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Walter G – Sumptuous Tales of Textile Travellers

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Struck by the lack of colour in Australia and the western world, Sydney friends Lauren Bennett and Genevieve Fennel started Walter G in 2011.  Supplying a range of high end, handmade textiles and soft furnishings which are designed and made in India and Australia.

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“Upon returning from one of their many adventures, they looked down at their bags, overflowing with sumptuous textiles, and looked at each other and agreed that it was a little greedy of them to keep such treasures all to themselves.  They decided they must find a way to share them with the rest of the world.” – We are very glad you did!!

I love that you are introduced to the special artisans who are part of this creative process, whilst they may be based in India they are certainly part of the team that is Walter G. You get a little bit of history on each of the team. For example  you can meet Kantha the block printer who is boss (according to her hubby)!

Kantha

Meet Kantha

“Walter G endeavours to alter the common Western perception of these textiles as being ‘foreign’ and out-dated, to ‘inspired’ and of rich heritage, ensuring the survival of traditional textile techniques in the modern world.”

Here is a little sample of their offerings…. and if you have time you may want to check out their blog which is full of colourful inspiration with pictures of Indian streets, life, and fabric trimmings… if anything it brings a little colourful cheer into your day.

Jaipur Cushion

Jaipur Cushion

mirrored dowry

mirrored dowry

Squiggles Canvas

Squiggles Canvas

Buti Canvas

Buti Canvas

Harem Silk

Harem Silk

Dark Original Lady Lamp

Dark Original Lady Lamp

Plum Harlequin Geni Lamp

Plum Harlequin Geni Lamp

Dark Original Turban Shade

Dark Original Turban Shade

Cubed ottoman

Cubed ottoman

On with the colourful adventure………

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Posted by on March 13, 2013 in Art, Colour, Craft, Fabric, India, Interior Design, Travel

 

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Reclaimed Typography – Coulson Macleod

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Typography on Limestone

For those who love to give the gift of words, then you may like to sample a little of the lighthearted and whitty work of UK based Mark Coulson and his team of local artisans. With a strong emphasis on using reclaimed materials such as wood, metal, stone, fabric and recycled papers, they design pictures which incorporate a play with words which is fun and quirky.  For those who prefer pictures you are not forgotten either. Even the inks are “green”!

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Mark and Hannah

Mark has a background as a graphic designer….and by all accounts from his business partner the “marketing guru” Hannah McLeod he is a pretty good tea maker…. (My kind of business partner!!!). The business has a strong emphasis on it’s relationships with local craftsmen and women, who help to make the bespoke frames that the works are presented in…. And with all of this local craft involved they still come with a very reasonable price tag!

Here are some more examples of their work, what words would you choose??

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Jamie-Oliver

Work commissioned by Jamie Oliver, they also offer bespoke services for something a little more personal to you… or your little Jamie!

For those of you still struggling to find the perfect valentines gift, although…..you don’t have to use Valentines day as an excuse to say I love you! How about  these….

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And for those of you struggling to find the romantic bones within you…..how about you search for it here…

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And for anyone struggling to find me a gift…. well I kinda like these reclaimed wooden prints….. well a picture says a thousand words!!

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On with the colourful adventure…………….

 
4 Comments

Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Art, Interior Design, UK, UK designers

 

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Colour Me Crochet – Anne-Claire Petit

A little bit of fun today… I bet you cannot look at these images with at least a little smile on your face!!

Dutch textile designer Anne-Claire Petit began her career as a designer for the clothing label Esprit, before taking the plunge and setting up on her own. Soon, Anne-Claire Petit Accessories, became well-known for its shawls and other fashion accessories. But her creative talents have not just stopped there.  Feeling a little constrained by the seasonal cycle that comes with fashion, Petit has focused on a children’s and homeware which is bright with colour and fun, and is sure to ignite the inner child (after all why should kids have all the fun).

Here are a few tasters, and even more exciting for us Aussies is that she will be exhibiting at the Sydney Life In Style in Feb 2013…. who says these are just for kids!!!! From animals to vegetables, cuckoo clocks to record players and TV’s nothing is out of limits…..

Homewares

Fruit and Veg

I want them all,  I love the cuckoo clock and would be quite happy to snuggle up on a toadstool with the crochet rug looking at my endless vase of knitted flowers…. Happy Thursday!

