Thursday, 31 May 2012

pinwheeling & sticks at World Environment Day {pop-up event}

This Sunday we'll be having lots of fun (and hoping for the sunshine) at the wonderful World Environment Day Festival in our local town.

Us Hey Makers have been asked to present not one but two fun arty - making - crafty type activities. With all things recycled and natural and collected and gathered, we'll be there with supplies to make sweet little pinwheels. Come along and add them to the 'windfarm'! Of course, it's a silly and fun little statement on wind power.

We'll also have a pile of beautiful sticks gathered and collected from our forest floors. Dan and Justin will be on hand to help you with the making of a community art expression of space and linear viewpoints. I really can't wait to see how this evolves throughout the day with people adding their stick or twig or branch here and there across the park area.

Please come along, if you're local or even a short drive away. The whole day is a much needed fundraiser for our local Environment shop - The Caldera Environment Centre. This is the longest running, constantly opened, volunteer run environment centre in Australia. They celebrated their 21st Birthday last year. I think that's an amazing testament to the spirit and dedication of people in Caldera.

Full details can be found here. Come and say hi, won't you. {We'll also have our badge making machine, and some of our market stock for your to look at - lots on sale as well}.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

{creative spaces} more and more crochet

So, lately I've been slightly (ok - a lot) addicted to making these little crochet covered stones. They're just too much fun!

I keep giving them away (and swapping for them), so don't have many left at home. The giving away is so satisfying.

I don't use a pattern for them, each one is different depending on the rock shape and how I'm feeling at the time. If I used a pattern, then I'd have to count stitches........ but if you're interested in making your own, let me know and I can try to write a pattern up for you. (or you can search online and find some as well).

A big thanks must go to my lovely friend Helle who reminded me how to crochet, and showed me how to hold my yarn correctly. Helle makes the most beautiful amazing intricate fascinating crochet pieces. She's a big inspiration around our town.

Are you on Instagram? I am, follow me there if you want (search Petalplum) - there's sure to be more images of my crochet work and also shots of the mountains around the valley. Those mountains and the clouds are my everyday creative space.

joining in creative spaces over at the new home today. 

What are you making today? - Ellie xx {visit me at my own blog Petalplum, for more making and creating}

Monday, 7 May 2012

Tell us a little about your creative life {interview} with Jo Olive

 Tell us a little about your creative life.

My creative life is full! It is all consuming and it is joyous. I get to be a creative parent, I get to collaborate with amazing people, I get to surround myself with paper and ink and  thread and I get to make books all day long. My creative life extends to my garden, the landscape that surrounds me and my community.

Where do you live and why?

I live in a divine rolly green land just past Uki in Northern NSW.  We moved here from inner city Melbourne 10 years ago and although we sometimes miss the energy of the city we have surely created a home here. We are nestled amongst world heritage rainforests in this area and love the freedom that comes from living here. We love the wildlife, the flora and the solitude. And we love the people.

What is it you make?

I make many things but my greatest love is making handmade books. I print also and fold paper and set up movable type for my letterpress andI take copious amounts of photos. My books are made in small-runs, limited editions and one-offs. They’re made from up-cycled, foraged and found materials plus fine printmaking and drawing papers.

Where did you learn these skills?

My first strong memories are of painting and drawing. Throughout my life, I’ve always been involved with some form of creating. My formal education includes a degree in Fine Art History from Melbourne Uni with a brief stint studying in New York. I went on to study Printmaking at Southern Cross Uni for a short time before I began teaching Visual Arts in the Riverina. But the best teachers have been the artists and makers that I surround myself with. As far as bookmaking is concerned I’m largely self-taught, although books are a natural progression for many printmakers. I am constantly learning by observing those who participate in the workshops I run with my friend and fellow artist Heather Matthew and I am routinely awestruck by watching my children at play.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Inspiration is endless. I’m never at a loss for what to create next. I find really small, fleeting things inspiring, a cloud, a bird call, a stone, lichen on a branch, fungi, a shadow or a word. Music and poetry and writing are constant sources of interest and ideas or philosophy have always been a part of my image making process. I’m inspired by the land, the colours I find there, the stories and the history. Memory is another theme that I always come back to. But when making books it may be as simple as responding to a found material and asking it what it wants to become.

What is your fondest childhood memory of making something?

One of my most vivid memories is of decorating envelopes with pressed flowers, glitter and paper collage and then sitting on the footpath outside my house trying to sell them. I sold two!

Do you find time to be creative every day?

I’m so fortunate to be able to dedicate a lot of time to making. Most days I do create and on those days that I can’t I try to be creative in other ways, through food, or in the garden or with the kids. Being creative keeps me sane so it’s in my interest to find the time!

When did you know you wanted to pursue a creative career?

I’ve always known I wanted to pursue a creative career. I’ve gone off on many tangents but have always come back to true north. After becoming a Mum I felt that it was time to commit to making but it has only been recently that I have had the time to pursue my           practice on a full-time basis.

Who is your creative hero?

I have so many. Shepherd Fairey, Swoon, bookmakers Jim Croft and Shanna Leino, Mike Parr, Eva Hesse, Kurt Schwitters, Joseph Cornell, Frida Kahlo, Albert Durer, Isamu Noguchi, Barbara Hepworth, Louise Bourgeois….and on it goes.

