Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Design Files Open House 2013!!

So I just wrote this awesome post about what I had been doing and apologised for my hiatus and blah blah blah and what happens? Blogger deletes all my hard work without even a so much as "you sure you want to delete?' or "save now", what a muppet.

Now I have to try and remember what I was rabbiting on about, I'm pretty sure it went along the lines of....

It's been awhile between drinks for me and the blog but that doesn't mean I have been just lolling around on the couch eating furry friends..(Ahem) I have been busy as a bee as we move into the pointy end of the year as my friend would like to say. I went to Adelaide for 10 days so I could cram in another lot of team sessions before the fat guy came to town (santa that is). I got to have my super talented team of Dani and Jaan working for me and man did we rock it! 55 pieces in 3 days what a mammoth effort. I love working with those guys. Just like riding a bike. I am so lucky to just be able to rock back into town and just make work right off the bat. I am very appreciative to be able to work with such a talented team who make it so easy for me to make my work.

I have finally figured out the best formula for making my work when I come to Adelaide. It consists of 2 days on the glass, 1 day cold work then last day as a hot that doesn't need coldworking. In an ideal world there would be a recovery day in there for beers and catch ups but hey gotta get the job done. I always find it such a delicate balance. I don't want to burn out but I want to keep my eye on the priza and keep pushing while the going is good. So I think blowing Friday and a Saturday sesh with Sunday to cold work is where its at for me. And man does it make you appreciate a well equipped studio. Cold working was so easy at the Jam. I am thinking more and more about wanting to have my own cold working equipment. I was speaking to the technician, Dale and he said he could hook me up with the plans and the knowhow to make my very own grinding wheel that could do all the grinding and polishing i would ever need! All I need is some space....

So all this work I have been making is predominantly for....

(Lookit how fancy I am in putting this little beaut in. Pretty big things from someone who was talked into thinking that 'PM' in facebook language stood for Pancake Man.....ugggh thaks alot B, way to abuse your computerey powers for evil instead of good, whos laughing now with their fancy gif rocking?)
It's on again this year, next weekend 29th Nov- 2nd Dec and it's going to be amaaaaaaazing!! If you are in Melbourne I strongly suggest you get your little butt over there to check it out. You don't want to miss it. Last year was massive and I reckon this year is going to be even bigger as everyone knows exactly what is going on this year. So get on over to the design files home page and check it out for all the details.

I had all these great photos to share with you but apparently I am over my limit with blogger and now have to pay to upload? Is this legit? Can it be? What the flip?! I'm only a small fry how can this be? Anyone got and info on this and can give me the down low would be much appreciated.

Well this is a hard slog with little pictures to keep us going so I'll keep it to dot points...heres whats what:
Things I have achieved/done/doing:
- made new bonsai for Artisan in QLD
- applied for a residency in Scotland next year
- applied for a show at Craft Vic with my sister
- delivered xmas stock to the Jam shop
- had a surprise party for a friends birthday in the part and bought helium balloons that we crammed into the car...
- took my sweetheart on a midweek date

aaaaand.....was successful in my application for a residency in Canberra at The Glassworks for next year!! Hurray for me !!

Thats it, thanks for reading for so long, you are the best.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Suburban Obsessions

Lately, I am obsessed with taking pictures like this. I snap them on my way to work, I snap them on my way home, I snap them at any opportunity possible. I just think they are beautiful. They are like the hidden gems of the suburbs. The majority of my Japanese trip photos were of the suburbs, I was obsessed with those too. At the time I thought, our burbs are nowhere near as interesting and beautiful as theirs, but maybe I'm wrong?

They seem so calm and peaceful and to me they are beautiful. I don't really know why I like them so much, maybe because we have been talking alot about buying our own house? Maybe I secretly dream one of these was mine? 

Had drinks at this amazing little off the laneway kinda thin, think its called the grub (?) Super cute, food looks good, they have an open plan kitchen where you can see EVERYTHING that goes on. (Bad news if you burn something...)
Then we headed into the city to go to a rad opening at Craft Vic. Its Lauren Simeoni and Mel Somethingerather (sorry) and they are the unnatural jewellers! I love their work its ridiculously cool. All mixed up beads, found materials, fake plants and fruit. I highly recommend getting ones behind down to see whats on offer. 

Weenie had a better time than her expression would suggest, I swear. It was fun to meet some new people (an instagram friend who I actually introduced my self as "hi. im little bird big chip, we are friends on instagram." Ugh, what a dork I am, sigh. We hatched a few plans for exhibitions over a few wines, always the best time to do it I feel. We're thinking, slides, we're thinking blooms, native flower bombing, slides of mrs ghandi taken by our nan, big projections, the possibility of cake, but, oh, I've said too much...