Meanwhile on with the colourful journey.

 

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Plating up a Scene – Molly Hatch

I really love this recent project by ceramicist Molly Hatch which is influenced by 18th century historical etchings from the archives of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the collection archives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.  Each “Plate Painting” is a grouping of hand-painted plates which make making up a larger image of the historic originals.

I am forever fascinated at where people obtain their inspiration and the new ideas they come up with as a result!

Molly Hatch

If you prefer something a little smaller then you may also like to have  look at Molly’s other collections from little gift tags to tea pots….. even a tea cup which helps you to tell your fortune….

Let me know what you think…… meanwhile on with the colourful journey….

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in Art, Interior Design, US Designers

 

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Creatively Speaking – Interview with Tara Badcock

It is fair to say I love Tasmanian born Tara Badcock’s work, and it has featured in a few posts as testament to that.  So I am very excited that Tara agreed to do an interview for my little blog.  So are you sitting comfortably with a nice cup of tea, coffee or even glass of wine……. This is a long interview but Tara talks with such passion I could not bare to edit it out… It is so lovely to see someone so passionate about what they do!!!

How would you describe your work and style?

My work is textile-based and my focus is on using hand embroidery techniques to convey a sense of history & story telling & to communicate conceptual ideas through the use of traditional formats/techniques.

My work has always centered on a ‘marriage’ of polarities- public with private, emotional with rational, grand and worldly with intimate and innocent (Adulthood & Childhood). The underlying theme in my work is essentially a fascination with history, mainly Tasmanian Colonial (that point at which the sparks of the fires of guilt, retribution & social awakening burst into flames to create our contemporary Tasmanian culture!), and the French Revolution- a much more colourfully documented upheaval, yet equally poignant and explosive! I’m drawn to points in time where the energy is so fraught and intense and somehow unresolved (I am a hot-headed Aries after all!).

I use a combination of textiles and stitching techniques in each piece I make, so for me even a purse I’ve made has many stories embedded into it, for example, through the use of strips of Japanese Shibori silk given to me by a friend, stitched onto another silk left over from a wedding dress I made a friend, backed with kangaroo leather and lined with hand printed hemp fabric from a lovely designer-friend in Sydney…

What, where and/or who inspires you?

I am strongly & instinctively drawn to textiles which have a long history of usage, or are important somehow- so again polarities between richly woven 18th century French silks made by fleeing Hugenots contrasted against roughly woven hemp sacking from an old barn in Tasmania, covered in darning stitches and stains and stencil markings- so full of life! Like objects of religious faith, if a textile has been infused with human history and has some importance placed on it, I feel drawn to it and wish to respond to its story.

I collect antique textiles and clothing and these sometimes end up in my work, and usually inspire new pieces. Some fragments of French silk I cannot bear to use as they are so beautiful….they seem to have a complete set of stories to tell and I love to listen!

I am inspired by so many diverse sources- artists, designers, objects, images, light, colour, music, literature, landscapes and flora & fauna…I seem to be able to find inspiration in anything…the problem is that I only have this one life and the days are so short!

Currently I’m inspired by Louisa Anne Meredith’s 1850’s memoire “My Life In Tasmania”,  ( which inspired the cushion below)

Django Reinhardt, UK textile artist Cathy Cullis, French textile artist Manon Gignoux, actor Tilda Swinton (I’m sure I would faint with awe if she ever contacted me to commission something!), Tessa Kiros’ Falling Cloudberries (the photography tickles me and the recipes are really good!),

Falling Cloudberries

I understand that you have recently been commissioned to provide some rosettes for “The Great Gatsby” which was filmed in Sydney. How did that come about?

Sydney stylist extraordinaire Megan Morton found my work through a mutual friend and personal commissions led to The Great Gatsby rosettes through Megan’s film work at The Propery.

I started making embroidered silk rosettes just for fun, for my own desire to play a bit more with the things I make! I love the connections that arise when one is doing something they love.

Which is your favorite personal project and why?

