Above image via: ErlenmeyerArt
With the Etsy Sydney Made Market at Vivid Ideas coming up on June 4th, we thought we’d get know some of our talented makers a little better. Bea and the team sat down and had a yarn about their different processes and products being made. If you have the chance – make sure you get along to the market in between light shows and inspiring talks.
First up is Stephanie Gray of Erlenmeyer Art.
SM: What inspired you to illustrate playing cards?
SG: I actually made my very first pack by hand as a wedding gift for my parents. My Dad loves playing cards and has played bridge for most of his life, and my step-mum adores fashion, so I made a Vogue Fashion themed playing card pack for them to use to play together! I am constantly inspired and have a backlog of ideas that could fit the hierarchies and formatting required for a pack of cards…I almost always have a new pack in progress.
SM: Where do you do most of your illustrations?
SG: At the moment I work from home, so I have created a workspace in my one-bedroom apartment that I share with my boyfriend. I use a little glass desk for small illustrations (up to A4 size), but if I’m working on a larger piece I sit cross legged on my couch and use my coffee table. Both setups usually involve my little cat, Mika, snuggled somewhere close by.
SM: What is your favourite subject to draw and why?:
SG: I find drawing characters to be the most interesting and satisfying work, especially if they are embedded into an urban environment. I really love how many levels of detail can be included and how diverse the work can be. It is the observation and the selectivity of the details that help to create an illustration that is relatable, nostalgic, uplifting, sentimental and human. These are common themes across my work.
The Bilboa Loft
Osha Shealey from The Bilboa Loft makes womenswear from organic, natural and deadstock fabric, with an emphasis on beautiful shape and interesting prints.
SM: How did you learn to sew?
OS: Dad bought me a sewing machine at 14, and I just winged it for years, then refined my skills when I trained as a Costumier at W.A.A.P.A.
SM: What inspires you to work with end of roll & vintage fabric?
OS: To aim to try to make the most beautiful garments I can, with as little impact on the environment as possible.
SM: What can shoppers expect to see at Vivid from you?
OS: Lots of new cosy and colourful wintery things are on their way!
Arwen Fitzpatrick of Hopscotch Baby will be bringing her cute as a button baby bloomers along to the market:
SM: What inspired you to start your label?
AF: Is family a cliche answer? I guess so, but that’s why. I wasn’t keen to head straight back to work after having my son and I wanted to apply my professional skills to start a little business. It was all about searching for that elusive work-life balance (if anyone finds it, please let me know).
SM: Who taught you to sew?
AF: My mom and nana both taught me how to sew. Nana ran quality assurance, her mantra being ‘it needs to look as good on the inside as it does on the outside’, and my mom taught me all sorts of tricks to speed up the process. Just in case the ‘o’ in mom threw you, I’m Canadian.
SM: Where do you create your work?
AF: My sewing room is a little study that overlooks the rose bushes in my front yard. For months I had to sew at the kitchen table in my old one bedroom unit, so this is a big step up. I love my sewing room! I’ve filled it with vintage furniture that I love, including ‘Big Bertha’ – a yellow 1940s pantry that houses all of my fabric.
Ekrem Mulayim of PLANT Skincare will be making us all look and feel good.
SM: How did you learn about all natural skincare?
EM: PLANT Skincare started seven years ago when we couldn’t find bio-compatible, chemical-free, cruelty-free and environmentally friendly range on the market. So we set out to create it. Tamara’s background in nursing along with Ekrem’s aptitude for chemistry brought about years of careful development. With the input of our biochemist, we produced a skincare range that is so natural you could eat it. We approach skincare as nutrition for skin and make our products fresh to order for maximum vitality and effectiveness.
SM: What is your best tip for a more natural beauty routine?
EM: Beauty, howsoever we may conceive of it, is simply the byproduct of health. Less is more. Cleanse, hydrate and nourish your skin with natural, biocompatible products. Then leave your skin alone so that it acquires its authentic balance and regains its health. Beauty will follow. Naturally…
SM: What can shoppers expect to see from you at Vivid?
