmaras will combine photography, drawing and social media to explore the meaning of 'home' through her online photo drawing project, to be featured in this year's Craft Cubed Festival. Katherine encourages others to join her in making art and changing the way they see their most familiar spaces. 

What’s the significance of the handmade to you?

How the essence of the maker is somehow captured in the handmade through the time taken to create. 

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What is your earliest craft memory?

My earliest memory is seeing my mum crochet and knit.

Where do you go in Melbourne for inspiration?

I'm always inspired by a visit to the National Gallery of Victoria.

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What are you reading OR listening to at the moment?

I usually have more than one book on the go. One of those books is Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe which I highly recommend if you wish to learn more about Aboriginal Australia. It's a totally engaging and informative read.

How would you describe your studio or making environment?

A mess. 
A place that has more than one thing on the go but at various stages of completion.
A place to reflect and create.

What other Craft Cubed events are you excited about? 

Night Vision by Troy Emery.
I have never seen his work in real life.

CRAFT CUBED: VICTORIA KNIGHT

Craft is excited to be featuring the creations of jewellery maker and artist Victoria Knight in this year's Craft Cubed Festival. Victoria uses discarded coffee pods to produce beautiful jewellery pieces that carry with them a poignant message about recycling and wastefulness. 

What’s the significance of the handmade to you?

I appreciate the effort and thought which goes into making something unique. Shops are full of mass-produced items but something handmade has had time, effort and thought put into it.

I appreciate the effort and thought which goes into making something unique. Shops are full of mass-produced items but something handmade has had time, effort and thought put into it.

How would you describe your craft community?

A group of dedicated artisans striving to achieve the best they can with their special skills. We support, inspire and help each other develop.

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What is your earliest craft memory?

I’ve always been encouraged to use things around the house. My family has encouraged me to have a go and be experimental. At Christmas and for birthdays we always made homemade presents for family and friends. Some gifts were better than others but thankfully the recipients were very appreciative that it was specially made for them.

What is your philosophy or motto when it comes to creativity?

Creativity is my raison d'être. If I create something every day, I’m happy. I get a lot of pleasure when people look at my work and say, “Wow, I’ve never seen this before. What a clever way of recycling.” Einstein said, “Creativity is contagious, pass it on.” So I hope I can do that too.

Where do you go in Melbourne for inspiration?

I love going to markets and independent shops. A favourite market of mine is District Docklands on a Sunday. There’s a vibrant community of artisans selling different and interesting things. I also enjoy seeing current art exhibitions at the galleries. It gives me new ideas.

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What are you reading OR listening to at the moment?

As I have recently moved to Australia, I am reading Stan Grant’s ‘Talking to my Country.’ It has given me some understanding of Australia’s national and social history and what it means to be an indigenous person in Australia today.

How would you describe your studio or making environment?

I’m currently living a nomadic lifestyle so my workspace is any free table! When I get started, I generate a production line. It may look chaotic to others, but I know where everything is.

How does "good" craft make you feel?

Good craft inspires me. It draws me into the present moment and then into a deeper way of thinking.

What is your dream craft collaboration - if history and geography and money was no barrier?

With my current project, Coffee Pod Creations, I would like to benefit from the influence of a big corporate company like Nespresso. It would enable me to reach a larger audience. It would show that it is possible to create beauty out of something which might otherwise be discarded. Although I would like to challenge the misconception that coffee pods are at the present economically recycled. Alternatively I’d like to work with young people and encourage reusing materials creatively.

What other Craft Cubed events are you excited about? 

It is difficult to choose, but ‘Afternoon Tea with Cat Rabbit’, ‘Alool Wall Hanging Workshop’ and ‘Japanese Book Binding’ would be my top three.

LENE KUHL JAKOBSEN — 40 YEARS OF CLAY

THIS MONTH WE CELEBRATE CRAFT MEMBER AND POTTER,  LENE KUHL JAKOBSEN.

Working with clay for over 40 years, Lene trained first in Denmark before moving to Australia in the 1980's. Focusing on form and glaze, her work is known for its precision craftsmanship and minimalist approach.

In studying archaeology, I saw these extraordinary shapes in pots made over 3000 years ago, finger prints and nail marks still left in the clay and I would look at these pieces and imagine the person that made them.

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At Home with Tai Snaith - Artist in Residence for Craft Cubed 2018

Meet Tai Snaith, a true craft all-rounder!

Apart from being an artists and curator she also does ceramics and is a broadcaster. To add onto the list, she is also one of our Artists in Residence during Craft Cubed Festival.

The Artist in Residence program focuses on craftspeople who “make from home”.  In the Craft Library space, we are recreating a domestic style working studio environment with three makers – also including Rute Chaves and Stephanie Hicks.

