March update…

Seems I / we don’t find the time to do much blogging these days – mainly because we dont have an internet connection at home – so here’s a dump of what’s going on. Ideally Dani or I will get an intern / assistant / PA this year and we can put them in charge of all this social media stuff……. not enough time!!

Rather than a big wordy story, lets cut straight to the pics :

Dani finished her collaborative project / art installation with Milly Flemming and got it all installed at the last minute at Craft Victoria for the Signature Style exhibition. We should get some profesh shots done, but for now here’s my iPhone snaps from the night.

  

Lots of porcelain, copper, enamel, silver and hard work.

3D printer has been working overtime – finally seeming like it’s worth all that $$.

I assisted Audrey make another collection of shoes, this time for Penthouse Mouse as part of LMFF. She arrived back in Melbourne from a 3 month holiday one week before the show started and explained to me her idea of ‘finding rocks that look like heels’…. of course I said ‘yeah, that’s going to take forever, why dont we just PRINT OUT A ROCK SHAPED HEEL’… and that’s what we did.

A quick briefing on what she wanted, an hour of her hovering whilst I nerded it up and 12 hours of print time (all settings on highest quality) = 2 rocks that work as heels.

She resin molded them and knocked up 3 pairs of shoes in 4 days.


Instagram photo of 2 pairs stolen from Bern. Soz Bern.

The other 3D projects that are on the go are accessories for Christina Exie’s debut runway show at Sydney Fashion Week in April.

Dani is making resin cast jewellery – for which I 3D modelled and scaled up an existing design of hers…

then she went on to tidy it up and prep it for casting

Audrey paid us back for all the assistance by being our resin casting intern for a few days…

sampling colours, getting things right…


and production begins!

I’m also making visors that have a lace / basketweave sort of design going on… but more on them when they’re actually done.


big ones, like this.

Oh, and you know what’s cool? When you need a replacement part or new filament holding spindle for your 3D printer and you can just PRINT IT OUT from files online… awesome.

… and lastly, not everything goes to plan, this is what happens when your object falls over 90% of the way through printing, so the extruder just keeps on pumping out plastic for 20 mins into the air. Kind of cool, kind of annoying.


… thats the object underneath there… booooo.

So much other stuff going on, Karlee has moved in to our old shop space and set up her tailoring business there (we might reopen in a ground level shop later this year) Amber and Katia both had work on show as part of LMFF, Elise got accepted in to RMIT honours, Yaz is having her work stocked at Craft Vic, I went to soundwave, I made a corporate video for LOTS of cash to fund my shoe samples, I’ve also been helping out on Laura Imbruglia’s filmclip which is a Teen Wolf inspired masterpiece….

Fuck, that’s enough for now… see you round.

Listening to : Ghost (best band at Soundwave by far) and Flume and Cashmere Cat << highly recommended, have a listen. Next level tunes.

 

Audrey Thomas-Hayes – Luxe: “Live”

Hey gang, I just wanted to post some photos up here of Audrey’s work before I forget to do so…

As you may remember, she has been dropping by the studio every now and then for advice and encouragement as she works on her final year collection at RMIT Fashion. She previously was interning with Roberts & Hassett, but the guys there noted that she was probably a bit too “avante garde” in her ideas to be learning from their hand-sewn ultra-traditional ways.

James introduced us, and I have been giving her tips on resin casting, machining, power tool safety… all the old man / dad sort of things that come out in me when someone asks for help.

She has been a bit of a powerhouse of productivity thought, as she just exhibited her own preview collection of shoes, made shoes for another student’s exhibition AND worked on shoes for a runway outfit. Thumbs up to that.

These first lot are her own shoes, exhibited under the Luxe: “Live” moniker, if you go over to her site > http://cargocollective.com/audreythomashayes < you can read the explanation of the name and ideas.


rather than paint the buckles, I encouraged her to make a silicone mould and cast her own… too easy.


These started as “sneakers” and gradually morphed over many design changes into fur lined boots with clear heels…


… which have mini diamond shapes in them to hide any obvious means of attaching them.


Diamonds on the soles of your feet anyone?


Oh… and why not throw some GLOW IN THE DARK powder in when casting resin parts? Awesome.


On display as part of MSFW with live modelling.


Under UV light…


… which makes elastic glow like crazy.

She also put these together for Bernadette Francis, they’re part of a collection that is inspired by sound, and these shoes will have a Theremin integrated into the sole / pant leg so that you buzz and whirrrr as you walk around.


The boot is part of the pant, which is part of the jumpsuit… hence the entire outfit in a bag.


unpicked and re-sewn rand.


as-much-glitter-as-possible resin heels.

… I will also add a shout out to Katia from our studio who made the jewellery+ some ornamentation for Bern’s show


Bits like this…


…sewn on on to this dress, and attached to headpieces. Beautiful work.

So, that’s the sort of thing that has been coming out of our studio lately. Dani and I are very happy to see that we’re helping Melbourne fashion be a bit more awesome. So much more to come over the next year!

