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Tag Archives: Melbourne
From left to right – Team EG!: Katherina Dams, Lucy Hall, Alicia Gordon and Emily Green.
Missing in action: Kate Henke
WHAT I LEARNT FROM EMILY GREEN:
Missing in action: Kate Henke
On my recent trip to Melbourne I was really excited when Emily Green, a prolific creator who I had followed for years, accepted my request to visit! I wasn’t however, at all prepared to find such an awesome studio set up, team of chatty helpers and the Emily’s amazing, magnetic personality. By the end of the interview I was tempted to bin my notebook and ask if I could join her merry crew indefinitely !
Emily Green was born in Sydney, grew up in Canberra and at 10 moved to Perth with her family. She was a major maker as a child, always drawing and a heavy user of fimo and plastacene which is telling! She focussed heavily on art during high school and then headed striaght into a Fine Arts Degree at the University of Western Australia. The course left her feeling a little lost and disillusioned at her career options, so she looked to speciliase and took up Fashion and Textiles at TAFE in Perth. Again, she felt a scary lack of direction in terms of work outcomes so, seeking something fresh, at 21 she left home and headed to Melbourne for what was meant to be a year.
Emily worked some basic jobs until she had firmed up on her next step which she decided would be a graduate diploma in teaching – something she felt could open doors to a “real” job. Taking up a role as a high school art teacher which she held for 4 years, she relayed how the work load was immense and guiding final year students through their VCE’s in her first year as a young graduate was incredibly demanding! Her dreams of her job being an extension of her identity were being rapidly smashed by the system, so she attempted to go part time to allow herself to study Textile Design. It almost came as a relief when that request was rejected and she gladly left that permanent role to become a substitute teacher and part time student.
It was around this time in 2010 when Emily started getting stopped in the street while wearing bright little brooches she had made for herself. This un canvassed public support gave her the momentum to start selling them at a few markets. Again, customers were super receptive, stockists came on board and she received some great press. After just 1 year of part time study she could no longer juggle this with her making and new role as an art technician at a high school 3 days a week. So study lost out, productivity grew and in another 6 months she had added, what are now – her iconic necklaces to her collection.
Fimo was and remains her chosen medium for her jewellery. She loves its hues, ability to mix colours like paint and to finish your work you simply need to bake it in an oven! The fact that there was no complex set up of specialist equipment with no crazy outlay was a major in her choice to use it. This accessibility is also perhaps the reason why she has been so widely “copied”. While most of us can claim to playing with Fimo once in our lives, Emily’s use of colour, her combinations and intricately handmade beads with pattern set her apart in her creativity and popularity. But the availability of the material has made her a bit of a target! When I asked her about this, an observation I had totally made on my own, she simply smiled her beautiful smiled and shrugged. This was a reaction of someone who has far more strings to her bow and she has been putting them to great use!
In 2012, after fielding so many requests about the watercoloured background she had made to photograph her necklaces on, she decided to offer the originals for sale then went on to produce print runs earlier this year. A collaboration with Melbourne based shoe brand; Hobes in early 2013 led to a mega three-way project combining with local digital printing company; Frankie and Swiss and the result were three different colourways of beautiful, water colour kicks!
Social media helped spread the Emily Green style far further than she had imagined when she was contacted by high end, New York based label; Isoude who had spotted her work via Pinterest. She was invited to come and meet them to discuss collaborating on their Spring/Summer’14 collection! Gladly Emily jumped on a plane – the result is her print being used in seven different garments soon to be released.
By March 2012 Emily was able to finish teaching completely. Demand for her necklaces had increased to such a level she was calling on friends and family to come and help on her mini production line! It was at Harvest Workroom where she had a studio that she met Lucy Hall who came on board as her first full time employee for the year. Alicia replaced Lucy who left to do some travel and Emily then employed Kate Henke part time to match the growth in her orders. Katherina Dams joined the team full time recently and everyone was stoked to see Lucy back in the lead up to Christmas. Emily was quick to recognise the talented makers she had on her team and making use of their skills and backgrounds in textiles she released a range of knitted scarves in Winter last year.
Collaboration and endless diversification seems to come so easily to Emily, but on meeting her its absolutley no surprise! This woman GLOWS! While I was visiting, the team of four barely took a break from their relentless and often intricate making, preparing stock for the usual Christmas flood of orders for wholesale, online and the upcoming markets (you can spot her water colour work on all The Big Design Market collateral…including trams!)
