Author Archives: julia

The Paper Rain Project x Framingham Underground

Artwork on handmade skate board from recycled wine barrel as part of Paper Rain Project group show hosted by Framlingham Wines // Blenheim New Zealand // available online

It was late 2015 when I first introduced you to The Paper Rain Project –  a fascinating, highly creative endeavour fueled with passion by Indigo and Wills Rowe. 
Their work is based on values of collaboration, sustainability and always with an eye on a shared benefit. Aside from their current store in Picton and their plans for roving pop ups this summer, they have continued with their tradition of offering their handmade skateboard decks for artists to use as a canvas.
Crafted by Wills recycling wood from old winebarrels, the results are always incredibly varied. In this collection and resulting exhibition that we are celebrating, you will be amazed at the diversity of work applied by some of NZ’s most exciting artists!

The entire collection can be viewed as a whole at the cool, Framingham Wines Underground space at their winery near Blenheim.  For those of you unable to make it you can enjoy (and purchase) the pieces online here at Paper Rain Project.

Below I asked the same questions of Indigo and Will as founders, Framingham Wines as the host of the collection AND a few of the artists participating.
Why be involved in group projects?
What does art mean to them?
What do they feel is the benefit to viewing art ‘in person’?

Their thoughts on these and a preview of the collection below!

Artwork on handmade skate board from recycled wine barrel as part of Paper Rain Project group show hosted by Framlingham Wines // Blenheim New Zealand // available online
Indigo and Wills Rowe of The Paper Rain Project // Image by Rachael Brown Photography
Indigo and Wills Rowe of The Paper Rain Project
Image by Rachael Brown Photography 
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Indigo Rowe, : Co-Founder of The Paper Rain Project, people person, caffeine-o’-holic & contributing artist.

What motivates you involve yourself in group projects like this?
I love connecting people and working with people to make things (art, experiences and spaces) that wouldn’t be created without one another. I love collaborations’ ability to create conversation and we hope to use this more in the future to shine a light on things that need it – art to support mental health, conservation, social and environmental causes.

Art to me is…..
An individuals’ way of communicating their expression. We all have it in us!
It’s visual communication and one of the coolest ways to say something, be it to raise awareness or just for fun.

All this beautiful work will be available online as well – what do you think the drawcard is of viewing art in person?
Atmosphere & connection! It’s similar to my thoughts on collaboration – none of the works will stand alone as well as they will with a squad of other artworks alongside it.
We haven’t just created a collaborative series of works, we’ve curated a space and an event, without which you’d be missing half of the experience 🙂 We WILL, however, have heaps of shots online as we totally understand that people outside of Marlborough may not be able to make it.

Wills Rowe : Co-Founder of The Paper Rain Project, electric car enthusiast, green product designer, board shaper

What motivates you involve yourself in group projects like this? 
I love being able to create a recycled canvas which then goes on to artists to make their mark on. Each of them work the wood so differently and it’s awesome getting them back in and pulling them together to make a show.

Art to me is….
about a person’s expression. It could be through wood, food, music or the way they write or dress. It’s whatever you want it to be.

All this beautiful work will be available online as well – what do you think the drawcard is of viewing art in person?
Pictures just can’t say it all. These artworks are three dimensional works which need to be appreciated in person (if possible!)

Artwork on handmade skate board from recycled wine barrel as part of Paper Rain Project group show hosted by Framlingham Wines // Blenheim New Zealand // available online Artwork on handmade skate board from recycled wine barrel as part of Paper Rain Project group show hosted by Framlingham Wines // Blenheim New Zealand // available online Artwork on handmade skate board from recycled wine barrel as part of Paper Rain Project group show hosted by Framlingham Wines // Blenheim New Zealand // available online Artwork on handmade skate board from recycled wine barrel as part of Paper Rain Project group show hosted by Framlingham Wines // Blenheim New Zealand // available online Artwork on handmade skate board from recycled wine barrel as part of Paper Rain Project group show hosted by Framlingham Wines // Blenheim New Zealand // available online Artwork on handmade skate board from recycled wine barrel as part of Paper Rain Project group show hosted by Framlingham Wines // Blenheim New Zealand // available online Artwork on handmade skate board from recycled wine barrel as part of Paper Rain Project group show hosted by Framlingham Wines // Blenheim New Zealand // available online Artwork on handmade skate board from recycled wine barrel as part of Paper Rain Project group show hosted by Framlingham Wines // Blenheim New Zealand // available online Artwork on handmade skate board from recycled wine barrel as part of Paper Rain Project group show hosted by Framlingham Wines // Blenheim New Zealand // available online Artwork on handmade skate board from recycled wine barrel as part of Paper Rain Project group show hosted by Framlingham Wines // Blenheim New Zealand // available online

Jordan Debney : Artist

What motivates you involve yourself in group projects like this?
I’ve always enjoyed doing work for Paper Rain! It’s always a pleasure and provides me the opportunity to create something brand new for their unique audience.

Art to me is…..
A raw visual representation of self expression, a personal language that tells us whats going on in people lives and what they feel.

All this beautiful work will be available online as well – what do you think the drawcard is of viewing art in person?
With my work in particular, people are always blown away and tell me all the time “They look so much more overwhelming in person”. That is exactly what I am trying to achieve. Digital images on a small screen never do my work justice because you can’t “experience” it like you can in a gallery, the way the light reflects off certain colours and surfaces, nonetheless, without digital screens no one would get the chance to view them at all.

Click here to view Jordan’s board here.

Artwork on handmade skate board from recycled wine barrel as part of Paper Rain Project group show hosted by Framlingham Wines // Blenheim New Zealand // available online Artwork on handmade skate board from recycled wine barrel as part of Paper Rain Project group show hosted by Framlingham Wines // Blenheim New Zealand // available online Artwork on handmade skate board from recycled wine barrel as part of Paper Rain Project group show hosted by Framlingham Wines // Blenheim New Zealand // available online

Michel Tuffery : Artist

What motivates you involve yourself in group projects like this?
My art has always held environmental and cultural narrative. Colab-ing with Indigo and Will’s recycled wine barrel initiative holds natural synergy with my kaupapa and art practise.

Art to me is….. my first language.
I was drawing before i could speak, write or read. It allows me to communicate the way in whichIi see the world.

All this beautiful work will be available online as well – what do you think the drawcard is of viewing art in person?
I was sent to a school in central Wellington that ran a new pilot program to help me with my dyslexia. From there I always got in trouble with my Mum as I would just take myself off to visit galleries and the old Dominion Museum after school.  Spaces like this are important as they storyboard our history and equally they provide us expressions of contemporary thinking. Our creative spaces have expanded to online profile now and that’s all part of our evolution, equally both have key roles to play.
For me personally, that direct connection to the ‘art’ happens more profoundly in that physical connect.

Click here to see Michel Tuffery’s boards

Artwork on handmade skate board from recycled wine barrel as part of Paper Rain Project group show hosted by Framlingham Wines // Blenheim New Zealand // available online Artwork on handmade skate board from recycled wine barrel as part of Paper Rain Project group show hosted by Framlingham Wines // Blenheim New Zealand // available online

Kelly Spencer : Artist

What motivates you involve yourself in group projects like this?
The Paper Rain Project provides me with the opportunity to collaborate with a brand that has heart, soul and which has ethics which align with my own. This is important to me as an artist in both my personal and professional work. It also creates space to play on the same field as fantastic artists from across the country, keeping the community strong and ever growing by exhibiting together frequently.

Art to me is….. everything at all times.

