CRAFT CUBED: ANGELA D'ALTON AND RENEE BAKER

Angela and Renee of D'alton Baker Production's value the community and connectivity of Craft. They are generously sharing their wisdom and expertise with the crafters of Melbourne in their seminar tackling the difficult question of just how do you get the most out of design markets? 

What’s the significance of the handmade to you?

Handmade to us is a return to the tradition of community and being more connected to the physical world around you. We all used to know the people who made our shoes, our crockery, we used to make our own clothing and in that time we had a far greater appreciation and respect for items and their place in the world over time. It's a meaningful form of peaceful protest against a world that overtly favours mass production.

How would you describe your craft community?

The D'Alton Baker Productions community of mentees is full of vibrant women, clever men, kind souls and hard workers. It's inclusive and supportive whilst providing some healthy competitive spirit. Above all, the community constantly surprises us with it's talent, creativity, generosity and playfulness. Market carnies sure are a fun bunch.

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What is your earliest craft memory?

R: Nan taught me how to make a paper sailor's hat. We made a dance, a faux nautical march with some skipping, whilst wearing those hats we made.
A: My beginnings were all Lego based. I got to design and construct buildings in so many colours and shapes and make real what I could see in my mind.

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

R: Don't judge yourself.
A: Make plenty of mistakes and then make sure you also learn from them and improve.

Where do you go in Melbourne for inspiration?

R: The flowers and plants at Fitzroy Gardens cleanse my eyes with nature and remind me that creativity has an endless source if you ensure you nourish it. 
A: As a culturally starved Sydney-sider, strolling the strip shops of Melbourne's Northern suburbs is always a must-do. Including specialty indie stores and a few cafe (or pub) stops, it's an awesome way to experience the friendly and creative atmosphere of Melbourne.

What are you reading OR listening to at the moment?

R: Listening to Tennis' album "Yours Conditionally" non-stop. 
A: I just finished Sally Seltmann's amazing debut novel "Lovesome" which romantically harks back to a 90's Sydney I also remember with fondness.

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How would you describe your studio or making environment?

R: Ordered but a little public. It's in the lounge room of the cabin I share with my brother and another flatmate. It's a nice corner though with all of my books and artworks around me.
A: Tidy and homely. It's heavy on Ikea solutions but sprinkled with handmade items and artworks by international independent artists.

How does "good" craft make you feel?

R: Inspired. If there's something that's been consciously and meticulously made by someone else that I feel connected to, it fills me with warmth.
A: One of the best parts of owning handmade items is that the cleaning and maintenance becomes an exercise in gratitude, rather than the usual sense of dread!

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

R: As a hyper-realistic illustrator, working with someone like CJ Hendry would blow my tiny mind.
A: I would like to design my house with Charles and Ray Eames please.

What other Craft Cubed events are you excited about? *

Alterfact looks amazing, Craft Hatch Market is a definite must-do, and if anyone is serious about their position in the industry they have to go to Craft and Design as a Career.