I had the most delicious apricot iced tea.
I ate lunch by myself at a cute cafe.
I bought too many flowers.
I delivered work to a new stockist.
I held my very first dinner party.
I pretended to be fancy.

We had:
Crazy Sticky Chinese Pork Belly Ribs
Asian Slaw
Steamed Greens
Custard Tarts


Vodka cocktails with raspberry soda, lime and mint

How good is the table cloth?

So thats about it for this week, and I have been hanging out quite a bit with this fury jerk:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Maybe I should have been an astronaut...

Some days I think things. Things like these....

Maybe I should have taken a different career path?
Maybe I should have been a graphic designer. I like drawing stuff and pretty colours and patterns.  I like Beci Orpin, she's rad. She seems to have an awesome life. But then I remember I'm not so good at computing....

Maybe I should have been a florist like my sister. Flowers are pretty, they smell good and they don't charge you $200 just to make a bunch. But then I remember I don't like the thorny bits....

Maybe I should have been a chef? I love cooking delicious things and lets face it, I like eating delicious things. But then I remembered I hate split shifts....

Maybe I should have been a cat wrangler. I love my Mont, he is the best but sometimes he can be a jerk and imagine that but multiplied by 50. But then I remembered I don't like cleaning litter trays...

Maybe I should have been a farmer and live on the land. Kate  is one awesome lady with a cute family to boot, living on the land, living her dream. Has lots of cute chooks, cooks delicious things, crafts all that kind of jazz. But then I remembered a green thumb I do not have, how would I ever manage a whole farm when I can't even keep a "potted colour" from Bunnings alive?....

A painter?
A hair dresser?
A seamstress?
An Olympic Sports Calendar Model?

But I guess at the end of the day its making things like this that I really love,

And things like this,

And I can't give up making things like this,

And I adore packaging them up to send them to people like this,

And I really like working with my hands, usually in environments like this,

So maybe I am where I should be.
And maybe I should just stop worrying about what everybody else is doing and just do my own thing?

I think feel a list coming on.....

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Ugggh, magnolias, they are so flippin' beautiful! I see them everywhere at the moment and I love it!. Next free day off I have I am just going to roam the back streets of my neighbourhood taking me some magnolia snaps. (As you may also notice, when I dress in a colour it just starts to spread....I can't help it! Yesterday was green and more that not its pink lately. It just takes on a life of its own, kind of like the blob I guess, but in a good way of course. Also maybe its due to the fact that black is my uniform at work?)

Today is going to be great.

Well, thats what I am telling myself and in my experience you gotta put it out there and you usually get it. (I had this conversation with a friend last night about how, you know I just put out these crazy plans and they seem to be almost too crazy not to work. Like Japan, Pilchuck, getting a grant, and then totally deadpan, she goes 'not to mention all the hard work and talent you put in'! Do you know I never thought of it like that before!! Hahahahha!)

But I did wake up early this morning and had a great idea about putting together a little questionaire for my fellow glassies out there. Asking about their style, interests, motivation, hopes and dreams, what type of cheese they prefer, you know all the hard hitting stuff. That with some images of themselves, their work and maybe their studio space. Then each week I will publish a different story on here and we get to learn about a new artist each week, how rad does that sound? Then, who knows, maybe I could publish my little book and that too would be a rad thing for the community. Bring us back together, give a little promo for us all, just see whats out there I guess. What do you think? Hit? Or Miss?

And then I fell back asleep and had this AWESOME dream where I had these two sheds out the back that were converted into artist studios and there was a fire and everyone was making this rad stuff and, and, and, anyways no one likes to hear about other peoples dreams, its boring. No wait, maybe thats just me.... I'm off to blow some glass today! See ya!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Modern Times and Assorted Woes

I'm going to keep this short. It's late. I'm tired. But still here we are...
Above is a pic I took from the launch at Modern Times launch. Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to come down and say hi. I usually don't really like exhibition openings, I'm not very good at the schmoozing and whatnot, but this one was a winner. I got to talk to another glassy who had work there (you can check out his great work here) he really helped me to nut out some worries I had about taking on a job. He's awesome.
I also met a new friend (hopefully) who creates super rad terrariums. We only got to chat briefly but I am hoping it could become something rad and exciting for us both.