All this beautiful work will be available online as well – what do you think the drawcard is of viewing art in person?
Textures, shapes, light..! All of those elements which have been the talking points of art since the dawn of time. Scrolling through square shaped digital renditions is all well and good, but to see a piece in person is to gather up all of the feels. You can zoom in with your very own eyes as deep as you please, observe the brush strokes and all of the peaks and flaws.

Click here to view Kelly’s board.

Artwork on handmade skate board from recycled wine barrel as part of Paper Rain Project group show hosted by Framlingham Wines // Blenheim New Zealand // available online Artwork on handmade skate board from recycled wine barrel as part of Paper Rain Project group show hosted by Framlingham Wines // Blenheim New Zealand // available online

ellaquaint  : Artist

What motivates you to involve yourself in group projects like this?  
I so enjoy working with the lovely folk at the Paper Rain Project. Their core values are in alignment with my own so being asked to be involved with their Causes range as well as their One of One skate decks has been a treat. Giving back is something that has been an integral part of my upbringing and I appreciate working with people who are keen to collaborate in that way too.
Painting on skate decks allows me to play with formats that I wouldn’t normally select. Sustainably / ethically produced design and art is something that I value and I personally strive to incorporate those elements into my own art practice. Also it is exciting to have the opportunity to exhibit with other inspiring, talented folk.

Art to me is….. life.
It is wairua. It is fickle – one moment you are motivated and in the zone with hundreds of ideas;  the next crickets. Nothing.
Just like living, art is in a constant state of flux.

All this beautiful work will be available online as well – what do you think the drawcard is of viewing art in person?
No matter how amazing the photographic documentation is, you can never experience the essence of an art work through images in books or online. When in the same space as an exhibition, you actually get to walk around and view the pieces in context. You get to observe the way the light shifts across different surfaces and how the art work appears from various angles. Subtle details, especially on 3 dimensional surfaces,  can never be successfully captured anywhere but in real time and in life.

Another wonderful aspect about going to gallery openings is that often you get to meet the artists themselves, to gain further insight into their art making processes and ideas. Being able to chat with others and experience their responses and interpretations is also an added bonus that can enrich your own interpretation of the work.

Click here to see the boards by ellaquaint.

Artwork on handmade skate board from recycled wine barrel as part of Paper Rain Project group show hosted by Framlingham Wines // Blenheim New Zealand // available online

Framingham Wines – host of the exhibition

What motivates you involve yourself in group projects like this?
We are huge on celebrating individuality, therefore projects which support talented people who are into doing things differently gets us pumped!
The skill and time that Wills puts into recycling the wine barrels into boards felt really relevant AND inspiring to us!

Art to me is…..
Expression of your individuality.

All this beautiful work will be available online as well – what do you think the drawcard is of viewing art in person?
The Framingham Underground is a hidden creative space smack bang in the heart of Marlborough wine country. We love to host pop up gigs, band recordings and it often transforms into our very own winery band practise room. The Paper Rain Project Skateboard collection is just looks incredible in our special place and we like to think this is one of the more interesting spots to come view top level local art!

 

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So Watt

designed by SO Watt // emerging Australian design studio // interview by Studio Home

I am really pleased to bring you a change of scene this week.

While I really do relish my days alone in my office, the many advantages and subsequent creative strength from working within a team are not lost on me. I kind of think finding that great working dynamic can be as elusive as a regular romantic relationship, hence the need to nurture and protect it with clear roles !

Two young Australian designers who have discovered their skills and aesthetic compliment each others perfectly, are Sophie Bain and Jono Biet. Under the moniker; So Watt they have forged ahead in establishing a studio that relishes challenging, client based industrial design projects as much as the ongoing growth of their own furniture and homeware collection.

After exploring the variety of their work and really interesting client base (think full shop fit outs and a steam punk coffee machine housing!)  I thought they offered a really fresh and current example of the realities of self propelled designers in business ‘down under’ today. I quizzed them on the balance of their roles as well and they shared the benefits of working with others.
Below you will see a mix of products from the current So Watt collections. Among them is one styling, modern writing bureau, watches and even a wood wax they have developed to repel stains.

They are more than “ones to watch” – they are HERE!

designed by SO Watt // emerging Australian design studio // interview by Studio Home Colour wood wax designed by SO Watt // emerging Australian design studio // interview by Studio Home

So many designers choose to work alone (and prefer it that way!)
What is it about your partnership that you find rewarding and are there ever times when it gets difficult/awkward/tricky?

Sophie : We’re very different, both in our personality and in the way we approach things. This is usually a great thing because we come at projects from totally different angles, but it does get tricky when we’re both being stubborn! Our saving grace is that our skill sets are polar opposites. Jono is the maker so I need to trust his abilities to make it the best way possible (of course I still triple check with a few testing questions), and I’m the organizer.

Having worked in various design industry jobs, I’ve learnt the ‘do’s and don’t’s’ when it comes to working with clients. This has helped me to define my own style so Jono leaves me to do that but also checks in pretty regularly!

At the end of the day, it helps creative flow to bounce ideas of each other on the fly, but sometimes when there’s lots of work to do I will need to forcibly remove myself from the excitement of the workshop floor to the upstairs studio and close the door!

Jono : We both enjoy doing pretty different things so that naturally helps us to not step on toes. We also have our zones.
Sophie is in charge of anything that goes through the studio side of things and I’m in charge of anything that goes on downstairs in the workshop. Then it’s just about respecting the boss of the zone you’re in! We delegate a lot too. Morning meetings over breakfast with a to-do list is pretty important.

 

designed by SO Watt // emerging Australian design studio // interview by Studio Home designed by SO Watt // emerging Australian design studio // interview by Studio Home designed by SO Watt // emerging Australian design studio // interview by Studio Home

So Watt is more than just a design brand; offering a full custom design and make service, you work with clients to bring their ideas to life!
What motivates you to continue working with others when you could just close the doors and solely offer your own product line?

Even though it might not seem like it, all designers actually do this!
They have to in order to pay the gigantic prototyping costs for their own designs  bills. The difference for us is that we actually love sharing the experiences and projects we have with our clients, they are our main source of inspiration! It’s great to have a different challenge to tackle every week and to work with clients from completely different industries. Sometimes, when we’re working on a design for a client, we will come across a new material that we then end up incorporating into our own pieces. We also try and think of the work we do for clients as a collaboration with them, not an assignment. While we might have the design qualifications – they’re the ones that will be living or working with the finished product every day!

Working with other clients on projects that potentially have never been attempted before provides the perfect opportunity for us to learn new skills and techniques furthering our knowledge base which can can then draw on in the future.  It forces us to constantly tweak our workflow with the result being we only get better and quicker- there’s always a deadline…

Our other motivation for both the custom collaborations with clients, and also our own work, is to provide long lasting and effective designs. It sucks when you buy something thinking it will do what you need and it isn’t quite right so you end up throwing it out. Sometimes this can happen 4 or 5 times before you have something you can live with! We hate the idea of all that landfill, so by creating considered, useful items, we hope to provide people with a solution that will last them decades!

designed by SO Watt // emerging Australian design studio // interview by Studio Home designed by SO Watt // emerging Australian design studio // interview by Studio Home designed by SO Watt // emerging Australian design studio // interview by Studio Home designed by SO Watt // emerging Australian design studio // interview by Studio Home

Australia is bubbling with fresh creative talent presented by designers of all ages. What brands or people spring to mind when considering who you admire and are inspired by locally?

