Creatively Speaking – Karen and Pepa of Shibori

30 Nov

It’s Friday and as such time for an interview with some more of Australia’s talented creatives, Karen Davis and Pepa Martin from Shibori whom I posted on earlier in the year.  So time to find a comfy spot, grab a cuppa and sit back and soak in the inspiration.

How would you describe your work and style?

“We are textile designers who use the ancient Japanese art of shibori in a contemporary way.” 

What, where and/or who inspires you?

“Imperfection, the beauty in things that are irregular and not perfect. Inspiration is all around you.”

Where did your love of Shibori work come from and what makes your style unique to you? 

Pepa and I both discovered shibori when we were textile students, but it was during trips to Japan that our love for this ancient art really bloomed. We like to take traditional shibori and modernize it by focusing on little sections, before oversizing and  simplify it. Colour is also important to us and it’s amazing what a well-designed, balanced colour pallet can do.

Which is your favorite personal project and why?

“All our projects have been lots of fun however our full sized hot balloon for Kelly Ross at The Gentry was pretty spectacular.”

What has been the most exciting point in your career to date and why? 

“Most definitely the publication of our book “Shibori Recreated” which is a photographic journal of the work of some of the most talented contemporary shibori artists in the world: diverse artisans, designers, fashion identities and textile collectors. It was a huge under taking and the relief when it was finished was intense.”

Do you have any major projects in the pipeline at the moment? Can you share these with us?

“We are really lucky to be working our dream jobs and are always taking on lots of interesting projects. Apart from the usual private commission pieces upcoming projects include Woodside Energy Perth Offices, a resort in the Maldives, working with African refugee and dyer Tigi and her Cara dyeing(African shibori) and a collaboration of scarves and throws with Little Dandelion designer Jacqui Fink. Also our second book, ‘Mulberry: tie-dyeing and shibori for rascal inventors’ will be published next year. It’s a how to dyeing book for children using dyes created from stuff in the kitchen and things found around the home. ”

What would be your dream commission?

“Actually our current collaboration with Jacqui Fink from Little Dandelion is a dream commission. Not only are we totally in awe of Jacqui’s amazing creations but also her philosophy does really resonate with us.”

If I were coming to visit your home town where would be the must stop place or places for me to visit ?

“The Marrickville organic markets are always a great way to start a Sunday, full of lovely fresh flavorsome food. But if nothing there takes your fancy you can always just wonder up to ocean Vietnamese on Stanmore road, they have some of the best Vietnamese pancakes in Sydney.”

I hope you enjoyed, have a great weekend…. meanwhile on with the colourful journey…

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4 responses to “Creatively Speaking – Karen and Pepa of Shibori

  1. This Sydney Life

    November 30, 2012 at 7:49 am

    BCD – I have been looking at doing a session with the Shibori girls at Koskela, but it has never quite worked. You have reignited my interest. Cheers to you!

    • birdcagedesign

      November 30, 2012 at 5:35 pm

      Their classes look good, let me know how they go 🙂

  2. intecoolochoberord

    November 30, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    I totally love you blog!

    So I have nominated you to The Liebster Award! Thank you for all the inspiration you share!
    For more details visit

    Have a great day!
    Best regards,

  3. marsellaj

    December 4, 2012 at 10:48 am

    I love Little Dandelion and the yummy window ain’t bad either.


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