Thursday, 25 July 2013

The Hey Maker! creative collective says farewell.

It is with some sadness but mostly celebration that Hey Maker! says farewell.

Our heartfelt thanks to the vibrant creative folk of Murwillumbah and our ever supportive online community for contributing to the success of Hey Maker! events. Although the season of the Hey Maker! collective has come to an end the positive impact made on our community will continue.
The Hey Maker! Story

At the start of 2012 five creative women came together with a shared vision to revitalise our town and create meaningful connections within our community. We were concerned with the increasing number shops in Murwillumbah town center closing down. As a creative collective we saw an opportunity to invigorate our town with pop up events.

Tuesday mornings at Belinda's was the regular weekly gathering, sipping coffee, brainstorming creative concepts and dreaming big for our little town. Baby slept, toddlers snacked and kids played as creative ideas were developed. The power of collaboration can be thrilling.

This is what Hey Maker! did with the support of our community:
Our first event April 2012 - the Potato Print Pop Up at Verge Landscape Architects in Muwillumbah. Over 200 people came through the door over a weekend to participate in cutting their own designs into sweet spuds and vegies. The stamped upcycled cardboard was stuck on the studio wall to create a collective work of art.

At the Hosanna ANZAC family fun day Hey Maker! popped up a Mothers Day make'n take
papercraft activity. Buntings were made with love from recycled paper and decorated with precut shapes.

World Environment Day in Knox Park - A nature installation was a lot of fun, in a grassy open space a collection of colourful plant offcuts were available to create organic sculpture. Pinwheels were also made from recycled paper and sticks.

Workshops for the Ukitopia Festival - kids had a choice of creating a woven book or Artist's cards that they could then swap with each other.

With thanks to the generosity of our creative community Hey Maker’s! Pozible fundraising campaign we were able to bring you ten weeks of pre Christmas workshops and creative events during “Pop Up Murwillumbah.” Hosted in a beautiful retail space in the Austral Building.

The Pozible campain gave Hey Maker! an opportunity to see if this creative space could sustain itself. We broke even with $400.27 to spare which we have now donated to Valley Life, an upcoming community project involving local artists. For Hey Maker! to continue in this space what we really needed was government funding for a coordinator as there is only so much time a family can have their mumma volunteer her time outside the home. We approached the Tweed Council and discussed the prospect of funding for a fulltime paid position + a little extra to see the business through during the quieter times. They were very supportive of what we achieved but unfortunately not able to help in this capacity.

In early 2013 local artist Sauce took over the premises. Our Pop Up project deemed successful for not only engaging the community in creative workshops and events but activating an empty shop that now continues to host an artist.

The Natural Dying Talk and Demonstration at the Autumn Club in April 2013 was an inspiring night of textile creativity with our guest speaker from Thailand Lamorna Cheeseman of "Studio Naenna"who talked us through the process of Ikat weaving and natural dyeing. This was followed by a natural dyeing demonstration with local textile artist Anne Leon.

As a new year starts family needs change too. We delight in watching our small children grow. Sleeping babies now walk, toddlers become preschoolers, preschoolers start big school. The dream business takes off, homes are built, kitchens renovated and all the while the mother remains the centre of family life. What an honour it is to have this role.
We were enchanted with the potential of what Hey Maker! could be and surprised at how hard it was to let it go as our time returned to the demands of family life with children.
As much as we want to be able to do it all, sadly something has to give. 

It is with deepest gratitude we say thank you to our community both local and online that supported us to make all these wonderful things happen. You dug deep into your pockets and donated to our Pozible campaign, you volunteered your precious time, you became a Hey Maker! member, you came along to our events and workshops and you shopped in our Pop Up giftshop.

We'd like to thank Anouk Beck, and all the staff at the Tweed River Art Gallery, as well as the Friends of TRAG, for their advice, assistance and continual support in many ways. Thank you to Susi Muddiman who brought us together in the first place!

A huge thankyou to our husbands Dan, Sam, Ed, Andy and Alex for supporting us in this journey.

Although the the Hey Maker! collective has come to its end the co founders will continue with creative pursuits that benefit our town:

Belinda Smith

Artist and designer, Belinda Smith and her landscape architect partner Dan Plummer started Plummer & Smith in mid 2012. It is a design studio with a focus on landscape architecture and public art. This year they have completed two public artworks commissioned by Gold Coast City Council and have various local and international projects on the drawing board. They share workspace in Murwillumbah at Studio 85 with Buro Two and Helle Jorgenson.