Sophie : The first name I think of is Nathan Day, we met him at Denfair in Melbourne last year. Nathan has an incredible workshop in WA and is a designer and maker of handcrafted furniture with a more ‘traditional’ approach to making. He mostly works with Australian hardwoods and is the apprentice to a master craftsman. In saying that – Nathan’s work is not in any way traditional! It’s super fresh and totally in vogue.

He collaborates with other designers like Tom Fereday and takes custom orders from huge companies like Zenith Interiors. To me he is the true identity of an Australian Designer!

 

Jono : Not from a design point of view, but from a creativity in business point of view, I straight away think of Zanerobe. I was there ‘handyman’ when I was at Uni and they were still making their early waves, now they’re global. The guys always worked so hard to compete on the global fashion circuit which is pretty hard for Australian labels. Everyone has this idea that Australian design (fashion or furniture) is always 6 months behind the rest of the world, but companies like Zanerobe are proving that wrong.

At the end of the day, design studios are as much a business as an accounting firm (we just have more coloured pens), so it’s pretty important to remember you are still running a business!

designed by SO Watt // emerging Australian design studio // interview by Studio Home Wood wax designed by SO Watt // emerging Australian design studio // interview by Studio Home designed by SO Watt // emerging Australian design studio // interview by Studio Home
Sophie Bain of SO Watt // emerging Australian design studio // interview by Studio Home

Sophie Bain of So Watt. 
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designed by SO Watt // emerging Australian design studio // interview by Studio HomeJono Biet of SO Watt // emerging Australian design studio // interview by Studio Home

Jono Biet of So Watt. 
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Explore more of the So Watt world here:
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TEAM.WORK: Mushama + Me x Studio Home

Rain Cape - Mushama + Me x Studio Home : A TEAM.WORK collaboration project // designed and made in New Zealand // Limited Edition // Available online
It’s been a while between collaborations so I am TOTALLY thrilled to bring you the first TEAM.WORK project of 2017. And, as always, it is damn unique!

I had been admiring the collection of the Mushama & Me rain coats for more than a few years when designer; Sharn Blackwell and I began to trade emails with a sniff of a collaboration in the air. I had previously blogged about the brands original Rain Cape and was already envisaging my dream twist on this great initial concept.

So Sharn and I got together in Auckland last year, playing around with the sample shape and visiting some brilliant local fabric wholesalers. We sent a few of our favourite samples to her local waterproofer and thus began the trading of parcels between the islands.
We settled on a beautiful lightweight cotton with a super fine navy pinstripe which, when waterproofed, had a result that was both neutral to work for most peoples personal aesthetic but had some subtle texture for interest. It also meant that it was still super easy to be roughly folded up and shoved into bags to be pulled out when needed. Handy.

Work was also done on the original design in terms of adding some front facing “arm slits” for those times when the hands need to come out but everything else would like to stay dry. These have internal zips to make access easy and tightly shut shop when you are needing full closed in coverage!

Lastly we surveyed you guys on the dome and cord colours – which was fun and super revealing! Out of the three options our “dirty yellow” (or mustard yellow as we call it now) won and the cherry on the top was complete!

The result is a waterproof workhorse of great quality, made locally in Auckland and offering awesome versatility. This isn’t something to last the season – it is classic and carefully built to last you years and years.

During the design process, we literally discussed who the cape would work well for.
Those having to stalk the soggy sidelines of sports fields, making that bike OR walk commute in our crazy volatile climate or even tucking a baby away in a front pack/sling to be snug and dry.  It’s the perfect back-up to keep tucked in the car for weather emergency’s or to take you from the forest to the streets without looking too “outdoorsy and rustic!”.
The hood is decent and will cover a bike helmet plus the low scooped hems will protect your arms and thighs if zooming through a downpour!

I’d love to invite you to read on further below to learn more about my collaborator Sharn Blackwell of Mushama and Me.
You’ll also get to enjoy MANY different takes and angles on the Rain Cape as modelled by my own mother, Mimi, my sister Caroline and her daughter, baby Ada!

And right at the bottom you will also find the details for how you can WIN our original sample!

………………………………………………….

 

 

The cape is available exclusively in very limited numbers online at Mushama & Me.
Click through to find out more in terms of measurements and specs and please don’t hesitate to snap up your own if this looks like the solver of all your weather exposure issues!

 

 

Rain Cape - Mushama + Me x Studio Home : A TEAM.WORK collaboration project // designed and made in New Zealand // Limited Edition // Available online Rain Cape - Mushama + Me x Studio Home : A TEAM.WORK collaboration project // designed and made in New Zealand // Limited Edition // Available online Rain Cape - Mushama + Me x Studio Home : A TEAM.WORK collaboration project // designed and made in New Zealand // Limited Edition // Available online Rain Cape - Mushama + Me x Studio Home : A TEAM.WORK collaboration project // designed and made in New Zealand // Limited Edition // Available online

Sharn you have lived around the world, by your own admission, in some pretty wet places! Mushama and Me has no doubt  rescued many bodies from the elements – can you talk us through your design process and how you arrived at the Rain Cape and others in your collection?

Yes indeed, I have lived in and worked my way around many parts of the world. The wettest, and most inspirational city was Amsterdam. The weather there is crap, yet it doesn’t stop people getting outdoors. Whether its sunny, raining or snowing – biking is still the mode of transport for most Dutchies.
I think that is awesome!

However, I noticed most people riding in the rain would have mastered the knack of holding an umbrella in one hand while riding to stay dry.
Once shopping around a little, I realised this was the much cooler option when considering the pretty horrific wet weather gear options available…

Amsterdam is where Mushama & Me was born, and so from the beginning I had biking in mind. I wanted to create a raincoat that people wanted to wear (that looked cooler than an umbrella!) I started with two styles, the original A-line cut, and a bike specific style with leg straps to keep your knees dry.

Over the past few years the collection has developed and grown, but still has practicality at the core.

“I think about the lifestyle of those who don’t let rain get in the way of life, like the Dutchies, who still walk, bike and play in the rain.”

 

 

Rain Cape - Mushama + Me x Studio Home : A TEAM.WORK collaboration project // designed and made in New Zealand // Limited Edition // Available online Rain Cape - Mushama + Me x Studio Home : A TEAM.WORK collaboration project // designed and made in New Zealand // Limited Edition // Available online Rain Cape - Mushama + Me x Studio Home : A TEAM.WORK collaboration project // designed and made in New Zealand // Limited Edition // Available online   Rain Cape - Mushama + Me x Studio Home : A TEAM.WORK collaboration project // designed and made in New Zealand // Limited Edition // Available online

Getting out and about is obviously a core value for the Mushama and Me customer (rain coats aren’t that handy for lounging on the sofa…).

Where and what are your favourite outdoor things to do with your family?

I have always loved the outdoors, and luckily I married someone who also does. We love to travel the world and try to keep this a priority in our busy lives.

We live in Stanmore Bay, just north of Auckland, in a beautiful spot. We’re super lucky that we can walk to the beach for fresh ocean air, and spend a lot of time there, walking the length of the beach and watching our daughter play and learn.

That said, we spend more weekends away than we do at home. Its incredibly refreshing to leave the hustle and bustle, even if its for 2-3 days.

We love to go camping, its good for the soul and makes us appreciate the simple life. Hiking (mostly short walks now with a baby) is something we try and do most weekends, whether its in one of Auckland regional parks or one of NZ’s spectacular trails.

And festivals – outdoor festivals are the best! It’s where people loose their inhibitions and live totally in the moment!