Here is some food for thought; 
check out this great blog post here, Lara talks about some pressures that as a maker I feel too. The need to reinvent yourself, to be in constant competition, to keep up with what everyone else is doing. I feel this constantly. Why the fuck can't I just keep on making what I like and be happy with it thats what I want to know! I've had a bit off a rough run, feeling a little miffed about it all but am hoping to turn it around.

Uggggghhh, the constant uphill battle! Just someone hurry up and discover how awesome I can be. Fling me some clams and let me make glass everyday. Then I can cook delicious things in the evenings have fun times with my cute husband, make beautiful works, have a big commission job to work on, have fun exhibitions, travel the world taking classes, maybe get a studio puppy (one weiner dog please) actually maybe just throw in a manager for me who can manage (duh) all this for me and find the balance for me, because lord knows I ain't got it at the mo. 

Le sigh.

Maybe it's just the winter blues? Lets hope so, spring is just around the corner right?


Monday, August 13, 2012

Opening this Thursday night!!

So if you are at a loss this Thursday night you should come here:

Modern Times Pop-Up Shop 3
311 Smith St, Fitzroy, 3065

From 6 -8pm you will be able to check out the new and spectacular set up at Modern Times,  (check out their rad site and blog) a fantastic store on Smith Street. I am extremely lucky enough to come on board with my bonsai and they will all be up for sale along with other beautiful wares from talented designers.

So come say hi why don't ya? We can chat and swill wine and look at pretty things.

See ya there

Monday, August 6, 2012

Slow and steady

Slowly, slowly, slowly I try and find my feet. Probably half my problem is I am impatient and want everything now. Maybe the other half is I can be quite hard on myself (but if I'm not who will?). I have been working nearly everyday at my pay the rent job which I really like but I like being in the studio more...but, I have to keep reminding myself to look at the bigger picture, to remember that this is just laying the foundation.

So our new house has an enormous room at the front which is going to be my studio space. It's awesome. I love it. Look at my studio assistant. He loves it too. I have such grand plans for making it lovely. At the moment it's a bit trashy. But thats ok too.

So coming back off the massive effort that was team bonsai, we hopefully have some happy stockists. My latest stockist to come onboard, which I am more than happy about is "Modern Times"

Modern Times are a super rad crew who run a pop up shop on Smith Street. They pair delectable danish style furniture with beautiful contemporary art. While the lease may be temporary, they have been there for quite awhile and just received an extension so to celebrate they have some new artists (me!!) under their belt and will be doing a little launch on Thursaday the 16th of August. There will be art, there will be furniture, there will be wine and there will be beats! I am really excited and if you are in Melbs you should be too!

I got to meet the lovely Amy who runs the space and I really like her thinking, I like busting out of that gallery scene and displaying the work more like it would be if it were in YOUR home. That is how I like to think my work sits. I want it to be lived with, to be loved and not to be squirrelled high up in the china/no touching cabinet.

My goal this year is to expand on my bonsai. I want bonsai in more stockists. I want bonsai in more homes. I want bonsai in photo shoots. I want to think about bonsai in an online shop. I want bonsai to be absolutely rocking it by this time next year. I want to think about streamlining, about lighting, about colour, about killin' it. Yeah.

I wish I could show you some more pics but my computer is being a douche and not letting me upload any more. Thanks, thanks alot. This won't go unforgotten when bonsai world domination hits and all of a sudden someone is looking to upgrade....

Monday, July 23, 2012

Team Bonsai for the Win

It's been a busy week since returning home. Have just started getting settled back into Melbourne life. Did a quick stint back to Adelaide to make some work and had a cracker of a time. Was extremely busy, blowing glass for four consecutive sessions and running a small team to make the works. Super fun, super tiring. Each time I do this I thin, ok so next time I won't blow everyday, why can't I remember this?!

So I think what I would like to do for the remainder of this year is really concentrate on expanding and getting my Yumemiru works exposed. These are my glass bonsai. I love making this line of work and think that there is real scope to move onwards and upwards with them. I seem to get really good feedback on them and am slowly developing a market for them. I have just had a new stockist come onboard; Sandarne who are a lovely little business located in Sorrento on the coast. I also just completed another order for Aspects of Kings Park who are located in Perth, and I will also be supplying works for a pop up shop in Melbourne, details to be announced soon!

To get the works done I headed back to Radelaide where I put together a small team. I made a total of 42 Bonsai in 3 days!! 3 days! I AM MY OWN FACTORY! For the first time I decided to try and make them with a team of three, instead of just me and my assistant. Two words;

Game. Changer.