EM: A smile and a listening ear along with our full range of products, made fresh and full of vitality. Come and talk to us about your skin concerns and we’ll do our best to help you resolve them. Most our products were developed after conversations with our customers. Sometimes a small insight can change your relationship to your skin and bring about health and balance.
Lenka Vosmikova from Pappus Jewellery will be bringing a bit of bead and sparkle to us all with her stunning handmade jewels.
SM: How long can macramé jewellery take to make?
LV: The time for each piece varies, as the process is very detailed yet structural. A large micro macramé piece would take on average a whole day.
SM: What inspires your choice of colours and shapes?
LV: I draw inspiration from simple natural forms. I look at outside art, urban tones and nature. Design and shape evolves as I start the making process.
SM: What led you to combine macramé with tiny beads to make jewellery?
LV: The variety of colours in material found while travelling in South America. The beading came along naturally as being a Czech native and it’s a great addition to create contrast in colours.
Raglan St Wears
Caitlin from Raglan St Wears will be knitting us all into a ball of cosy for the winter, one reclaimed ball of yarn at a time.
SM: How did you come across a vintage knitting machine?
C: When I expressed an interest in machine knitting a few years back my grandma pulled her one out of the garage for me. Since then I have become an addict and now own 4 different ones 🙂
SM: What’s your favourite type of yarn to use?
C: My favourite yarn to use is the reclaimed mohair blend yarn which I have sourced from fashion industry waste. I also love sourcing Aussie wool which has been grown and spun here.
SM: What’s your workspace like?
C: I am lucky enough to work out of a shared workspace warehouse with many other local makers in Alexandria Sydney (@thenestcreativespace). In my little corner I have my knitting machine set up and an ever growing yarn stash.
Ginny Reynders will bring her metal making loot to the market to keep us all on trend with some gorgeous new designs.
SM: What path brought you to metal smithing?
GR: I have always loved wearing jewellery and growing up was very interested in illustration, art and design. I knew from a young age that I’d work using my hands and my creativity and that it would be in the creative design or arts industry. After studying Design Fundamentals I narrowed my interests down to, artistic illustration and jewellery design. Whilst finding the perfect course in order to take my studies further I discovered Contemporary Jewellery & Object Design at The Design Centre, Enmore.
SM: What is the process behind your products?
GR: Each finished piece of Ginny Reynders jewellery is designed and individually handcrafted by me. I like to use traditional jewellery making techniques and eco-friendly, reclaimed precious metals. Each design, after being thought up, is individually etched onto precious metal. Once I have an outline or guide to follow i then cut, shape, file, sand, solder (weld), pickle, sand (again), and polish. Each piece is brought up to high polish finish (by hand) whether it will have a final matte finish applied or not.
SM: What inspires your unusual jewellery shapes?
GR: My jewellery designs are inspired by what I see and what I am currently at the time obsessed with. I find I’m constantly inspired by inspired by my love of nature, minimalist design, interesting patterns, fun and quirky art and design, and occasionally fashion. If I think something will look awesome in little-shiny-wearable-object form, I will make it!
Kate Fitzpatrick from stitchpatrick will be bringing the laughs with her embroidered pieces that make a statement.
SM: What inspires your embroidery?
KF: I have a fascination with weird pop culture which is translated into a lot of the pieces I make. I started Stitchpatrick before a very cold and bitter New York winter to keep myself occupied. Now I find I have creative bursts when the weather turns ugly and I go into hibernation.
SM: How long can an embroidery take to make?
KF: What feels like a lifetime! For something relatively simple, I’d say 1-2 hours. But for more complex pieces, up to 10 hours. I usually park in front of my laptop and smash out a few pieces over a season of Law & Order SVU or Gilmore Girls.
SM: What has been the most fun to stitch?
KF: I love embroidering rappers! They have defined features which helps design-wise, and also I love creating putting these crude badass rappers in a traditionally feminine and delicate medium.
Details about the market can be found here. See you there!