Rain Cape - Mushama + Me x Studio Home : A TEAM.WORK collaboration project // designed and made in New Zealand // Limited Edition // Available onlineRain Cape - Mushama + Me x Studio Home : A TEAM.WORK collaboration project // designed and made in New Zealand // Limited Edition // Available online Rain Cape - Mushama + Me x Studio Home : A TEAM.WORK collaboration project // designed and made in New Zealand // Limited Edition // Available onlineRain Cape - Mushama + Me x Studio Home : A TEAM.WORK collaboration project // designed and made in New Zealand // Limited Edition // Available online Rain Cape - Mushama + Me x Studio Home : A TEAM.WORK collaboration project // designed and made in New Zealand // Limited Edition // Available online Rain Cape - Mushama + Me x Studio Home : A TEAM.WORK collaboration project // designed and made in New Zealand // Limited Edition // Available online Rain Cape - Mushama + Me x Studio Home : A TEAM.WORK collaboration project // designed and made in New Zealand // Limited Edition // Available onlineRain Cape - Mushama + Me x Studio Home : A TEAM.WORK collaboration project // designed and made in New Zealand // Limited Edition // Available onlineRain Cape - Mushama + Me x Studio Home : A TEAM.WORK collaboration project // designed and made in New Zealand // Limited Edition // Available online Rain Cape - Mushama + Me x Studio Home : A TEAM.WORK collaboration project // designed and made in New Zealand // Limited Edition // Available onlineRain Cape - Mushama + Me x Studio Home : A TEAM.WORK collaboration project // designed and made in New Zealand // Limited Edition // Available onlineRain Cape - Mushama + Me x Studio Home : A TEAM.WORK collaboration project // designed and made in New Zealand // Limited Edition // Available onlineRain Cape - Mushama + Me x Studio Home : A TEAM.WORK collaboration project // designed and made in New Zealand // Limited Edition // Available online

UPDATE: Thanks for all the awesome entries! Looks like a lot of you could use a Rain Cape in your lives!

The very lucky winner, drawn at random was Deb L.

Join us to WIN!

We have decided to put our sample Rain Cape up for grabs. This exactly mirrors the original that you can buy here except for the zips being access from the outside instead of in.

TO ENTER: 
In the comments below tell us “on what occasion in your own life do you think the TEAM.WORK Rain Cape would come in handy?” 
(eg. your daily commute in Auckland, your planned travels to Iceland in spring, your forced attendance to winter based sports events….)

Gain EXTRA entries by leaving your answer on the competition posts hosted by the Studio Home Facebook and Instagram.
Be sure to jump on and follow Mushama & Me on Facebook and/or Instagram as well.

– Winner will be drawn at random on Thursday 22nd of June. v
– Open to NZ and Australian residents only.

Rain Cape - Mushama + Me x Studio Home : A TEAM.WORK collaboration project // designed and made in New Zealand // Limited Edition // Available online

Posted in collaborations, emerging designer, fashion, new zealand, product design, TEAM.WORK | 50 Comments

A new direction for Laura Shallcrass

Work by New Zealand artist; Laura Shallcrass // available online // as part of interview with Studio Home

The sweet line drawings of Laura Shallcrass will have most definitely crossed your path at sometime or another. As an illustrator, she has long held court with a successful print career and audience from around the world – but now, shes on a new path.

I love Laura’s answers to my questions below, particularly about her struggles to be brave enough to define herself as an artist. Self confidence is a fickle creature!!!

Laura’s new body of original paintings which you will see below are available on her website and will also show at this weekends NZ Art Show on in Wellington. I’d HIGHLY recommend checking this out if you are local!

In the mean time, enjoy getting to know this Queenstown based artist, her own favourite art heroes as well as an insiders guide for your next weekend in the Wakatipu!

 

Work by New Zealand artist; Laura Shallcrass // available online // as part of interview with Studio Home // photography by Vaughan Brookfield Work by New Zealand artist; Laura Shallcrass // available online // as part of interview with Studio Home // photography by Vaughan Brookfield

Laura, can you share with us where your creative spark began? What have you done in your life to cultivate it and improve your practice?

I’ve always loved drawing, painting, any kind of creating really. But I didn’t start drawing seriously until late in high school, and even then it was only because I had decided I wanted to go to design school and I needed more creative subjects. Once I got there I was really drawn to illustration but I never thought I was good enough to actually focus on it. So I took graphics papers and computer graphics papers until I had a timetable clash and was forced into an Illustration paper by chance. In truth, the fear that I wasn’t good enough at art is why I didn’t focus on it earlier. It’s taken me a very long time to call myself an artist, and even now I feel like I need to add a disclaimer that I’m not a real artist, I’m an illustrator and I still do graphic design too, so I can’t really be an artist right?

In terms of my career I started out making prints of work which I did for fun, mostly for friends, (because what 20 something can afford original artworks!?) Which got picked up by a few galleries and gift stores and grew into the business I’m so lucky to have today.

Work by New Zealand artist; Laura Shallcrass // available online // as part of interview with Studio Home // photography by Vaughan Brookfield Work by New Zealand artist; Laura Shallcrass // available online // as part of interview with Studio Home Work by New Zealand artist; Laura Shallcrass // available online // as part of interview with Studio Home

After a really successful few years selling your print runs and products with your highly recognisable illustrations, you have now headed down a different road concentrating on painted originals.
Can you explain to us what has changed for you and the direction you want to continue your career?

The affordable art movement gave me a lot and I’m incredibly grateful for the humbling number of people who have paid hard earned money for my artwork. But I’ve been thinking a lot lately about art as an object, a finished article, with its own journey and mana. Some of which seems diluted by the act of replication. There seems, also, to have been a sort of natural progression for me in the last few years, as my work has evolved I’ve been seeing a slow decline in the number prints selling but a steady increase in the number of originals. This has led me to decide to move away from prints and focus more on my original artwork.

Work by New Zealand artist; Laura Shallcrass // available online // as part of interview with Studio Home // photography by Vaughan Brookfield Work by New Zealand artist; Laura Shallcrass // available online // as part of interview with Studio Home // photography by Vaughan Brookfield Work by New Zealand artist; Laura Shallcrass // available online // as part of interview with Studio Home // photography by Vaughan Brookfield Work by New Zealand artist; Laura Shallcrass // available online // as part of interview with Studio Home

You live in one of my favourite parts of the world (somewhere I called home 10 years ago!). Imagine we are coming to stay for the weekend – what would the Laura Shallcrass Insiders Guide to Queenstown and the Wakatipu include?

Ok – let’s  start with the important stuff. Breakfast and coffee at Bespoke Kitchen is the best start to any day, then we’d definitely have to hit up a scenic walk/swim if it’s summer. Bob’s Cove or Moke Lake probably.
If it’s winter let’s head up the The Remarkables for some snowboarding/skiing & hike up above Shadow Basin chairlift and look down the front face towards Queenstown. After these activities it’s time for more food obviously and you can’t miss The Empanada Kitchen. Then wander the streets a bit before heading out to The Sherwood for dinner and if we’re lucky an awesome music gig.

Work by New Zealand artist; Laura Shallcrass // available online // as part of interview with Studio Home // photography by Vaughan Brookfield Work by New Zealand artist; Laura Shallcrass // available online // as part of interview with Studio Home // photography by Vaughan Brookfield

As someone with a significant art problem…I can only imagine the issues faced by an ACTUAL artist! I am surprised you can part with any work!!
Given that you probably won lotto last week …..which artists work do you covet the most?