Ellie Beck

Ellie is a creative who works primarily with natural textiles and materials. Screen printing, crochet, sewing and natural plant dye are her current areas of exploration and passion. She runs a handcrafted business with her husband, Sam Messina, making jewellery and (soon to be) furniture out of broken skateboards Ellie runs workshops in screen printing, and gatherings inspiring people to find their own creative voice. Ellie and her husband are currently building their forest house and studio, which they share with two crafty children, one sleepy cat and a whole lot of wildlife. You can read her blog about living a creative life, visit her website for workshop details or follow her on Instagram @petalplum.

Kathy Egan

Kathy's new venture Craftschool invites artists to share their skills with our community through workshops held in the Tweed Valley. Kathy has also been running regular Craftplay sessions at the Stokers Siding Primary School art studio. Artists lead the Craftplay sessions giving children and their carers an opportunity to explore a variety of mediums in a beautiful sunlit space. For more details on upcoming workshops follow the Craftschool Facebook page and visit the Craftschool Blog.

Jo Olive

Jo, along with her husband Andy, have established the letterpress print studio "Olive and the Volcano Letterpress" in the Doon Doon Valley. In addition to producing a range of hand-crafted letterpress paper-goods for the retail market, they offer a custom print service for everything from business cards to wedding suites. They are proud to be continuing the craft and tradition of letterpress and aim to spread " letterpress love" by holding workshops, open studio days and demonstrations in the future.

Christy Mcleod

Christy continues with Creative Village, a website dedicated to local creatives where they can promote their portfolios, exhibitions, workshops and collaborations and follow other local artists. The site has over 250 members including designers, painters, jewelers, weavers and musicians from Brisbane to Hobart with a concentration of members in her home of the Northern Rivers. or watch the video. Christy has also just launched a side project fot the vintage, food and art industry

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Joan from 'Tied with String Studio' in Murwillumbah fills us in on what's been happening in her new shop/workshop space she recently opened in Murwillumbah. I stopped by last week to find out more about this new creative space. Go in and have a look, her shop is a hive of creative activity tucked down in the St Vinnies Arcade. Join in and sign up for a workshop while you are there!
I am finally up and running. The little hideaway where you can buy that special gift or something just for you! A little oasis where you can come and create beautiful handmade cards and other papercraft projects during daily classes and regular special workshops. You can come solo, bring a friend or arrange a group for a few fun hours.

Our first week was a great beginning with many kind words from customers who seemed to like our little space. There were several cardmaking sessions held with happy 'crafters' leaving with smiles on their faces and with many rebooking for next week's classes.
Class projects change weekly, so feel free to come and check the in-store noticeboard display or phone the shop for details.

Lyndall will be holding regular workshops on Thursdays, so visit the Store to keep up-to-date with 'what's next'.

Current Opening Hours
9.00am to 4.00pm Mon-Fri
9.00am to 2.00pm Sat

Ph: Joan 0467 208 210
Shop 3, 132 Murwillumbah Street
Murwillumbah 2484
(Opposite the Firestation at the rear of St Vinnies Arcade)

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Hey Maker! Event - Natural Dye Demonstration with Anne Leon.


Anne Leon will be doing a natural dye demonstration following our guest speaker Lamorna Cheeseman from Studio Naenna, Thailand. Join us at the Autumn Club in Murwillumbah, 7.00pm Thursday 11th April.

Time: 7.00 - 9.00pm
Where: The Autumn Club  

(next to Murwillumbah Library) 

Tickets: $18 - Bookings Essential

Anne is a print maker and textile artist living and working in Byron Bay. She has a wealth of experience and knowledge in natural plant dying. Something I love about Anne is her warmth and generosity in sharing her vast knowledge. We met a few years ago at her studio in the Byron Industrial Estate, she was so generous with her time explaining how to dye wool with onion skins and then gave me a container of mordant to take way with me. This is a woman passionate about the ancient art of plant dying and keen to share.

