Check it out here: Markus Keyser in action on Vimeo
New York city all in all has been an underwhelming overwhelming experience…It is kind of like sitting to eat a never ending meal, you’re never sure if you’re famished or full! There’ll be more posts to come on the sites, sounds and tastes of the city, until then, here is my favourite shot of what Williamsburg and NYC in general is like – a total melding of cultures….
…enroute to my first USA destination: San Francisco. Updates soon!
Sometimes you meet people that are just fabulous. It’s as simple as that - Fabulous. Rosie Boylan is one of those people. I randomly met Rosie a few years ago under somewhat strange circumstances and instantly fell in love with her. She’s vivacious, cheeky, feisty and warm. And she’s one of Australia’s best-kept secrets. But Rosie won’t be a secret for much longer; she’s just finished an extensive body of work in collaboration with Catherine Martin and a team of creatives for Baz Lurhnam’s film The Great Gatsby. ‘Holy Wow!’ I hear you say. Holy Wow is only half of it…Rosie’s extensive repertoire includes headwear for the films Moulin Rouge, Australia, Peter Pan and The Piano to Broadway productions in the southern hemisphere including Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Mama Mia, Lion King, Love Never Dies and Les Miserables, not to mention collaborations with numerous Australian fashion designers including sass & bide. By all accounts Rosie is one incredibly talented lady. And I say that not because of, pardon the pun, all the feathers in her hat but because of her distinctive approach to making and the way she weaves herself into her designs. She definitely does not make headwear for the masses, rather, she takes more of a considered approach and has a sitting with her clients before beginning designing. Rosie designs for individuals and more specifically their personalities. She believes that headwear shouldn’t be an outlandish garnish for the head worn as a statement, but instead a complimentary extension of a personality worn in such a way that it is unclear where the person ends and the headwear begins. Her work for films and theatre is approached in very much the same manner wherein the headwear is made for both the character and the actor/actress. Rosie’s studio is hidden almost next store to Blackstar Pastry in Newtown, and unless you parked your dog/pram/bicycle in her doorway (enticing the feisty Rosie out onto the street!) you’d never really know it was there. Inside is an absolute treasure trove! Neatly arranged shelves of hat blocks fill one side of the studio and the other houses fedoras, hat stands, an array of materials in raw form and The Cabinet of Drawers From Heaven (oh how I lustily leered at those drawers!). Positioned to one side of the studio is Rosie’s mother’s sewing machine. This is the machine Rosie was taught to sew on by her father as a child and the very same one she still uses today. Behind the cupboard doors and under the Cabniet of Drawers From Heaven’s secret compartment are armfuls upon armfuls of Victorian era silk ribbons in just about every colour and width you could possibly imagine! A visit to her studio is a feast for the eyes and quite honestly I felt like a rude child in a candy store – I wanted to touch and open and own everything I could see! Rosie is a maker with a distinctive style and a deeply personal approach to designing and this is unquestionably what makes her work so impressive. The magic in Rosie and Rosie’s work however comes from her authenticity. It’s nothing for her drop a F-Bomb in the most gracious manner possible while sifting through a box of ribbons to show me the texture she’d just so eloquently described. And that is what her work is – authentic, unassuming and real. http://rosieboylan.com/index.php
….and Today is one of them.
I’ve always created things and crafted pieces out of miscellaneous objects, I didn’t know contemporary jewellery even existed as a creative outlet but boy when I found it did my ideas change! Miniature art that can be worn… yes I think I like this world.
In my final year of study in the jewellery and object design course at Enmore Design Centre I explored hair weaving as an elective. The following year I went on to a residency where the lovely people of Sturt contemporary craft centre took me under their wing. I worked there for the next 3 years, tutoring in the jewellery workshop. I believe I kept with the art of hair weaving due to the kind supportive words of my peers and tutors at Enmore. Learning such a unique skill really made myself aspire to get that niche market. Exhibiting with the hair as a main medium is always a talking point. I have also held stalls at equestrian events, and advertise in equine magazines this has greatly helped to build my brand Hairlooms to where it is today.
Weaving at it’s best! These two rings are from a series Kim made in 2012 in which she invited the viewer to reconsider initial judgements surrounding human hair weaving and perceived judgements relating to context and value. Photograph: Sonya Scott
“The Flame Eternal” 2012, human hair, glass, aluminium, 17cm x 10.5cm.