I love Deedee Cheriel, Fred Fowler, Laura Berger, Kate Pugsley, Adrian Landon Brooks and so many more do you have all day?

 

Work by New Zealand artist; Laura Shallcrass // available online // as part of interview with Studio Home // photography by Vaughan Brookfield Work by New Zealand artist; Laura Shallcrass // available online // as part of interview with Studio Home // photography by Vaughn Brookfield Work by New Zealand artist; Laura Shallcrass // available online // as part of interview with Studio Home // photography by Vaughan Brookfield
Photography by Vaughan Brookfield
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What I learnt from Laura: 
There is a great beauty in being undefined.
Allow time, confidence and skill to dictate what you offer to the world instead of guessing what they will demand.
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Those heading to the NZ Art Show in Wellington this weekend have the chance to buy some original Laura Shallcrass!
(which is also listed on her website…)

Elsewhere:
Website
Instagram
Facebook 

Posted in art, new zealand, Studio Home Interview | Comments Off on A new direction for Laura Shallcrass

Christchurch Cottage Renovation: Vol. I

Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home

It’s a great pleasure to introduce you all to something REALLY different for Studio Home, but a journey nonetheless that many of us dream of (and do!) undertake.

It was March 2015 when my sister and brother-in-law; Caroline and Simon Curtis, purchased this grungy, damp little cottage on a full size section in Christchurch. Part of me saw the charm, for sure, there were lovely original details and a sweet balance to its front facade. But, the sensible internal voice screamed “the inside is SO GROSS!” and “…how much work will this take??!!”.
Unlike me, they are outrageously hands on, practical people – a real team in that sense.
My sister is freakishly strong (true story!) and innately frugal. She would never buy anything without filtering through Trade Me first OR working out if she could make it herself.  Simon is one of those guys that likes to research, train up, gear up and get making. He is fastly becoming the “can do anything” man in our world, as I am sure, at some stage he has observed and learnt how. Anything! I tell you.

Early on in their relationship they converted a Ute into an amazing, ‘go anywhere’ travelling machine to circumnavigate Australia. They followed this up with the complete renovation and upgrade of a retro caravan which they shipped back to NZ with them in 2014. Before hooking into a full house, they were invited to design and construct something as part of the Rekindle “Whole House Reuse Project” – they chose to make a functioning glass house (which you will see below) .
So the little workers cottage in Addington, Christchurch really did seem like the right progression for them…..

I share this background information with a purpose – the resulting project has been incredibly D.I.Y and hands on. They have done a jaw dropping job on a budget (which you will witness the full outcome in posts to come), but it’s important for anyone considering a major renovation for profit to really digest the dirty, tough, uncomfortable stages and jobs you have to tick off getting there!!

The post below shares the beginning of their renovation, the upgrades they have completed and a pictorial summary of the chaos that ensues. Over the last few years, renovation has been undertaken amid full time jobs,  sports and biking injuries, operations, time on crutches, the homecoming of an old grumpy cat, the acquiring of 2 chooks, a pretty brutal pregnancy and the arrival of their daughter 9 weeks early!
Living in an active renovation wouldn’t be for everyone but Caroline and Simon are a shining example of how this can in fact work. From my point of view it’s down to their shared attitude of “it’s not where you are are, it’s who you’re with” and they most certainly are patient enough to play the long game.

Their story offers some really valuable realities about the whole ‘do-it-yourself’ renovation process in New Zealand. If you take your time to read, you will notice they purchased a whole ton of new, slightly damaged or barely used products from Trade Me. I have marveled at their finds – many of them brand new such as the woollen loop pile carpet and tiles.  It has really refocused me to research more carefully in the future!
While they have undertaken 90% of the work themselves and occasionally with some parents and friends thrown in, they DID call in experts when the job called for it. And these were all done on a referral basis – use your networks!

I hope you enjoy your introduction to this project and the information shared. Standby for more updates to come including their completed interior and then taking on the exterior and landscaping. And thanks to the Curtis’s for being such sharers!

Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home
Caroline and Simon with their glasshouse made entirely from parts of a home dismantled following the Christchurch earthquake.
More on this at the Rekindle Whole House Reuse Project.
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Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home
The “Before’s”: Addington Workers Cottage constructed between 1880-1890.
2 bedrooms, 1 bath plus sleep out. 80 sq m sitting on 511 sq m section.
North facing and distant view of the Port Hills over the back fence.

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What was it about this little workers cottage that attracted you?

Caroline: It was likely to be cheap as it looked like a wreck, in a location that we were not otherwise able to afford. We were also keen to save it from its inevitable “3 town house” planning consent demise!

Simon:  It felt and looked neglected but with good little spaces (inside & out) in a really convenient location. With no structural issues and mostly all cosmetic adjustments – this is the fun stuff and was appealing. The house being north facing and the fireplace are bonuses in the frigid South Island.

Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home
Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home
Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home
Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home
While a MASSIVE job – saving all the wood from the felled trees in the backyard ran the fire for more than a winter and the chip was used across the garden and to trade for plants from friends.
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What motivated you two to take on such a meaty project with the aim of undertaking so much of the work yourselves?

C+S:  We optimistically romanticized about what the house and garden would look like and couldn’t realistically see why it couldn’t be achieved.

Saving money and adding value to the property are our key motivators.

It’s also fun to reinvent the property on a shoestring, it’s a more of an organic process. So you have to be open to other ideas or products and be flexible with your timeline. Lucky for us we’re both problem solvers and enjoy the challenge of learning new skills and techniques.

Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home
New back fence built with help of Father in Law
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Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio HomeChristchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio HomeChristchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio HomeChristchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home
New bi-fold window (found on Trade Me) going in as well as full re gib, re insulate and replacement of back wall weatherboards.
In laws on the job again!
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20160101_123827 Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio HomeChristchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home
New bath in (from Bunnings) and plumbed with help of Pete the Plumber!
Next was waterproofing…
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Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio HomeChristchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio HomeChristchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home

Many an enthusiastic renovator would have been intimidated by this project!
What made you think that you were capable to take it on?

Simon:
  I’ve worked on large commercial and residential developments in Australia in different stages of my working life, so the scale of a two bedroom cottage with sleep out I was comfortable with.

Caroline: … and I love Trade Me.

C + S: Not having a fixed timeline takes the pressure off the budget, and our motivation keeps us ticking along. We can have multiple little jobs going on in different rooms or spaces. Finding materials that suit our style and budget, whenever!

Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio HomeChristchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio HomeChristchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio HomeChristchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home
Whipping up a new home (made from an old crate and cupboard door for the opening roof) for the arrival of the chooks; Lil and Riv from Little River.
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Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio HomeChristchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home
Anne was our Dulux Colour Consultant who we found hugely helpful!
She is an interior designer in her own right and having the chance for her to visit us at home for a consult was invaluable.
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Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio HomeChristchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio HomeChristchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home
Carpet layed…….yes!
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Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio HomeChristchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home

What are some core lessons learnt so far that you could share with would be renovators?!

Simon: Research the hell out of everything before you start (e.g. services, products & suppliers). We’ve found that in some cases (e.g. plastering) it pays to get a skilled professional with all the right tools for the job. This has saved us so much time and money, and you can see the results in Jesse’s perfect finishing. Something I would not have been able to accomplish, my plastering looks like a cheap rendition of stucco.

Get at least three quotes from three different suppliers/installers or service providers. This then gives you a pretty good idea of a ball-park figure, as well as keeping the tradies competitive on pricing. For plumbing, tree removal and electrical work, the variation in pricing between businesses was astonishing and saved us close to $23,000.