That’s tricky to answer, I have favourite pieces and artworks I’ve made over the years that I’m very proud of still. I’m always striving to make ‘better’ work and pieces that come as close as possible to my idea of what I want them to be- so when I get really close to my ideal, its often a moment of expiration, of ‘oh no, where do I go now?’… I’m thinking of a series of bodice shapes I made in 2000, which depict the journey from Anglo-white ‘civilisation’ into a Tasmanian identity, where the landscape seeps into the fabrics and almost has its revenge by ‘colonising’ their clothing, and therefore their means of expressing their personal and collective-social identities! It took me months to create any new work after I completed that series.

And of course, my Teacosy* Revolution project, which I’ve had ‘steeping’ away in the background all this time, I really need to get it out in the world and finish putting together the Manifesto as a book…then to look for a willing publisher! It’s a big personal project and I’m feeling nearly ready to just give everything to getting it off the ground properly and set up so people can access the project and contribute continuously, so that it can take on its own life and embark on its own journey!

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

One of the things that really knocked my socks off was seeing my clothing designs worn by models at Fashion Exposed in Melbourne in 2009. I was invited to be an exhibiting emerging designer with a group of amazingly talented designers from all over Australia. I felt very honoured to be showing next to them, I don’t feel like a ‘proper’ fashion designer, I have only a little patternmaking experience yet I love making garments that are more like ‘pieces’, wearable artworks, so they are less commercial, yet hopefully more intriguing? So these two gorgeous and tall young women swished out wearing my designs and I was able to see them in context and see also that I can achieve things I might think are impossible!

I fell pregnant right after that event and life is taking a nice meandering path now. I’ll go back to making clothing once my son, Felix, is a bit older and I have more Atelier time.

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

I do have an embryonic project, which is a long term one (one of two!), which involves creating a travelling show…I’m still working it out so I won’t spill the beans just yet!

I do have a collection of cushions and bags to make for a very gorgeous boutique in Melbourne called Tiger & Peacock, lots of luscious black silk, diamante and glass beading, and I’m determined to refine my hand embroidery so its less ‘rustic’ for this collection!

I have some artwork to make for a group exhibition in Devonport (Northern Tasmania) which coincides with the Ten Days on The Island arts festival and for this we’ve been asked to look at any female convicts in our family trees and interpret their story in a positive way, to help change the perception of Colonial convict women as belligerent and wicked (I’m sure I would be too if I were deprived of an education and was treated like a third class citizen!)

\I’m working right now on a Public Art Commission through Arts@Work in Tasmania, for Bicheno Child Care Centre on the East Coast of Tas. I’m making them Tasmania-themed alphabet blocks of applique leather, featuring Tasmanian animals, plants, insects, etc. Kookaburra sample panel photo is below.

I’ve also never applied to participate in the Tamworth Textile Triennial, which I’m planning to do finally this year. Since my son was born 2 years ago, I’ve been slowly changing from working in a frenzied, workaholic manner to a much more focused and considered practice- which is more low-key & manageable with a toddler who wants to ‘help mummy’! I still make work to commission for private customers, which I love doing.

If you could have your work displayed anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be displayed?

I feel very fortunate to have had my work in a show at Anthropologie in New York, courtesy of Globetrotting Stylist extraordinaire Sibella Court who curated the show. Into the Lighthouse! That’s one location I’d been hoping to show at for a few years!

Anthropologie “into the Light House ” source rustic gentleman

Oh and my pie-in-the-sky dreams are to have my work in MONA in Hobart, the V&A in London, Centre des Arts Decoratifs & Musee Carnavalet & Astier de Villatte in Paris, The silk museum in Lyon, Istanbul Modern in Turkey, to show at Maison et Objet & Milan

MONA - Exterior at Sunrise - Photographer Matt Newton

MONA Hobart – photo by Matt Newton

Design Week & Venice Biennale, a feature article in The World of Interiors & Vogue Living would be utterly amazing….and a long list of other ‘big’ exciting venues that will be a total honour to show in, should that happen in the future?!

What would be your dream commission?

I’d love to have a couple of jobs embroidering covers for novels or cookbooks or CDs or events posters even, like the very talented Jillian Tamaki .


A friend of mine is a singer/song writer and has asked me to make her an album cover, so we will work on that over the next year.