We caught up with Tai to talk about her passion of making.

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At Home with Rute Chaves - Artist in Residence for Craft Cubed 2018

Meet Rute Chaves, professional daydreamer, fashion designer and stylist.

Rute is one of the Artists in Residence during Craft Cubed Festival.

The Artist in Residence program focuses on craftspeople who “make from home”.  In the Craft Library space, we are recreating a domestic style working studio environment with three makers – also including Tai Snaith and Stephanie Hicks.

We had a quick chat with Rute about her work.

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At Home with Stephanie Hicks - Artist in Residence for Craft Cubed 2018

Meet Stephanie Hicks! Paper is her thing.

Whether it’s collages, printmaking, or installation she is your go to woman. Being part of this year’s Craft Cubed Festival program as one of our Artists in Residence make sure to check out her interview.

The Artist in Residence program focuses on craftspeople who “make from home”.  In the Craft Library space, we are recreating a domestic style working studio environment with three makers – also including Tai Snaith and Rute Chaves.

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CRAFT CUBED: INTERVIEW WITH TROY EMERY

Troy Emery is an artist based in Melbourne and has an art practice encompassing sculpture, painting, drawing, and embroidery. He refers to his sculptures as ‘fake taxidermy’ because they mimic the process of taxidermy without actually producing a real result. The particular animals he chooses to work with fall between being exotic and easily recognisable. 

To create our key representational imagery for this year's Craft Cubed Festival, Troy's artwork was the key inspiration for Annette Wagner.

Gemma Jones (Festival Manager) caught up with Troy to talk about his artwork and practise.

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INTERVIEW WITH CIAN COTTEE

As our first Craft Hatch for 2018 approaches, we interviewed the almighty Cian Cottee, otherwise known as Gracie Keal. 

As a loyal advocate of modern craft, Cian Cottee, (through her label Gracie Keal) creates thoughtfully designed pieces, from recycled remnants and vintage cloth.  Practicing traditional techniques from her studio nook in Thornbury, Cian is inspired predominantly by children’s drawings and in awe of their imagination, every character comes from an original artwork and carries their own fantastical story. 

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INTERVIEW WITH ANNETTE WAGNER

We’ve admired Netti Wagner from True North Studio for a long time.  We love the way she uses visual language and her effusive enthusiasm for design, local flavour and feminism.  She recently taught at our very successful Instagram Masterclass – and then came on board to create our key representational imagery for the 2018 Craft Cubed Festival: Homing Craft.

In launching this year’s Festival, Gemma Jones (Festival Manager), had a short chat with Netti about the project.

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INTERVIEWS WITH ARTISTS FROM 14 BENCHES

14 Benches, curated by Anna Gray, showcases the work of 14 contemporary jewellers from the highly regarded warehouse studio Northcity4. Founded in 2011, this sustainability focused, Artist led studio space supports independent jewellery businesses through permanent and short term tenancies.

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GALLERY: LINDA HUGHES

Linda Hughes is an established jewellery maker working in Melbourne. Hughes' ongoing obsession with signage, stripes and the street is explored through the production of wearable works that reference the different ways in which we use and decipher the stripe in urban street-scapes. Her new exhibition STRIPED INFERENCE opens August 26 at Collins Place Gallery, and is part of both Craft Cubed Festival and Radiant Pavillion. In this exhibition Hughes reveals a deeper investigation into the political and societal settings of the stripe in Western Painting via hidden meanings and cultural mores that move between playful, fashionable and symbols of alienation. STRIPED INFERENCE also acts as a mini retrospective showcasing both her PhD alongside a new collection of works not to be missed.

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What is the premise for your exhibition at Craft this August?

My work is conceptually-based from research investigating the stripe acting as a substitute motif in historic paintings. Stripes were rare in the Renaissance and may have a specific connotation, for example, a striped uniform may represent authority or clown.

Why is the handmade important to you?

Handmade objects are a revelation to me in their ability to carry meaning, materialising ideas both from the maker’s intentions and audience’s reception. Most of all I relish artworks which are technically well-made and quirky.

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What was the best advice you’ve ever been given?

It isn’t necessary to climb to the top of a mountain to observe a view (painter Myra Skipper 1919-1994). I’m indebted to many gifted jewellery mentors such as Sarah Ross, Rian de Jong and goldsmith Robert Baines whose advice I revisit when at my workbench.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

John Legend, John Mayer, Wayne Shorter, Bruno Mars

Where do you go in Melbourne for inspiration?