Initially we thought selecting a colour palette for our house would be a breeze, strangely it was a lot harder than expected. We had to consider natural light coming into the rooms at different times of day, how they look all together (it’ a small 80 sqm cottage) & consistency of features (e.g. architraves throughout, linking to the period features on the external walls).
We engaged a Dulux Colour Consultant; Anne who helped us narrow down our ideas and what we liked into a collection of colours that suited the cottage’s feel, décor and eclectic knick-knacks we’ve collected on our travels.

Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio HomeChristchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio HomeChristchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio HomeChristchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio HomeChristchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home

The cottage is packed with personality and is certainly transforming into a warm, inviting and lovely place to call home. Are you worried that your “investment property” might be turning into your dream home?! Leaving will be tough!

C + S: We have been discussing this recently as finding a slightly better property in a similar area is well and truly out of our current (and near future) financial reach. As the NZ property markets prices increase, it becomes less of a ‘win-win’ and more of a ‘win-lose’ situation. Our plan was to buy a house with fewer renovations, more bedrooms and bathrooms, climbing the property ladder so to speak. This is with the aim to eventually own our home outright, and then build a brand new ‘dream’ house.
We may just have to jump to building the ‘dream’ house next.

Personalising a house definitely turns it into a home, which pulls at the heart strings more than the purse strings. Especially when you’re looking at the work that you’ve put into it every day and can reminisce about the weird old times together as a growing family and with friends. Getting to know the families in the street, the local business owners and trouble makers adds to the nostalgia of the cottage.

We were looking at moving on from the cottage within approximately 3 years, but that only leaves just over 6 months to finish the rest of the renovations and then sell, without much time to enjoy the fruits of our labour. It is said by property investors that houses are a long term investment….

Ultimately the number of bedrooms will push us out, if we decide to further expand our family, which will make the decision easier when the time comes.

Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home
The BIG push to complete painting the living room. Their daughter Ada has just been born at 31 weeks and was in residence (and doing very well) in the neo natal ward just down the road at Christchurch Womens. Caroline seen here helping between visits.
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Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio HomeChristchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home

The realities of “live in” renovations is that progress happens in surges. What were the spaces that you tackled first to get this cottage livable and what materials/projects were required in each?

Simon: We brought the house in March 2015 and it needed a lot of the initial work make the it weather tight prior to the onset of winter (enter the catch phase, spoken by John Snow: ‘Winter is Coming!)

Order of improvements we have undertaken to date:

Felling of trees and backyard clean up: We did this straight away as were concerned about access in the future. With a professional crew we felled 4 large trees which shaded the yard, took up a lot of space and were approaching the age when they could become a danger. But we kept ALL of them to slowly work through for fire wood and chip as garden mulch. We even traded this mulch with friends in exchange for plants. Big job but definitely worth it. During this time we also built a new back fence and a year into the project built new, secure front gates for the street access.

Full house re-wiring: for insurance requirements and resale.

Under-floor insulation and damp-proofing membrane: for warmth and preservation of timber flooring.

New Fireplace: for warmth and resale.

Bathroom : On moving in we were faced with very low water pressure, a hot water cylinder that needed to be removed from the kitchen for space (have upgraded to a new instant gas hot water system installed) and the shower head was so low that it just showered my belly button.
This was also our first serious interior upgrade. We installed almost everything ourselves as well as gleaning tiling advice from builder friends and learning as we went.
We did paint this space but have repainted after learning some valuable lessons on white paints not all being “white” (eg. purple tinge) !!

Products and Places : 
Replacement Shower & Floor Tiles: from Trade Me
Bath & Fittings (e.g. shower head and mixer tap for sink): from Bunnings
Floating Vanity & Sink: Trade Me (slightly damaged stock from earthquake )
Bathroom Vanity Bench Top: Custom made and built of recycled Rimu by us (from a demolished earthquake home)
Paint: Dulux Wash’n’Wear  – Colour: Mt Aspiring
Custom Mirror: Made by Commercial Mirror & Glass
Floor Tiles : Trade Me

Kitchen: As you can see we were dealing with a tiny bench space and no storage. We had a window of public holidays to get it done before the really beautiful sister-in-law can to house sit for us while and we went away on to my younger bro’s wedding in Bali.
Large bi fold window, cabinetry work, tiling, floor finishing and painting have now finally been completed!
We hardly know ourselves! We also knew when to call in the experts or ask advice from builder friends and this led us to use a pro tiler complete the floor and back wall tiles.

Products and Places :
Kitchen Cabinetry & Pantry: Kaboodle Brand (Bunnings)
Cabinet Handles: re purposed and sanded from original cupboards.
Shelving (incl. hardware): Bunnings
New Fridge: Trade Me
Dishwasher & Oven: Second hand from Appliance Works
Rangehood: Bunnings
Kitchen Benchtop: Custom made and built of recycled Rimu by us (out of a family friend’s old roof)
Replacement Bi-Fold Double Glazed Window: Trade Me
Replacement Wall Tiles: Bunnings
New LED Light Fittings (over benchtop): Supplied & Installed by Christchurch Electrical
Plumbing: contracted professional
Paint: Dulux Wash’n’Wear – Colour: Mt Aspiring
Wall Tiles: The Flooring Centre
Tiling: contracted professional

Master Bedroom : Was the easiest room to complete, as it had the least amount of work required. I built a wall to wall bank of cabinetry and wardrobe space and we are now just about ready to complete it with doors and finish with a lick of paint.

Products and Places :
Built-in Wardrobe: Custom made and hand built by us, materials from Bunnings.
Wool Looped Pile Carpet: Brought off Trade Me
Curtains: Made by Caroline and her mother. Fabric brought at Femme de Brocante and sewn over top of heavy, lined, good quality second hand curtains found at an op shop in Ashburton.
Curtain Rails: Trade Me
Bed: The Warehouse
Paint: Dulux Wash’n’Wear Low Sheen – Colour: Puhoi

Second Bedroom (Ada’s / Spare room): with a baby on the way, it made sense to put it next on the list. We had to completely re-gib over the old lath and plaster walls before painting and finishing with carpet. We’ve also designed and built a floor to ceiling wardrobe with narrow bi-fold doors we found on Trade Me and adapted to fit.

Products and Places :
GIB: Placemakers and installed with bro-in-law
Plasterers: contracted professional
Timber Framing for custom built-in wardrobe & Skirting: Bunnings
Bi-fold Door for wardrobe: Trade Me – adapted
Paint: Dulux Wash’n’Wear – Colour: Kakahi
Curtains: Made by Caroline and her mother. Fabric brought at Femme de Brocante and sewn over top of heavy, lined, good quality second hand curtains found at an op shop in Ashburton.
Curtain Rails: Trade Me
Wool Looped Pile Carpet: Brought off Trade Me

Laundry: next busiest place for a new family member! It has been a relief to create a tidy space that we can close a door on! We built the shelving, framed up and hung bifold doors here – this also acts as a transitional space to our back door and toilet.

Products and Places :
Paint: Dulux Wash’n’Wear – Colour: Mt Aspiring
Timber framing for custom built-in wardrobe, Skirting & Bench: Bunnings
Bi-fold Internal Doors: Trade Me
Washing machine: Brought second hand from a friend
Plasterers: contracted professional
Taps and laundry sink: second hand items from Op Shop
Floor Tiles: Trade Me
Tiling : contracted professional

Toilet: We did this at the same time as the laundry. Moved and reduced the door frame to also create right space for a cavity slider. Replaced the existing vanity and sink with cool original from bathroom, plumbed into a re purposed chest of drawers. Also removed the old pink toilet for a new loo, much to the delight of Caroline.

