Not too sure how this pans out when making is your ‘day job’, but given our project participant’s passion for their work (and frequent reluctance to give up the making side of their business), we’re thinking there’s probably something in this for professionals too.
After over 3 years of having the incredibly fortunate experience of travelling around the country meeting amazing and inspirational Australian makers, it’s hard to believe that this stage of the journey at least is almost over.
We recently visited Canberra for some of the last of the now ‘3-Up’ interviews, and will miss not catching up with people again next year to see how their creative journey is going. Hopefully our paths will cross in other ways.
This also means that we’ll be entering the final stage of writing up a report that reflects the findings from the whole project. The report will be freely available from this website from around November, plus we’ll make sure to email all participants in the project a copy as an FYI. We’ll also be taking advantage of events held by local and state-based design, art and craft support organisations to come and speak about the findings to as many people in the community as possible, so please keep a look out for us!
Amazing the colours you get from natural dyes – in this instance UK varietals: woad (blue), madder (red) and weld (yellow) – as featured at Southwark Cathedral by the London Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers for
#LCW2018. A huge thanks to the lovely Susan Dye – yes her real name – for also showing me around the cathedral garden, with its natural dyes bed.
The would-be artisans who ditch day jobs to chase a dream
Professionals are risking it all and pursuing artisanal roles, making chairs, shoes, pottery and gin in a nostalgic bid for simpler times.
By Gabriella Coslovich
Glen and Lisa Rundell’s chair-making venture has hit a nerve with customers: “We’re a generation of people who have no heirlooms to pass on,” says Rundell. Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen
“Digital technologies cut tyranny of distance out of makers’ scene across remote north”
by Susan Standen, ABC North West WA
Once again in our commitment to making this a truly national study, our intrepid Jane Andrew ventured across the desert to visit the makers of Port Hedland. A huge shout-out and thank-you to Katie Evans from Form. ‘Queen of craft’ Katie had organized for us two whole days of interviews with local makers. What was soon revealed was an active and varied making community of which we only scratched the surface, all of whom were really passionate about their work, regardless of the financial return they may, or may not, have been receiving.
Clearly Port Hedland makers faced specific challenges around the tyranny of distance from Australian urban centres, but like other northern Australian locales benefited deeply from close and thus strong links with near neighbors in Asia, in particular Bali. The value of resources such as Form in regional hubs such as Port Hedland was clearly evident in its role as a creative hub enabling the local making community, providing everything from a focal point for the diverse design craft community, retail outlet (especially in the form of The West End Markets) and skills development (including peer-support artist camps).
A new addition to Australia’s craft calendar is looking for people to become involved: https://australiandesigncentre.com/sydneycraftweek/
Rugged up against some chilly winter weather, Crafting Self headed to Bendigo this month to meet rural and regional makers, and join the many other natural fibre lovers at the Australian Sheep & Wool Show. A huge thank-you to Minna Graham and Kim Haughie for their warm hearths, cups of tea and most of all sharing their making stories.
A treat to catch up with project ‘frequent fliers’ and new participants alike in Tasmania last week. As always, inspirational to see the work being done by Tas makers, and the strong relationships with place as inspiration and local materials, especially wood, present in the apple isle.
As a key part of the cultural, lifestyle and creative mix that is contemporary Tasmania, local makers there really demonstrate the value of unique products, experiences and stories to a global market.
Still an umbrella retailer though I doubt stock is still made on site, alas.