I’d also love to create bespoke pieces for designers I admire, like Astier de Villatte In France, Akira Isogawa & Collette Dinnigan in Australia, Alexander McQueen fashion house & Timorous Beasties in the UK & Scotland….I really enjoy setting myself seemingly unachievable goals and pursuing them for however long it takes! That’s the side of me that is passionate and driven!

I do have a secret dream to design costumes for Film, Opera & Ballet performances….I have a local friend who is an English-born Opera Singer and I’ve offered to ‘practice’ on her whenever she needs something special!

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

We live in a really interesting rural area which has beautiful forests & caves to explore, Mountains to climb, a lot of natural features and landscapes…my childhood has been full of bushwalks and trips to the beach and islands off the coast of Tasmania.
I would recommend a short walk to Talumpunga Reserve to see the impressive gorge and prehistoric rock cliffs where Aboriginal women traditionally gathered ochre; then a trip to the Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm for something yummy and infused with raspberries (or perhaps that before the walk, so you can wear off all the treats!).

Deloraine is the nearby town and the largest inland town in Tasmania. It’s a picturesque place with a strong arts community, lovely river walks and lunch at the Deloraine Deli where you might find gourmet bangers with truffle mash on the menu (there are several truffle farms in the vicinity!)

Dawn near Deloraine - By Eoin Murphy

“Dawn Near Deloraine” Eoin Murphy

There’s a salmon farm & Ashgrove Cheese farm nearby, vineyards, Melita Honey in Chudleigh with glass beehive, Wychwood Garden & Nursery in Mole Creek (owned by friends and featured in lots of Australian Garden books!)
Perhaps I’d better create a local tour programme….

Describe your perfect Day

At the moment its getting up at 6am and sunning our toes on the polished floorboards while we have breakfast, then doing some gardening while Felix ‘helps’ with his own trowel, go for a walk along the farm lanes around the house amongst the bird-filled hawthorn hedgerows (so English!), lunch where Felix eats all his veggies and while he has his siesta I work in the Atelier; dinner together with ‘husband’ Rainier and a restful evening reading or watching a film or t.v show on iview. I’m trying to wean us off too much t.v, ..I try and structure my day so that I’m not asleep on the sofa by 5pm!

Now as much as I love your work, I love cooking and am always eager to find out a new recipe… what is your favorite dish to cook?

LEMON SEARED CHICKEN BREASTS with GOATS CHEESE, ASPARAGUS AND ROQUETTE PASTIE

Birdcage Design attempt….. (I swapped the pastry for Kipfler potatoes though!)

This is a made-up-with-a-friend kind of recipe so its not measured accurately!
For two or three people:

2 Free range Chicken breasts whole
250 g Mushrooms
2 Lemons
A Julia-Child-French-amount of butter, probably 80g or 100g!
Slight teaspoon of olive oil
Sheet of puff pastry
Bunch of Asparagus
Goats Cheese
A little milk
Bottel of Pino Grigio! (optional but recommended)

Heat butter and oil in a frying pan, sear and cook chicken breasts through so they obtain a lovely brown almost-crunchiness, then add juice of two lemons to the pan (for a good amount of delicious tang), a good pinch of cracked black pepper and Maldon salt, turn the heat down a little and let the juices cook and reduce a little to make its own sauce. When you have it the way you like it, remove the pan from the heat and let the chicken rest before slicing into pieces about half a centimeter thick, or as you like. You can put honey brown mushrooms in the pan with the chicken at the start too, and remove them once browned and buttery, while you continue with the chicken.

In an oven at 200 degrees C, bake a sheet of pastry (I found Borg’s Organic puff pastry in our local supermarket), spread half the pastry sheet lengthways with a nice generous layer of soft goat’s cheese (I plump for French Soignon brand if I cannot get any local Westhaven or Yandover Farm goats cheese), lay enough raw asparagus along the goats cheese so the pastry will fold over evenly, lay some roquette over the asparagus and even grate a little parmesan over before folding the pastry in half and sealing the edges with brushed milk. Brush the top of the pastry with milk also and prick the top in three or four places with knife cuts for the steam to escape during cooking.

Place on a non-stick baking slide and bake for about 20 or 30 mins, depending on your oven’s nature and habits!

This is a perfect up-cheering winter dinner, and you can serve with a leafy green salad or anything like sliced tomatoes drizzled with a little olive oil & roquette leaves, salt and pepper too…and a glass of Pinot Grigio!