Products and Places :
Toilet: Trade Me
Vanity: old solid wood chest of drawers found on Trade Me
Sink & Tapware: Re-purposed from the original bathroom
Sliding Rail Door: Trade Me
Plasterers: contracted professional
Paint: Dulux Wash’n’Wear – Colour Waitiki Landing
Floor Tiles: contracted professional

Lounge/Dining Room: We’d carpeted this room quite early on (once we found carpet we liked AND the right quantity) to increase the thermal qualities of this large space, as we spend most of our time here. Plastering (including skimming the ceiling) was completed by a great contractor who impressed us with his record breaking completion times!
Then, with the help of my mother in law we did a massive effort to get it sanded and painted before the arrival home of our tiny daughter Ada. Caroline was working with us post cesarean and daily visits to Ada who was still in hospital growing as she was born at 31 weeks!

Products and Places:
Wool Looped Pile Carpet: Brought off Trade Me
Paint: Dulux Wash’n’Wear – Colour: Mt Aspiring
Plasterers: contracted professional
Curtains: Made by Caroline and her mother. Fabric brought at Femme de Brocante and sewn over top of heavy, lined, good quality second hand curtains found at an op shop in Ashburton.
Paint: Dulux Wash’n’Wear Low Sheen – Colour Mt Aspiring. Door frames and window architraves in gloss, Mt Aspiring Quarter and accent above original wall panels in Pukaki Half.

What is next on the list to tackle and move toward a state of completion?

The outside! We are so lucky to have such a big section and want to do the house and space justice.

– External painting, including roof
– Lay and landscape front patio area for next summer’s entertaining.
– Restoring the sleep out to become a third bedroom with ensuite AND provide storage.
– Large rear back deck that will link the back door to the sleep out
– Landscaping around the old cattle trough raised vegetable garden beds
– Installing brick edging around garden beds and driveway, shingle the driveway
– Installing carport

Christchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio HomeChristchurch Cottage Renovation #christchurchcottagerenovation - The Curtis's transform a workers cottage in New Zealand // as featured on Studio Home

Coming soon from Christchurch Cottage Renovation we will have Vol. II
“The Interior Completed!”
…………………………….

You can follow Caroline and Simon’s progress in real time via Instagram
@binkerbinkerbinker
#christchurchcottagerenovation

 

 

*** The Curtis’s were also thrilled to work with Dulux NZ in the supply of their paint.
Rest assured their colour and product choices are very much their own ***

Posted in for the home, home making, new zealand, renovation, Studio Home Interview | 2 Comments

Virginia Woods-Jack: The New Botanicals

Work from "The New Botanicals" by Virginia Woods-Jack // New Zealand - available online at The Poi Room // interview by Studio Home

Virginia Woods-Jack walks a wonderful line of deeply thoughtful artist and internationally in-demand, commercial photographer.

Despite being listed with one of the country’s top agencies and working with a portfolio of clients all over the world, English born Virginia has made her home in Wellington, the place she has found best to connect with nature and indulge the visual projects she works on.

Below I took the chance to ask Virginia some questions as a way to better understand the mind of a professional indulging all facets of her chosen medium. I know there are so many other photographers out there who balance the same realities of art vs income, so I hope you enjoy the story of one of your comrades!

Mixed below you also have the chance to view some past work chosen by Virginia, PLUS a scattered peek at her WONDERFUL new collection; ‘The New Botanicals’. You can view it all here or pop in to the Poi Room galleries in Auckland.  Selected works and an installation will also be included in the Auckland Festival of Photography satellite group show; “To Shed Some Light” opening next Friday the 2nd of June at the Newmarket gallery. Aucklanders – I highly recommend you check it out you lucky people!

So enjoy a deeper look into the background, thoughts, inspiration and goals of this established artist who represents a very real career journey and structure that many of you out there could strive for.

Work from "The New Botanicals" by Virginia Woods-Jack // New Zealand - available online at The Poi Room // interview by Studio Home Work by Virginia Woods-Jack // New Zealand based artist and commercial photographer // interview by Studio Home
Above: Virginia Woods-Jack
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Virginia, you were born and raised in England. Can you pinpoint when and what it was about photography that captured you?

I was Julia, I was lucky enough to call the beautiful Lake District in the north of England home. I grew up in a large family surrounded by big landscapes, small town narratives and with a big imagination.
My parents owned a children’s bookshop which also sold art supplies and we lived above it. I was always playing in the woods, exploring the river banks and creating stories in my mind. My grandfather was very creative in many mediums and first introduced me to photography, from which point I was captivated and started recording my life and my surroundings in images.

I have always been an observer and a thinker and photography gave me a way to visualise these observations and thoughts. It wasn’t until my early 20’s when I was wondering what to make of myself, that a dear friend suggested that I study photography as I always had my camera with me. That first day in the dark room, watching one of my images come to life in front of my very eyes, I felt a spark of magic and that spark is still with me today.

From art school I worked in galleries and then for a creative talent agency in London working alongside some incredible talent like Greg Williams, Simon Roberts, Tom Craig and Olly & Suzi, helping to manage their careers and them, guiding me in mine. I attended amazing photography festivals, showing my work, garnering more commissions for terrific clients who believed in my vision and who I have continued to work with for a long time now.

“Even though it isn’t always easy, this is where my creative heart lies.”

Work from "The New Botanicals" by Virginia Woods-Jack // New Zealand - available online at The Poi Room // interview by Studio Home Work by Virginia Woods-Jack // New Zealand based artist and commercial photographer // interview by Studio Home Work by Virginia Woods-Jack // New Zealand based artist and commercial photographer // interview by Studio Home

I have explored a lot of your work and found that I really related to your beautiful, documentary style commercial photography nearly as much as your art based practice!
Tell us a little about your professional career and how creating collections of personal work are balanced by that?

My early years in photography were based purely on my life, my friends, my family, my environment, the beauty of natural light in all its renditions from sunrise to sunset.  This helped me develop a strong sense of how I like to work and the images that I respond to which are very observational and considered.

My early commissions were with the weekend broadsheet magazines in the UK like The Observer, The Guardian Magazine, Independent on Sunday etc and I was given the privilege of photographing real people who had stories that demanded an approach that was sensitive and dignified. I learned very quickly that all creative work is collaborative and I love that about the process, it is a coming together to create.

As I tend to work with “real people” I find that the more agency I give my subjects in how they are photographed the better, as then the images present themselves ten fold and all I have to do is capture them. I spend some time observing and then create the scaffold for these fabulous narratives to play out in front of me and my job is to position myself, observe the light and compose the images to tell the story.
Even when I am directing talent, the feeling is always about it being a collaboration. I carry this approach into all my commissioned work and I think it is the best way I can explain how I create real images from a situation that has been set up or staged.

The main difference between my art based practice and the commercial/editorial work, is that I chose my subject matter. Sometimes it feel like the project chooses me but regardless, it always starts with a question or a point of interest that I am drawn to explore!
I love to immerse myself in my projects, research is also a part of this and can come in many guises from film, reading (definitely lots of reading) and then responding. I would say, looking back, that notions of nature, time, place, and personal experience are recurring themes and my hope is that people always feel something when they view my work.