This is one of Kim’s most recent exhibition pieces. The globe’s filament has been replaced with woven hair from Kim’s step-mother. Conceptually this piece represents the light in her father’s life, that being his wife. (Sigh!)What is it about hair weaving and incorporating this technique into jewellery that excites you? What made you want to express through this medium? Hair is such a personal thing, the textures are completely different yet they compliment each other, I love that hair can be created into fabric like rope and has a strange characteristic once woven into different forms. I feel using this medium is exactly what I needed to explore jewellery being about a significant event in someone’s life, it is literal without having a photo or image but yet can be so secretive in its appearance. The major response is that people can’t believe its hair.
What processes are involved from conceiving a new idea for one of your pieces to actually making it? Do you outsource any significant tasks?I’ve tried casting my main pendant pieces but it’s just not the same. I like to make mistakes and then solve them, making it all from the beginning. In the case of exhibition pieces I’ll often make a miniature prototype or test if a certain connection will work. I’ll sketch pieces out, but almost in a language/scribble that only I can really interpret! Silversmithing involves many processes, especially when staring from sheet metal: cutting, forming, soldering, filing, and polishing. Weaving the hair involves at least a few hours of preparation: cleaning, sorting the strands, tying in the weights, weaving the pattern, securing the hair in position, then combining the two and TADA its done! Recently you went on an outrageous South American adventure with your handsome husband. South America has a strong history and contemporary presence in hand made pieces, across many mediums. Where you influenced by anything you saw? There are so many inspirational aspects over there. From the landscapes, especially in Bolivia to the wildlife in the Amazon. The materials used in crafts seemed quite resourceful. I liked the use of dry cacti in furniture, the vibrant colours of the macaws and the construction techniques of Machu Pichu and the Incan empire. Contemporary museums and galleries were great, the MAC Niteroi in Brazil was architecturally amazing, and it looked like an evil villains lair, and held some amazing pieces of contemporary art. There’s no way in the world that you could go to South America and not be influenced. The main hunt for me over there was to find this small town called Rari in Chile where the art of Crin originates. The community here dye and weave horses hair all by hand, and create amazing pieces. It is an experience I am so grateful for.
Woven Horse Hair from Rari, Chille. Photograph: Sonya ScottWhat does a typical studio day in the life of Kimberley Ebbeck look like from when you wake to when you go to sleep? When I’m lucky enough to get a full day, it begins with a ‘to-do’ list; otherwise I get distracted and start making a ring for myself! My studio is 10 steps from my house and is a hobbit of a studio, but hey a bench is all you need. I’ll generally weave hair in the evening, for a strange reason it’s calming and the daytime is too chaotic for this process. So the day would begin with me creating a pre-ordered pendant using woven horsehair. All hand made, the silver punched out using my hydraulic press, which takes, up most of the space in my pixie size studio. I then create a back plate for the pendant, soldering and polishing and creating a cold connection for the hair to be secured safely into. Meanwhile I’ve possibly taken a photo or 2 of the progress and put it on instagram! Once the piece is complete, I’ll make personalized packaging for it. Usually the pieces are a memento from a horse that has recently passed, so I like to make a card with the horses name and left over woven hair as an extra keepsake for the customer. Then its coffee time! The typical day may also include a repair or a simple ring to make for an order. I always have a few things on the go when I get that precious full day in the studio! Production pieces are often made once a month, in a big bunch. The day will end with me mailing the pendant and contacting the customer to assure them that there piece is complete and safely on its way. What is your creative dream project? I’d love to do a solo but collaborative show, or as I like to call it a story. It has been in the mind pipeline for a few years, I want to share peoples story through using their own hair in conjunction with designed objects, which are reflective of them. I think the experience of meeting people and exploring their story, then having themselves represented as a piece would be empowering. Possibly having the time to make all the pieces in a residency in South America, hey we can all dream!
Photograph/s: Sonya ScottI’m personally obsessed about food….Do you have any food obsessions right now that you want to share?
Loving all the grains at the moment, all the rage of quinoa has gotten to me, it’s so tasty and easy to cook! Polenta and nuts and following the blog of berries and scotch has gotten me on to more whole foods and cooking with real ingredients, not the ‘fake’ things (there’s even a recipe for nutella on the blog, made from scratch…mmmm yum)!What type of resources do you turn to when you need creative inspiration for a new piece/body of work?
-Always pinterest, but then I often find a yummy recipe and get side tracked.
-I always turn to photographs. I’m a sucker for detail, even in everyday life. I’ll photograph the textures or details then hoard the photos until they are required and put into use as an ideas board.
-My silver scrap draw is also a source of ideas, I’m a doer not a drawer, so I’ll often begin making things and test them, so there are always 1/2 finished ideas floating around in there.