What would you love to learn to do within the next year or so? What creative skill / talent?

I really want to build up my repertoire of bookbinding techniques and I’m super keen to brush up on my very rusty screen-printing skills. But the big project is to master my Heidelberg Windmill Platen Letterpress. If there’s time I’m up for some upholstery lessons, playing with natural dyes and learning how to navigate InDesign.

Please share some of your favourite web wanderings.

Lately I’m loving:

The Hungry Workshop  a super Australian letterpress studio, check out the “Flannie” cards.

Photojojo for photography gadget geeks

New York Centre for Book Arts  awesome resource for bookmaking

Kate Benazi  bright and punchy Aussie printmaker

Shanna Leino books to die for.

Ms Browns Lounge the Lismore arts space run by the uber talented Joanna Kambourian and Darren Bryant.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Tell us a little about your creative life {Interview} with Ellie

We've started a new series on our Hey Maker! blog, where we interview local creatives. Today Ellie Beck, a Hey Maker! co-founder is sharing with us. Enjoy.  

Visit Ellie at petalplum and Red Seed Studio.

Where do you live and why? 
I live in the rainforest, under a hill and surrounded by many beautiful trees (and fairy houses for sure). It's at the 'Jewel of the Tweed', Crysta Creek, about 20minutes outside of Murwillumbah.Why? Ummm - I was born and grew up here, and it really feels like home here. I moved away and now have moved back with my own little family. It's such an amazing and special place to live - I feel lucky every time I look at the mountains and the forest.

What is it you make? 
Lots of things. Mess! Mainly I hand screen print organic fabric and sew it into different things - cushions, bags, clothing, etc. It's the screen printing I love the most - the designing of the image and the working with the messy ink to produce a crisp clear print. 
I love working with paper, thread, flowers, leaves, fabric scraps......

Where did you learn these skills?
I did a bit of screen printing as a child, and in art class at high school. Also, part of a short subject at TAFE numerous years ago. Mostly I've taught myself - lots of practice does really make printing perfection!

Where do you find your inspiration? 
Can I say everywhere!? Looking outside of my front door there is so much shape and image design possibilities - shadows of leaves, and tree silhouettes in the sky, the doodlings of a bug writing in the fire wood, the colours and richness of my surroundings. My family - husband + two creative children - are constant inspiration as well. I must say there's a lot of goodgoodgoodness on Pinterest (it's a bit addictive!), and also Instagram has some loveliness that gets creative ideas sparky. Quite highly influenced by Japanese design and fabric and life as well - though I've never visited. 

What is your fondest childhood memory of making something? 
I was always making and creating as a child. I grew up with creative parents and siblings - surrounded by a colorful life! Though I do have a strong memory of making some intricate and amazing fabric stitched faces that I sold a school market fair. They were all puckered up, little wrinkly people, with details of hair, jewellery, etc. I wonder if the person who bought them still has them sitting in a draw somewhere.

Do you find time to be creative every day? 
Getting out the ink and screen printing supplies in not easy without a studio space - so that doesn't happen as much as I'd like. We currently live with no electricity, so the sewing machine isn't too accessible either! So - lately I've been doing a whole lot of little crochet pieces. I do it at the table with morning coffee, or take it with me in the car or when visiting friends. It's a good portable creative outlet. I'd like to think that our daily meals and table setting are creative in themselves - I aim for that. And taking photos daily (even if not using my big proper camera) is a pleasure and joy, and something that I take pride in.

When did you know you wanted to pursue being a creative career? 
I'm not sure. When I was younger I wanted to be an actor - but that didn't pan out, and I didn't pursue it enough. I've always likes just tinkering with things. I worked in retail before children, and always loved doing the window and shop displays, and making things for that. The screen printing and sewing aspect started after my children were born - I wanted a creative outlet and career that I could do at home. Something that nurtured my creative childhood I guess, perhaps paid homage to the family home I grew up in.

Who is your creative hero? 
Hmmm - Lots. This is always a hard question for me - as I can't narrow it down. I have always been fascinated by the work of Eva Hesse, Joseph Cornell, Frida Kahlo (such strong determination for life!), Georgia O'Keefee's art and life. I'm not sure if they're my 'heros', but artists who have interested me since I was young.

What would you love to learn to do within the next year or so? What creative skill / talent? 
I'd really like to start working with some clay (again). My mum was a potter, and it was always there when I was child. Now that I'm living back on her land, I want to start working with the ceramics and clay. Perhaps for fun - perhaps for work. Lots of ideas and vessel shapes in my mind... Also, I want to re-learn how to knit. And (because I don't have enough things on my list) I want to delve more deeply into plant and natural dyeing.

Please share some of your favourite web wanderings. 
Oh - I have a lot. I think it's my addiction (online blog-hopping)! Loving visiting Kate over at Foxs Lane (all sorts of uplifting inspiration and goodness), Anna Maria Horner is an always favourite, as is Soulemama. Greedy For Colour and Hazelnutgirl are NZ friends who I love visiting virtually. Toast always inspires me with their photo shoots, colours and designs, as does stylist Twig Hutchinson. I can't go past Cannelle et Vanille for breathtaking photography and recipes. I love Canberra blogger, Nanette at Rummage. My flickr favourites is always a deliciously beautiful place to go visiting!