Holy shitballs! It was amazing! So fast! We worked really hard and got some amazing results. I finally feel as though I have a viable product that I can make some clams from. So in case you were wondering, heres how team bonsai runs:

I have one assistant pick up the colour, pop a bub, then start gathering up. This then gets passed off to me where I make the shape and then my second assistant brings me a punty which allows me to transfer the piece off of the pipe and then shape and finish the top half of the piece. As this is happening my first assistant is prepping for the next piece. As soon as I am finished, my first assistant and I switch pieces so they put away the finished piece to anneal and I take the next piece from them.

It is super fast and pretty exciting. It did take a little getting used to with timings and whatnot. The bonsai have such a specific set up with all that lovely weight on the bottom so the assistant making the initial shape really needs to know what they are doing. I really love working in a team, there is such a good energy. Whats really exciting is that working in this manner gets really good results. Having a couple of orders allowed me to experiment with working in a team. It is hard to get suppliers to take work which is not on consignment so suppliers, such as Sandarne and Aspects who are actually purchasing the work are most welcome!

Also for the vey first time I hired another assistant to do some coldworking for me. This is the cold process which involves grinding and polishing the bottom. Lets just say this is not my strong point....I can do it, I just don't enjoy it that much and really have to concentrate on it. Paying someone who is skilled in this area is awesome! It also meant that I could concentrate on the hot side of things. Having only 5 days in Adelaide meant that I was a little strapped for time, I blew glass everyday but I had to get my head around timing, to get the work not only made but cold worked, packed and shipped. Phew!

And here they are, signed, sealed, (almost) delivered. Yay for me!

So the next step is securing some more stockists, particuarly for Melbourne. I also want to explore the possibilities of getting the bonsai to some bigger outlets. I would love a corporate or hospitality fit out. Just how to nab one.....
And here they are! Two members of team bonsai, the very talented Danielle Rickaby and Jaan Poldaas.Or as I like to call them, Rockabee and Polrock.
Aren't they awesome? 

Monday, June 11, 2012


In my haste to depart for beers and hugs, I forgot to show you what I have actually been working on at Pilchuck...


Sorry, I think they are hilarious! I made them all hot too so I am a super proud mama. I had anticipated developing my cacti and succulents more, which I started on in the beginning, but I just could not get the radish that I had seen in Japan out of my head. So I thought when else am I going to get the chance to make a radish? And now I'm hooked and want to make a whole series of radish and beets.
(See? Same, same....!)
But then I go back to the conversation I had with my sister, "who is going to want to buy a glass radish?" but that was the amazing thing about Pilchuck, it was the first time in a long time that I was given the opportunity to create without the hinderance of those pesky money questions. And isn't that what art is about? Sometimes coming from a production background I get the lines mixed up I think. It is an expensive medium and somewhere along the lines it gets a little blurry and I only end up making for money ie functional wares.

Now functional wares have never really been my strong point. I can make vases and bowls I suppose but I always felt like they weren't  good enough. Never thin enough, never tall enough, blah, blah, blah. But with sculpting this all goes out the window! I feel like with my skills I have learnt from production blowing I can be a better sculptor, if that makes sense? And I love it. (that helps too I suppose...) And it is ridiculous amounts of fun.

I got to use the garage for the first time and that was awesome. I found that it works best to make all the radish leaves first then reassemble on the last leave and put it in the garage. Then make the body and reattach the leaves as a whole. Super fun. I ended up having to give the big guy away but I did manage to ship one little guy and store 2 in my backpack. The big guy was the first one I made so the leaves are not as nice (well thats what I told myself as I had to give it up) Now I wanna make some metal stands for them and I would love to have some sticking up from the ground!

These next pics are (unfortunately..) not my work. When we were in Seattle we were fortunate enough to see the brand new Chihuly exhibition. It was absolutely awe inspiring. Honestly it was so beautiful it nearly made me cry. 

Sometimes I think Chihuly gets a bad wrap, for what I'm not exactly sure (being successful? makin the cold hard cash?) but not from me. I still think he is amazing and will always be one of my first inspirations in glass. The man knows colour. His drawings relate so well to his glass. And you know what else I like about him?, how even though he lost the use of an eye and could techncally not blow glass anymore, he made it work. He found a way. He got together these amazing teams to make his visions and be became more successful than ever.

The man is a fucking genius already! I would give my right arm to be on one of his installation teams. At the end of the exhibit you could watch some short movies on his works and it just looks amazing. I had always wondered how he put them together. Hey Mr. Chihuly? If by some freak of nature you ever read this and have any job openings just drop me a line and I guarantee I will pretty much drop everything to get to you.

So Seattle was fantastic. And to conclude:

I hears ya brother, me too.