(See attached image for said silver scrap drawer. Holey Smokes! I could poke around in there allll day!)Which artists/jewellers/designers are you loving right now?
I’ve always loved Krista McRae’s jewellery and artist Lisa Madigan has a great sense of style, I follow her instagram, and love that she provides an insight into her art/studio/home/lifestyle.
I’m also loving my web/graphic designer, but I may be a bit biased, as he is my husband!Where can we see more of your work?
I’ve just finished up a 3month group exhibition at Wollongong art gallery which was called Local Current, maybe these exhibition pieces may get into another show. I’ll keep you all posted through my website and facebook page!
Being the workaholic I am you’ll be surprised to know that I’ve recently taken time off to induldge in a few impromptu adventures.
Whhhhaaaattt?! I know, I hear ‘ya. Time Off. Impromptu Adventures. Those phrases do not usually form sentences involving me!
It’s official, you can put Sonya Scott and Relaxxxxxxxeeeddddd in a sentence because I’m pretty sure I did a bit of that!!
Briefly, over the last 3 weeks I’ve flown to tropical destinations to sit out mini monsoons in ridiculous humidity with the people I love (which resulted in the swelling of my heart and the watering of my eyes), endured the affections of Geoffery Long Socks (don’t ask), eaten my weight in “healthy” museli bars, slept on water in a delightful eco boat shed, bush-walked in the rain, nearly stepped on a snake (past the puddle near the dog poo) and behaved like a dirtbag intermittently.
And I’ve been inspired by it all to lesser and greater degrees in a myriad of different ways.
Most noteably, my impromptu adventures helped me solidify the conceptual direction for my solo show at Studio 20/17 in October, and the making begins tomorrow!
So that’s basically all my time allocated solely to the studio and making for until October…..
…I do have a sneaky-bottom-of-my-blog-post-announcement to make though….I’ll be solely dedicating my time to the studio all the way through until October EXCEPT for the mini little major trip I’m taking to the USA for 7 weeks in May!
I’ll be using that time for studio visits, interviewing makers, exploring every inch of Williamsburg and NYC, blogging, eating, discovering, getting my gallery on and so very much more….
……quite basically - Time Off & Impromptu Adventures!
I don’t issue a good “Yeehaw” very often. I would have to say I very rarely let my guard down long enough to draw attention to my closet Yeehaw-ing habit.
Usually my Yeehaw’s are are shouted jubilantly internally…but somehow, and with ample reason, this one escaped my lips in a secret little whisper….
“Yeehaw! I’m going to Toronto International Jewellery Festival in May!!!”
I’m no stranger to the utterance of a grand statement or three…and today is certainly feeling like the type of day needing a bit of a statement shout from the roof tops to get it moving along. Its sssoooo still outside. I mean so still. Time for a statement of monumental proportions I say!!
The Grand Statement of the day is that I’m going partake in an underground type of movement that has been popular of late. I’ve put my own swing on it (of course!) but its origins lay in the ’365 Days of ….’ movement. Rather than undertake 365 of photography, food or brooches (all of which I love!) I’m going to go with Tangible Tuesday Through Thursday.
Every Tuesday I’m going to make a neckpiece and wear on Thursday. Why? Because every single person I meet asks me why I don’t wear my own work. It’s a habit I’ve had since college and I really want to shake it by challenging myself to make something new once a week and actually wear it.
Tangible Tuesday Through Thursday – here I come!
Beetroot and Jewels (in order of preference)!
Strange Fruits by Sarah Illenberger
It’s not what you think: It’s not from actually wearing a brooch that is somehow itchy, its more of a feeling of being so ‘itchy’ to make brooches and delicious brooch backs that I can barely sit still!
The back of a brooch in my opinion should be just as amazing as the front, if not more so because of the technical ingenuity involved. It’s almost like wearing a bit of a secret – there is a beautiful brooch front seamlessly, weightlessly and somehow almost magically attached to your lapel with a mechanism on the back so painstakingly functional and technically precise you’re eyes could almost water in appreciation. It should come as no surprise after this ranting that I often find the backs more interesting and beautiful than the fronts!
I’m sssooo sssooooo itchy to make many right now, but until I have enough time I’ll be lusting over the backs of these:
And of course one of my most favourite metalsmiths – Amy Tavern.
A little sneak peek at two pins that are part of a body of work I’m making for Gaffa Gallery’s Studio Artist’s Showcase. The exhibition runs from 10th-15th December with the opening night celebrations from 6-8pm on Thursday 13th….hope to see you there!