*image above from Meagan Harding Photography

Sick.

Hi Readers, just letting you know that I have been quite ill this week. Ended up in hospital on Tuesday night for IV fluids, blood tests, xrays etc. Turns out the ‘flu’ I thought I had is actually Pneumonia.

So, one the one hand I have lots of time at home, so I’ll be able to do some more blog updating on the weekend. But on the other hand, I feel terrible and have been sleeping pretty much all day. I’ll see if Dani can take some pics of what she is up to and perhaps we’ll get some good ol’ craft posting on here again

On a more positive note our studio pal Katia Di Crescenzo is taking part in a Fashion Week exhibition that starts tonight! We’ll be missing the opening unfortunately, but if you’re in Melbourne and like things a little Experimental go along and check it out :

EX[IE]PERIMENTAL COLLECTIVE – EXHIBITION LAUNCH

http://www.facebook.com/events/157129964405241/

 

Here’s one of Katia’s recent pieces :

Ahhhh, that’s MUCH better

Quick post as I am knee deep in things finally WORKING again, and shouldn’t in be here typing about it…
After the last post where I was having ‘one of those days’, I’m back with renewed enthusiasm.

Thursday I decided to stop dicking around with 55 bits of string and went to the shed and made a proper Rigid Heddle loom, as is used by most of the home weaving community who were born after the 1800s.

I took an artist’s easel I had here, stripped it, turned some stuff around, made some extra bits and hey presto, loom.
It was much better, it worked well, I weaved and managed to get the bee out of my bonnet.



I’m not at all happy with the weaving itself, but that is just a matter of thread count/spacing/thickness, so I am now happy to know it CAN work, but it might not be exactly what I want.

That’s the only sort of answer I’m ever looking for… I’m ridiculously inquisitive, so an answer of “yes it worked, but no, it’s not what you want” is fine with me, an answer of “you’ll never know because it didn’t work out” will keep me awake at night.

I’m going to do the good designer thing and step back, look at what I really need to achieve and perhaps head in another direction. I’ll keep you all posted, and cheers for the comments and suggestions.

MORE IMPORTANTLY THOUGH – MY ROBOT IS ALIIIIIIVE!!

Today saw the first grinding and whirring of the motors, and the flashing of many lights in computery looking patterns, so with a few more hours I might have it moving its bits around in complete robotic autonomy.
To anyone out there still thinking of buying / making one… wait…. when mine is done I PROMISE to collate all the useful instructions in to one page so you dont have to get as frustrated as I have been clicking link after link trying to narrow down the info to something useful.


Test bench setup…

I’ll put up a video when I have more time for multimedia nerdery.

Listening to : Ghost – Opus Eponymous

Satanic Pop? Who would have thought it would be so enjoyable?
That ol’ Satan, he loves a good melody. Have a listen, you’ll dig it.

Arrgh. Silence is no good.

Just an update to let you know that the last 6 days since posting have been somewhat of a waste of time.

I decided to address two ‘on the backburner’ projects instead of barreling ahead with the shoemaking as I was getting worried that the shoe vs. experimental endeavors ratio might be getting too shoe heavy, and end up leaving me forced to make designs with less options than I’d like.

Long story short, I need to finish my RepRap printer, and I want to learn to weave fabric by hand…by the end of this month.
I am having minimal success in both areas.
I am not happy about this.

The printer now has 2 flashing lights that supposedly tell me it is ‘online’. That’s all it does so far.
Not exactly Terminator stuff, but, it is 2 more lights than it had flashing last week.

I then changed to weaving,  set up a ‘basic frame loom’ and covered it with kilometers of thread, which then got tangled, and messy and made me tired and start sighing a lot.

So this week’s score is:
Steve – 0
Difficult Projects – 2


not my photo, but my weaving attempts currently look just as inspiring… Ooh, string, in lines.

I will persist though, don’t you worry. As I heard Anthony Robbins* say once – there are no such things as problems, only challenges to be overcome.
If anyone out there in Melbourne has a small loom (or can recommend where i’d buy one cheap) let me know.

Listening to : Soulja Boy, still. It’s like an addiction to some nasty cheap drug.

* I don’t listen to his tapes, but I did download them for sampling back when I was a wannabe mashup mixer, and now they come up on random on the iPod.  funny stuff.

When someone’s passion knocks your socks off

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while now…and I think you’ll dig it.

At Craft Victoria, we (back when i was part of ‘we’) donate money to a charity and make our own k.k gifts.  My first was ‘make something from nothing’ and my second was ‘bake’ your gift.

I was super busy and baked my favourite shortbread and dumped it into a box (sorry pip)…I however, was the recipient of possibly one of the most labour intensive gifts, and although I felt a little guilty, I was WAY to excited to give guilt a second thought.

Eric, the Craft Vic exhibition guru, loves makin’ stuff from wood.  When a mini crete with packing straps landed on my plate- I knew it was Eric’s handy work.  And inside…planks of gingerbread wood of course.  Eric is one super awesome dude with a great talent…and I LOVE seeing someone use their creativity and skill any which way they can.