 I hope that you enjoyed our date with Tara…. on with the colourful journey…….

Other Posts you might enjoy

These are exhibitions that are coming up for Tara if you are in the area

ART OF THE CUFF
LORD COCONUT
Friday 28 September 2012
Level 4 Carlow House
289 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
0450 015 263
FELT PRESENCE
Devonport Regional Gallery
19th March 2013
In conjunction with
Ten Days On The Island Festival.
 

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Keeping and Eye on Ikat

The trend for Ikat is nothing new, both in terms of it’s origins, and in terms of it’s resurgence in the designs of current fashion and styles. It’s longevity and continual appearance in interior and fashion magazines is possibly due to the fact that, whilst it is distinctive in it’s style and bold patterns, it will sit alongside most styles and fashions quite comfortably.  Whether you are looking for a bohemian, tribal, or clean modern feel you can generally find something to suit.
Call me a little nosey, but I just love to know how something is created in it’s true form….and as a result of my snooping I stumbled upon this beautiful photo essay “Silk to Ikat. Artisans Along the Silk Road. Central Asia, Uzbekistan” by photographer Edward Addeo, which also won a place in the 2012 the World in Focus travel photography contest, which I though I would share (hope he does not mind), as well as a couple of ideas of how you can use at home…

The making of a traditional Ikat print is quite a process.  The Ikat’s colour pattern requires that the thread be dyed before it is woven. The method, called resist-dye, involves tightly binding the thread at intervals to protect the bound section from dyeing, resulting in only selective sections of the thread being coloured. This process is applied in one of three ways: dyeing of the warp (the vertical thread stretched along the loom), the weft (the horizontal thread woven across the loom) or thedouble Ikat method, whereby both the weft and warp threads are dyed before stringing on the loom and weaving begins.

All photo’s ©Edward Addeo – via worldinfocuscontest.com

Ikat Style

Here are some of my favourite Ikat accessories and looks for the home…
 
Luke Irwin – Ikat rug collection
Anthro Anthro
 Watercolour Michele Varian handcrafted pillows for Anthropologie

A statement piece of furniture through to a wall covering….

…or just brighten up your kitchen window ledge, or drab office desk with these quirky ikat fabric bowls from Bansot on Etsy

BANSOT - ikat fabric bowl in orange
…..on with the colourful journey………
 
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Posted by on September 6, 2012 in Art, Fabric, Interior Design, Travel, Trends, US Designers

 

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Four Sisters and A Paper Bag

Uashmama-slide2

There is something very rustic about warm bread fresh from the bakery served in a paper bag, but alas that paper bag ends up in the bin as it never holds out for the journey. Tuscan company Le Sorelle  have come up with the perfect solution, made up of four sisters (below), La Sorelle entrusted their idea to local artisans and have created the Uash Mama (Pronounced Wash Mama) paper bag.

Created originally as a paper bread bag, they feel like leather and yet wash like fabric meaning they are reusable and – unlike the green recycle bags that you get in the supermarkets – a little more attractive to use from shop to dinner table… or you can use them for anything else you see fit…

uashmama bags Uashmama storage   bag it with a washable paper bag

Even better for the ecological ones amongst us… they are made using a virgin fibre from cultivation and NOT through deforestation.

The paper is treated using a similar process to leather where the paper is stretched and tanned. They come in four sizes and three basic colours (natural, black and white…)… however there is also a gold and silver laminate for those of you who like a bit of bling on your bread bag!

 

Photo: UASHMAMA® Laminated Silver and Gold Paper Bags...Washable!!!

Fortunately for us Aussies Object Trouve came across ‘Uash Mama’ (pronounced wash mama) bags when they were travelling through Italy earlier this year, and bought them back to the country of green and gold.

The revolution of the paper bag does not just stop there, they also have shopping bags with a hand woven handle… these would be perfect for shopping, or hanging flowers and plants.

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And my favourite little addition is the little terracotta warmer that you can heat up in the oven to keep you Pain au Chocolate or Panini nice and toasty warm!

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The technique has also been used to create little lampshades which can be placed over glasses…

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….The perfect little stocking filler…. or even stocking perhaps…..Now there is an idea girls…. just remember you heard it here…. on with the colourful journey…..

 

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