With her eye on more textile work and a departure from colour with an exclusive range of necklaces for Craft Victoria, I can safely say that the creative world of Emily Green and those in her orbit will remain exciting, inspiring and covetable!All photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home
WHAT I LEARNT FROM EMILY GREEN:
Don’t get distracted by those in your peripheral…know that no one can do what you do the way you do it! AND with that in mind always continue moving forward to meet new opportunities and bring ideas to life.
These hot hot south Queensland days are brilliant but they TOTALLY wipe me out and I don’t think I have looked forward to bed so much in years! The luxe fabric and downright casual cool design of Elk’s new sleepwear collection; SÖMN would take my summer sleeptime to a new delicious depth…I am sure.
Equally I would wear that top outfit sans slippers with absolutely no hesitation during daylight hours!
Well done Elk!!
I am a long and confirmed fan of Abby Seymour so to have her new collection campaign shots land in my email yesterday was a tad EXCITING!
I think you’ll agree her jewellery walks the amazing line of imperfect perfection.
This is a bit of a sneak peak for you as the full Dots + Dashes collection will be launched online and with stockists early in 2014. BUT she will have it available for pre order (receiving before Christmas) in Melbourne at the Mattt Pop Up Store launching tonight and The Big Design Market next week.
If you fall head over heels with something you see here in the mean time please contact her through her site. Or like me – count your pennies until the launch!
Styling: Stephanie Somebody
Georgie Cummings is one of those lovely softly spoken types that doesn’t seem rattled by much…which made quite a lot of sense after I learnt about her “steady-as-she-goes” attitude to simply making stuff happen!
Born and bred in Melbourne, she kicked off her studies in Industrial Design at RMIT in 2006. Like many students out there, hospitality offered a way to earn money around school hours and for Georgie the added bonus of indulging her huge passion for food. For years during and then following her degree she worked at Melbourne institution and food haven, The Essential Ingredient in South Yarra.
It was there that she met and worked alongside Jason Cesani of PrintInk, a screen printing studio that produced work on behalf of other brands as well as their own range. Recognising Georgies creative streak he invited her to visit and learn the art of screen printing. What started as a casual friendship based internship grew into part time employment and she slowly moved from mixing colours and stripping screens to printing tea towels and cushions!
In 2012 she took on a part time internship with Obus where she learnt the ins-and-outs of a creative but commercial business. This helped clarify in her head that while fashion wasn’t really her thing, accessories certainly might be! So in June 2012 she simply threw herself in the deep end by committing to the “Craft Hatch” incubator market run by Craft Victoria. This forced her past her tinkering and making for herself and on to produce a range of products she could actually sell! At the time of signing herself up she didn’t actually know what those products were going to be! (gutsy much?!!)
So with just a couple of months up her sleeve she started working stuff out. Her flatmate at the time had recently got into working with leather – so she put her hand up for some lessons then let the experimentation begin. It seemed the material was a natural fit for her aesthetic and ideas and she soon prototyped a collectioned of purses, wallets and clutches. The idea then popped into her head to see if she could print onto them…and sure enough yes! This resulted in whatreally is Georgies signature recipe of printed pattern in colour and metallic foil on beautiful, sustainable Kangaroo hide.
Not stopping there she then decided to extend her offering by exploring ceramics. Having only done “studio art sculpture” at high school and played a little with sheet porcelain at Uni, once again she fearlessly launched herself head first into mastering the material. She bought clay, playing around with it at home then would take it too the nearby Northcote Pottery to use their firing service. The result? White, hand formed beaded necklaces and pendants.
The debut range was a hit giving her the encouragement to keep the ball rolling. She launched herself into the design market circuit, opened an Etsy store and got stocked at the Craft Victoria shop, all while still working from the living room / kitchen of her shared house. By 2013 she had picked up a swathe of quality stockists including Elwood and Melbourne favourite; Dagmar Rousset. Then, with the help of photographer Ben Christensen the campaign imagery of her new collection went viral including a feature on The Design Files. This year she also collaborated on a capsule range with fellow emerging creative; Shuh Lee while sharing a stall with her at Finders Keepers and Markit.
So …. I guess you could say its been busy!
And that’s where I found her in her timeline to date. By the looks of the stock gathering in her studio, she had obviously been putting in serious hours in preparation for The Big Design Market, but there wasn’t a glimmer of stress in her demeanor. I actually found Georgie super inspiring in her calm but incredibly experimental creativity. It made me realise that the only thing stopping most of us from getting “something going” is our own confidence in our ability to learn and execute it!