I don’t always limit presentation to a photographic print as sometimes it takes something more to tell the complete story and I love this – I don’t believe in limiting myself. My current works; ‘The New Botanicals’ are a document to the individual and acknowledging all the stages of the life within the natural world. My upcoming exhibition will include photographic prints and an installation of some of the botanical specimens I have worked with to create this series. They’re so beautiful they deserve to be shown and seen alongside their portraits.
Even in my commercial work, I am still a purest in that my images are all created in camera. I expand this to include film based processes in my art practice but I never know at the start of a project what that will be. There is a lot of experimentation and ultimately it is reflective of how I see, feel and respond to my subjects.

“I suppose I would say that mindfulness is key to my practice; I am an observer.”

In my observations I become very attuned to my surroundings, the light, the wind, the sounds and of course, everything I see. My work is a response to this process.

Work from "The New Botanicals" by Virginia Woods-Jack // New Zealand - available online at The Poi Room // interview by Studio Home Work from "The New Botanicals" by Virginia Woods-Jack // New Zealand - available online at The Poi Room // interview by Studio Home Work by Virginia Woods-Jack // New Zealand based artist and commercial photographer // interview by Studio Home

What catches your eye in every day life? If only our lids could be the shutter of a camera!

Golly that is a big question!
If you asked my family they would say everything!

I suppose I would say that mindfulness is a big part of how I observe things.
I should explain that really…. I find that when I slow down and become attuned to my surroundings so many things capture my eye. The shadows of the clouds chasing each other across the hills sweeping down to the sea and out to the horizon, the wind whipping across the breaking waves, light cascading through the canopy of the bush, people bathed in light drawn from the shadows and the small interactions between us all.
I am drawn to all of this – I think we ALL are to a greater or lesser degree.

The quality of light in relation to the environment is such a huge part of how we see things and experience them and it is always changing – so no view, however familiar we are with it, is ever the same and I never tire of this. The light here in NZ is very crisp and clean and then you go to somewhere like Bali and it is softer and richer creating beautiful dulcet tones.
It really is so different wherever you are, you just have to take the time to notice it.

I was recently commissioned to create a suite of images in Auckland and Wellington for the beautiful magazine Lodestar Anthology. I have lived in Wellington for 13 years now yet when I go into my camera and start looking for those images and started observing the way the light is playing with the locations, it is like I am discovering it all over again.

I love this about photography, no two experiences or images are ever the same.

Work from "The New Botanicals" by Virginia Woods-Jack // New Zealand - available online at The Poi Room // interview by Studio Home Work from "The New Botanicals" by Virginia Woods-Jack // New Zealand - available online at The Poi Room // interview by Studio Home Work by Virginia Woods-Jack // New Zealand based artist and commercial photographer // interview by Studio Home

What brands/people do you admire and enjoy following ?

I admire passion and dedication and when this is present it come across quite effortlessly.

I have a huge brand crush on Lonely label and Curio Noir at the moment. They are two NZ brands that are blazing the trail for following your passion and doing so with integrity and amazing attention to detail in everything that they do.
The lingerie campaign for Lonely shot by Harry Were is fabulous, natural and feels like a real collaboration between the brand, photographer and the models who are real women with beautiful bodies. It conveys the message so perfectly that there is no single definition of beauty and the fact that it is all shot on film is damn exciting!
Passion is also the corner stone for Curio Noir, there is nothing hurried or rushed about how their parfums are created, time and love are abound in these incredible scents! If you get the chance to go to their flagship store on Ponsonby Road please do, it is a divine experience and the perfect reflection of who they are.

Golly there really are so many amazing people doing amazing things out there!
Locals I really enjoy are the The Tailors Wife, Rusty Skillet and my recent discovery of Aggie + Au (AMAZING jewellery). Also Twenty Seven Names, Tailor Skincare and the work of TOMBOY! Its great to know that there are so many like minded creative people out there pursuing their passions.

I am also a big fan of beautiful independent magazines like Lodestar Anthology, Rakes Progress Magazine, In Clover, Ernest Journal, Dumbo Feather, Avaunt Magazine… the list goes on but what ties them all together is that you can see the passion behind the publication. They are all born out of a personal love of art, nature, travel, adventure and they draw together people from all over the world who share their passions. The paper stock is exquisite as are the layouts and talent that grace their pages.

I really could go on and on but I can’t not mention Greg Williams along with Olly & Suzi…Long time friends who I used to work with back in London and some of the most incredible creative minds and power houses that I know, yet they are still so generous and just damn lovely people. Have a look at their INCREDIBLE Instagram feeds, I challenge you not to be blown away!

Instagram is quite amazing for finding inspirational work from all around the world. Other feeds I love are Katrin Koenning as she is pushing both the medium of photography and instagram as a platform for sharing it. Nicholas Hughes work on the environment shows total dedication and passion for his subject and the images are always exquisite. And the fabulous work of Freya Najade – as I feel a real resonance with both her subject matter and approach. Very beautiful, uncomplicated and I always stop and look, as that’s what the work so gently ask for.

Work from "The New Botanicals" by Virginia Woods-Jack // New Zealand - available online at The Poi Room // interview by Studio Home Work from "The New Botanicals" by Virginia Woods-Jack // New Zealand - available online at The Poi Room // interview by Studio Home Work by Virginia Woods-Jack // New Zealand based artist and commercial photographer // interview by Studio Home

If you could be looking in the rear view mirror at the entire year of 2017, what do you hope you see?

There are so many fabulous things happening this year that I hope to look back with a big smile on my face with a feeling of excitement for things to come!

I would hope for a successful up coming exhibition at The Poi Room followed by at least one more this year but hopefully two!
I am collaborating on a number of projects with my ever loving partner James. We call ourselves Lightwood and have some exciting projects making beautiful spaces both inside and out for some lovely clients who want something special. I love working with botanicals but with James’ creative talents and outstanding ability to design and build, there is always a lot more than plants involved.

On the subject of plants and all things beautiful Yvette Edwards and I are working more and more together both as a photographer/stylist and photographer/writer duo. She is a dream to collaborate with and we really play to each others strengths.  The combination is brilliant and I can see a lot more happening there together.
I also have some workshop ideas in the pipeline with the oh-so-lovely and creative Cathy from Pause Yoga in Days Bay.

I am heading back home to England and via the States with my daughters to see family and friends so I will enjoy that re connection with both people and place as well as meeting some of my lovely new editorial clients face to face!

Lastly, just hanging out with my gorgeous family, hitting the road in our old campervan; Bluebell which we renovated and camping under the stars. Nothing fancy, just simple times doing the things that we love.
There are so many exciting projects being nurtured at the moment and of course there will be those yet to present themselves or be discovered. The best thing is that there really is no rush, this is something I have learned over the years – all these fabulous things happen exactly as they should and when they are ready.

“So here’s to the creative path with all its twists and turns, there is much to be learned from every experience both personal and professional and hopefully I will get to rub shoulders with some of you along the way.”

Work from "The New Botanicals" by Virginia Woods-Jack // New Zealand - available online at The Poi Room // interview by Studio Home Work from "The New Botanicals" by Virginia Woods-Jack // New Zealand - available online at The Poi Room // interview by Studio Home Work by Virginia Woods-Jack // New Zealand based artist and commercial photographer // interview by Studio Home Work by Virginia Woods-Jack // New Zealand based artist and commercial photographer // interview by Studio Home

What I learnt from Virginia:
Take. More. Time.
When looking around at nature, art, light, people, the place you are right now….
far more beauty and magic exists in the places we have become most familiar.
……………………………………….

Connect with Virginia Woods-Jack
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Work available online at The Poi Room.

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