Jewellery exhibitions and ACCA; I can still recall a vibrant image of Wolfgang Laib’s pollen installation

STRIPED INFERENCE

26 August – 16 September
Mon–Fri 11am–6pm, Sat 10am–5pm

Opening: Sat 26 August, 5-7pm
Artist Talk: Sat 2 September, 12pm

Read more about earlier exhibitions at Craft here

 

 

 

CRAFT CUBED: ANNIE GOBEL

Contemporary Jeweller Annie Gobel, draws heavily from reminiscences of her childhood. She celebrates the joy she found through play in this time as a way of overwriting and healing negative memories. Annie cites visual aspects of childhood playtime such as art and craft activities, line drawing and toy shapes as key influences on her intuitive working methods. These influences translate into her small geographical wearable sculptures. 

Craft is proud to highlight Annie’s work "Connected Lines" (image below) for the 2017 Craft Cubed Festival which is running from the 1–31 August 2017.

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To someone who has never seen your work: how would you describe what you make?

I create wearable artworks that explore aspects that are related to childhood times, particularly playtime. They are vibrant in colour and have geometric quality to it, obtained from toys. 

How important is the material aspect to your work?

I use liquid enamel to achieve colour, but what I find more important is that it allows me to mix my own colour. I find that mixing the colour itself is an act of play, which is part of my exploration in ‘playtime’.

What’s the significance of the handmade to you?

I grew up learning to appreciate the handmade, but it means more to me since I started making handmade work. I find that handmade works relate directly to the maker, from the original idea to the finished product.

How did your experience with FRESH! impact on you?

It was a confidence booster! It was a really good feeling to know that my works were acknowledged and it made me believe that I am right where I am. I have not stop making since then.

I remember I screamed the moment I received the email from Craft and replied it right away.

  "Connected Lines". (2017). Annie Gobel. Mild steel, enamel, rubber. Photo by Disma Putra

"Connected Lines". (2017). Annie Gobel. Mild steel, enamel, rubber. Photo by Disma Putra

Who do you see as your peers? And how have these relationships manifest themselves in terms of your practice?

Fellow artists who have the same practice as me and maybe craft and contemporary jewellery galleries. I think they just keep me motivated and keep on making. 

Where do you see yourself in terms of culture and community?

I was born in Jakarta, Indonesia and I have spent over half of my life here, but I never feel less Indonesian.  

However, I feel that my practice fits best here in Melbourne. I find that the craft community here is very supportive and also accessible. 

What are some of the ethical considerations in your practice?

I try to recycle my materials as much as I can and use materials that are harmless to the environment.

How do you overcome creative obstacles?

When I’m out of ideas, I just keep looking for inspiration. It can be from other artists, my past works, a walk or simply looking through images on Pinterest and Instagram. One other thing is I just keep on making.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

If you’ve never tried it, then you’ll never know. 

FULL EVENT LISTING: ANNIE GOBEL'S CRAFT CUBED WINDOW WALK EVENT

CRAFT CUBED: MAYLIN EVANOCHKO

Artist and jewellery maker Maylin Evanochko's particular brand of celebratory quirk is a perfect blend of fun, cheek and fashion. Evanochko's background as a painter of large scale abstract works informs her accessories collection, one which is ripe with disarmingly addictive 80's fashion references from pattern clash to metallic animal prints. Each piece is completely unique, crafted by hand using leather, polymer clay and silver. She employs a layering process garnered through years of painting to achieve multi dimensional color effects and patterns, considering each pair of earrings like minature works of art. The complete Mazdevallia collection will be available at the special Craft Cubed Market on August 26, and we can't wait to get our hands on it!

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What is your earliest craft memory?

When I was about five or six I used to make weird creatures out of toothpicks and cut up vegetables. I'd start with something sturdy like a potato and then add all kinds of strange features. If I could also get it to stand up on its own it was pretty exciting.

What is your philosophy or motto when it comes to creativity?

You have to experiment, take risks and make the ugly stuff to get to the good stuff. There is no way out of it. For me, it is part of the creative process.

Where do you go in Melbourne for inspiration?

The botanic gardens are great for interesting shapes and unusual colour combinations.

What are you reading OR listening to at the moment?

I'm currently listening to a lot of PBS 106.7FM.

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How would you describe your studio or making environment?

My studio is a real mix of order and total chaos. I've learned over the years to take care of my brushes and art supplies so that part of it is quite neat. Where the actual making happens is what can only be described as a mess but it makes sense to me.

How does good craft make you feel?

Good craft reminds me that there are so many amazingly talented people out there who can do things that you didn't even know was possible. It makes me feel like there are endless possibilities and inspires me to experiment.

What other Craft Cubed events are you excited about?

I'm excited to check out the new jewellery work Inhabit presented by The Alley, in Fitzroy!

FULL EVENT LISTING: CRAFT CUBED MARKET AUGUST 26