You can learn much more about Georgies life in Melbourne and the lovely little home she shares with her partner; Steve Abbott by checking out the questions she answered below.
WHO: Georgie Cummings and Steve Abbott.
Steve is a mobile bicycle mechanic running his own business Nomad Cyclery, riding a cargo bike he welded together around the city servicing bikes and doing roadside repairs. He’s my go to guy for all technical know-how as he also is finishing off a mechanical engineering degree! On top of all that he also works as a mentor mechanic with Good Cycles, a social enterprise training disadvantaged people to become bike mechanics while serving the bikes of large companies staff who ride to work. And me, an industrial designer turned maker of anything especially things made from leather, ceramics and metals! Since starting Georgie Cummings as a business I’ve found it a good excuse to play with different ideas and materials, things I might never have worked with before and perhaps putting a bit of a different spin on things considering a industrial design background. Collaborating with other makers and retail shops has also been invaluable experience and something I hope to do more of in the future, and never stop learning new skills from others to keep evolving. My aim is just to make nice, clean, simple and thoughtfully designed objects, hopefully pieces that will last and be cherished. I also work part time at a local hand screen printing company called PrintInk Studio and find the different mediums inspiring.
WHAT: While the actual building might be lacking in any architectural merit, it is bright, spacious and gives us everything we need – studio/office space, large kitchen (with gas! My No.1 prerequisite for a house), garage which is now a workshop and pottery space, and most importantly a garden! We have already put in two raised beds in the garden filling them with summer veggie and have plans for further veg related landscaping, regardless of it being a rental I can’t live without having a garden. Inside, we get to be ourselves, a luxury you can overlook in share houses. I’m not so into “fluffy” decoration but rather like clean surfaces where I can make little collections of findings, or gifts – everything has a story and connection.
WHERE: We use to be in Brunswick East which was closer to the city but Thornbury is showing me its gems – great Mediterranean grocers, the Preston Market and cafes in abundance – yes most of it’s perks involve food! But really I’m loving the slightly more open spaces, the houses with gardens, some unruly and wild, others manicured but just seeing everyone out in their gardens on weekends is fantastic. The local parks and Merri Creek just a short walk away are also a highlight. And being a little bit further out of the city isn’t all bad the St Georges Rd bike path makes commuting a breeze in tree lined car free style and I’m getting fitter!
DESCRIPTION: We gave ourselves a deadline of moving out of our much loved share house – it just came down to both of us needing more space, I was taking over the kitchen table and living room all the time and after almost 9 years together I guess it was time we committed to living alone! However, new house mates were found in a flash – the place was a gem – and we were left homeless, storing stuff between our parents houses and living with my parents for a couple of weeks. However an application was handed in and we got a call that day – we moved twice in 2 weeks and still haven’t unearthed some possessions, although maybe they are best lost in the abyss!
We are both loving having space to work together and apart, even if we both get distracted and end up pottering around in the garden. We have designed and made some pieces of furniture together, like the bedside tables made from long forgotten oregon scraps under Steve’s parents house, and have more pieces planned. We both relish in custom jobs, nutting things out and making things come together.
It has also renewed our desire to live rurally, ideally Tasmania where we can have a much bigger garden to lose time in, live more sustainably growing our own fruit and veggies and a cow to milk… one day. We share the desire to be outside, make objects that last and better our environment, at the moment this house gives us a little taste of that while still indulging in multiple interests, study and the perks of living in a city before settling down … with a menagerie of farm animals and pets and acres of land, and who knows what skills we will have amassed by then!
WHAT I LEARNT FROM GEORGIE CUMMINGS:
Have a little faith in your own inate ability to create and don’t let a lack of experience get in your way.
Get learning and get making!
Meet the talented Georgie Cummings at The Big Design Market on December 6, 7 & 8 at the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne.
Supergraph is Australia’s Contemporary Graphic Art Fair and its taking over Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building from the 14th – 16th of February 2014. Right now they have a final call out for any creatives who would like to be included in the showcase. In their own words this you could be “..an independant artist, a collective or a fancy gallery…” Check out how the applications work here and be warned they close on November 30th.
Below is a small glimpse at some of the work and people locked in for next year. Its looking good!!
Mi Goals are keeping it simple, functional and straight-to-the-point with JUST the right amount of attitude. I am a notebook fiend with no less then 3 on the go at any one time -so I know exactly which one I probably need to buy in bulk…
You can have a browse online here or check out their stockists list.