“After years of plant-dyeing, this still hasn’t lost its magic for me, because although you can determine some of the outcome, you can’t control it completely. The result always surprises and that’s the magic of it. We set the scene for the magic to happen and literally unfold. Leaves do different things at different times of the year, under different weather conditions and sometimes changes occur for no apparent reason at all. Each time we unwrap it feels like being given a gift, and that’s why we love doing it”

The diversity of Anne’s work, from watercolours to fabric design, reflects a rich artistic career, spanning over 30 years. Anne utilises a wide variety of techniques in her work, including screen- and block-printing, painting, dyeing, batik. She has exhibited extensively in solo and group shows, within Australia, and has work in International private collections. The quality and versatility of her work have earned her numerous large commissions, from Interior designers, Architects, Couturiers, to Corporations, domestic and international.

As plant-dyers have done through the ages, Anne begins by gathering leaves and flowers from her local environment. She then prepares silk and wool cloths using a variety of folding, wrapping, clamping and tying techniques, sometimes pieces of plant material are pressed between layers to give patterned effects. Her most recent collection combines modern technology and traditional techniques to create exquisite plant-dyed wools and silks that areavailable as fabric, or are made into beautiful garments, wraps, throws and scarves.

You can see some of Anne’s work in collaboration with potter Lucy Vanstone. The exhibition “Waders, Cluckers & Hooters” is at the Wheel of Life Gallery in Brunswick Heads, 21 fingal st, on now untill April 20th.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Natural Dyeing - Guest Speaker and Demonstration - April 11th, Murwillumbah

International Guest Speaker:
Lamorna Cheeseman from Studio Naenna,
Chiang Mai, Thailand.

I met Lamorna at her Natural Textile studio back in 2004 when I was in the early stages of establishing “Oiko - Hand Dyed Textiles.” An ongoing working relationship and friendship was formed as Lamorna took on the role of Oiko’s production manager.
That day Lamorna showed me through the beautiful gardens of Studio Naenna which is in a rural setting on the outskirts of Chiang Mai, Thailand. These gardens host a variety of plants grown for the “Dye Vat”. As we walked around the garden Lamorna passionately explained the dye process and showed me the beautiful natural hues each plant would yield.

“The indigo dye vat will continue to yield dye for as long as the master dyer is attentive and carefully listens to the pot as it speaks to her. The changes in tone and rhythm of the gentle bubbling will tell the dyer if it needs more yoghurt or indigo.”

Studio Naenna was founded by Patricia Cheesman who is a close friend of Australian textile designer Jenny Kee and a lecturer in textiles at Chiang Mai University. Patricia has published several books sharing her vast knowledge of Sth East Asian textiles.

Studio Naenna is built on 25 years of ecological sustainability and fair trade ethics.
Their “Weavers for the Environment” come together from around Thailand to exchange knowledge of natural dye techniques. The studio is a place of inspiration helping women to realise their potential as income earners and respected members of their community. Master weaver Viroy Nanthapoom has taught over 40 young weavers in the silk ikat technique thus contributing to the preservation of traditional Thai weaving.
Our guest speaker Lamorna is Patricia’s daughter. Lamorna manages Studio Naenna and works alongside Patricia in design and development. The textiles are sold in their shop “Adorn” in Chiang Mai, to boutique spa hotels throughout Thailand as well as internationally. Lamorna also hosts workshops and takes textile groups on tour throughout South East Asia.

With both parents from England and having been brought up and schooled in Thailand, Lamorna has a foot firmly planted in the two worlds. She is immersed in Thai culture and language therefore able to offer us an intimate insight into the practices of Thai textile artisans.

I am so pleased that we can share the magic of Studio Naenna with you. After the talk we are in for a treat, Anne Leon will do a natural dye demonstration. You are welcome to bring along some natural yarn to throw in the dye pot. Can’t wait, it’s going to be a juicy night of inspiring textile creativity. Both Lamorna and Anne will  have a selection of beautiful hand made textiles for sale. An opportunity to buy mum a gift for mothers day, don’t you think?

When: Thursday April 11th
Time: 7.00 - 9.00pm
Where: The Autumn Club 
(next to Murwillumbah Library) 
Tickets: $18 - Bookings Essential

Natural Dye Demonstration: 
Local artist Anne Leon 
Byron Bay  
(watch this space, more info on Anne to come)