Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tea Lights

I'm extremely partial to lovely old china teacups and have always fancied quirky lighting, so what could be better than combining the two. Here are some fancy up-cycled lighting ideas bringing Nana style crockery out of the cabinet. Very illuminating!

Melbourne designer Gregory Bonasera wins the "I wish I'd thought of that" award for his Electric Mavis pedant lights. His whimsical lights are a quirky and inventive re-purposing of Nana's vintage teacups giving them a modern twist.
"Electric Mavis is a cheeky take on discarded domestic crockery. With minimal modification, these fine porcelain objects are transformed from op shop clutter or potential landfill into chic contemporary light fittings using one low voltage halogen bulb."Hervé Matejewski , a French lighting designer, creates jumbled crockery lampshades made from discarded teacups and secondhand china rescued from the flea markets and junk shops of Paris. His Lampe Porcelaine collection are assembled from porcelain cups, saucers, bowls, ramekins and cake plates, each in a slightly different configuration.
German born Design student Louisa Köber created these delightful "Tealights" for an installation as part of an exhibition hosted by a power company in Stuttgart. The pieces play with the translucency of porcelain and the natural cupped shapes are a perfect receptacle for a light source.
These sweet nightlights by micah 7 are made with a selection of sliced teacups attached to a base especially made for nightlights. Great for a dark hall way or a childs room.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Biddy Bags and more!

Biddy Bags is a now famous enterprise initiated by Samantha Jockel that connects socially isolated Nana's and mature-aged ladies through craft, economic participation and social networking. These ladies get their crafty fingers hooking to create cool crotcheted bags and home wares.

Each Biddy Bag is unique and is both a fashion and a social statement, providing retired women with a purpose and an income (and we all need both of those).
The fabrics and yarn in the bags are all vintage/pre-loved, and come in every conceivable hue and colour combo!

The business has now branched out into gorgeous tea cosies,

As well as cute i-phone pouches and facewashers.
In 2007 Sally from Georgie Love introduced me to Biddy bags. She had given them a brilliant spiel, so in the blink of an eye (and the click of the mouse) I had bought one for myself.
The fun begins when you have to decide which Biddy Bag you want, there are so many colour combinations to choose from.Go and check out the website to see all the products.
So here is the gorgeous bag I chose, made by a very clever crocheting grandma Jan Mc Coombes.I lurve it!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tamsin Howells

Over three years ago I discovered the work of British jeweller Tamsin Howells, while browsing in the uber cool "Husk" in Collins St. Her beautiful shiny birdie brooches caught my eye. Inspired by 1930-1940s foil pictures, these brooches depict various breeds of birds, each brightly coloured using patterned and textured foils from chocolate and lolly wrappers.

According to Tamsin "The process I use is a lamination technique that uses resin to sandwich together two sheets of plastic with the foil trapped in the centre.She describes her work as "individual, contemporary, stylish and unique. My jewellery is fun and easy to wear and very striking when worn"
On Tamsins web site she offers a cool feather preservation service"If you have a pet bird why not get a commission made which could include some of its fallen feathers?"

As well as the foil birdies, Tamsin makes matching earrings and gorgeous butterfly brooches.
If foil isn't your thing there are also fantasic pieces made from vintage fabric and old school ties.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Stitch in Time

While meandering around cyberspace I found two jewellers who have combined the traditional art of cross stitch with the crispness and shine of silver to create stunning jerwellery.
Netherlands based Corina Rietveld's pieces are both beautiful and unconventional takes on the age old art of needlepoint, combined with contemporary silversmithing.

From Corina Rietveld's website," The traditional technique of embroidery is a source of inspiration for the jewels of this collection. Traditional handwork and modern material meet in these designs. By using the particular combination of silver with embroidery silk, I want to give a different look at the traditional embroidery which you already know."
German born, Australian based Caro Baertling's jewellery is also a combination of stitching and silver. "Needlework for instance is as good as gold to her, because it costs a lot of time and patience. When combined with silver, wearable treasures are created."

On Caro Baertling's website you can decide on the design of your piece by selecting from the embroidery patterns below.
Read an online interview with her here. If you live in Sydney you can see her work at Koskela in Surry Hills.
I wonder if both these jewellers have crossed paths in their creative lives. Their ideas are too similar not to have been influenced by each other somewhere along the track!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Autumn Chill Busters Winners!

The five winners of the great Body Parts/Textile Allsorts products are:
1. Purple Tubeway Armies- Bec from Beccasaurus
2. Grey Tubeway Armies-Ejay
3. Orange tights-Tracy from Boutifully
4. Burgundy Tights- Lynne from Sister Outlaws
5. Woolly Purse-Zofia
Please send me your details so we can get your goodies off in the mail.

This Bower my Prison.

"This Bower my Prison" is the blog name of the multi talented Sydney artist and sculptor Jane Gillings.
I found out about Jane when I received an email from her about 3 years ago. She had some great lino to give me if I wanted it. In an absolutely wonderful stroke of luck and perfect timing, I was up in the Blue Mountains on holiday at the time and was going to be passing right by her house the next day! And I'm still using the excellent primary coloured lino she gave me!
Jane is a classic bower bird, collecting discarded plastics and transforming them into amazing 3 dimensional artwork.

This intricate owl and wren are made from packing tape and other scavenged plastic.
In 2008 Jane had an exhibition titled "Found Feathered Friends" featuring sculptured life size native birds all totally created with recycled plastic from Jane's huge collection. Check out this short film where Jane talks about her inspiration and production processes behind this show.

Jane regularly exhibits in the annual "Sculpture by the Sea", Australia's largest free outdoor exhibition of sculpture located along the Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk.

In 2008 Jane created dozens of plastic blooms in a installation titled "Wreath". Jane said this about her creation "Hopefully for some, it made them think about the underlying message of waste and loss of precious resources. On the whole though, my aim is primarily to create something of beauty. For me, art is as much about beauty as it is about creating meaning without words."

Her 2009 piece was "Dream Home", a cubby like constuction mosaiced with those rainbow hued plastic toys we all know and love/hate! This piece won the Kids Choice Award .
"What I love about the piece is that it brings out the kid in everyone and I probably had more fun making it than the thousands of kids had playing in the piece during the exhibit. Winning this prize is a great reward for a lot of hard work," said Jane

Look at the brilliant detail in Jane's tribute to famous masterpieces .
According to Jane "As family and friends will attest, I never throw anything out. It's a sickness that runs through my family. So rather than keep things boxed up under the house, I am compelled to turn them into works of art. I am slowly being suffocated by these pieces, my studio is getting smaller and smaller. The funny thing is that the sickness is also the cure."At the moment Jane is madly preparing for another solo show. I 'm hoping one day she will exhibit in owners- hint,hint!
Visit Jane Gilling's website and read a great interview here.Pics. from This Bower my Prison , or click on images for source.