It was an honour to receive something made with such passion and joy.  Thanks Eric x

High Tea Exhibition

hi lovely readers…dani here. i’ve been busy getting some work together for an exhibition that just opened.

although i started the work ages ago, it was a long process of trial and error- so i was unsure if it would all come together.

IT DID!  major major sigh of relief.

i tried a new technique (for me) of applying decal images to porcelain. it was WAY easier than i anticipated…cut around image, soak it and the piece in warm water, separate image from backing, slide in place, let dry and fire in kiln!  AND you can custom print, so i think decals may feature in my jewellery and other work in the future.
now that i know this, i am surprised how much ceramic jewellery is out there with the same 5 blue japanese prints!  ah well, they are so missing out.  oh, and i almost forgot to mention…for this work, i wanted to match the rose print from my nan’s tea cup.  AMAZINGLY, we found the print and it looks almost identical (colour is a little off but you can’t really tell).

so, when asked to respond to the concept of taking tea- i was a bit worried.  i don’t ‘take tea’ EVER.  i drink tea like its going out of fashion, but the ritual of it is no longer around.  does anyone formally sit down and drink tea with cakes and napkins?

i started to think about madam brussels and the novelty of being proper and formal…because its SO far removed from how we live today.  in the end i decided to create fun and whimsical objects to emphasise that when we do these rituals now, its like we are kids again dressing up and playing pretend.

anyway, here’s the finished work and some ‘in the making’ shots. i guess now i’m an artist too! yay!

high tea on till feb 6 2011 at bundoora homestead

doré casque en papier mâché

Here begins a long-assed bunch of posts covering the last week of our lives which seems to have been a goldmine for blog-worthy events!
If you are reading this somewhere other than the top of the front page, then the ‘bunch’ of posts i’m talking about are ABOVE this one… get it?

First up is the helmet that I made for our pal Kate’s 30th birthday on the weekend.
As I mentioned earlier, my partner in crime was Troy, who previously knocked up a whole Transformers costume in a few evenings – and when that sort of precedent is coupled with our long term design/sketching/star wars knowledge rivalry I had to pull out all the stops to not look like the lame one of team…DAFT PUNK.

If you have no idea who Daft Punk are, or what their helmets are all about then this post will be much less exciting than if you’re in the know. They’re a French electronic music act… check this out for some education.
On that note, this post is dedicated to Dan Bronsema, who can borrow the finished helmet to when he gets back from the USA if he wants it… I’m sure he’ll find many reasons to wear it. Hi Brons!

daft punk 34885_445228156759_640711759_6456921_4137392_n
real^…… home made >

Rather than talk you through the whole process (as it won’t be very useful unless you are about make one yourself) here are some craft-o-rama pics for you to check out.

Extra Curricular Craft- The Tote and Patch Projects

Dani here.  Thought I’d show you all some side projects I’ve been working on.

Firstly, I work at Craft Victoria, a gallery and shop for good quality craft.  For those of you not in the know, its hard to explain ‘good’ craft almost doesn’t look hand made.  Its so well made that, yeah, you can ‘see’ its handmade, but its also well designed and overall a beautiful object.  Craft for me IS NOT just about the technique and skill involved to make it…without design and a good eye, craft can just look plain ol’ ugly.  We don’t do ugly craft at Craft Victoria.

So, Craft Victoria turned 40 this year.  To celebrate, two local artist/craft peeps, the lovely Dell Stewart and her man Adam Cruickshank designed a tote bag.

A comp was run for the best customised tote…this here, is my entry- and yay, I won runner up!  I never win stuff.  NEVER

Craft Queen Pene Durston won with her amazing entry.  Check them all out here.

image 11

Secondly, Liz Wilson, asked some of the girls at CV to contribute to the Patchwork Project.  Liz has a cute blog that i check a couple of times a week (keep it up Liz).  Anyway, the idea is to give crafties a piece of fabric and ask them to create a patch using it.  The finished quilt gets raffled off and money is raised for different charities.

So, I say yes, sure, no worries.  I was genuinely excited.  Only, I don’t sew so well.  How hard can a patch be I ask myself?  Well, hard when no sewing machines can be used.  Ahh, I haven’t sewn anything by hand since year 9!  That’s half my life ago.

For weeks I avoided it.  What the hell am I going to do??  And finding out all the talented peeps on the bill, I freaked out.  Time was running out- I was not going to back out- that’s one thing my Dad drilled into me as a kid- don’t be a flake.

I power walked up to Tessuti Fabrics on my lunch break and grabbed what I could.  It would be impossible to walk away without a crap load of beautiful fabrics- they were sent from heaven I’m sure.  And…they have an online shop so everyone can experience the joy of Tessuti!

the fabricthe fabric

fabricsmy selection

patch1my design

templates

templates

in the makingin the making

stichingmy hand sewing efforts

I will upload an image of the finished patch in the next few days…if all goes well.