I have to admit that I’m both delighted and just a bit miffed that Scandinavian design (and all things Scandi) are so “in” at the moment. I have been obsessed with Scandinavian design most of my life – possibly because of my distant Scandi family heritage, possibly just because the principles of Scandi design so fit with my own philosophy “beautiful things for everyday use”, possibly because of the focus on natural materials, craftsmanship and simplicity.
The reason I’m a little miffed is that I have finally had the opportunity to work with an architect to design a Scandi inspired extension to our old house (hence the reason for my long absence from blogging) – but now it just looks like I’m following the latest design trend…..
I have more books on Scandi design than any other topic – including several that I can only look at the pictures of as they are written in Swedish/Danish/Norwegian. I even subscribe to the beautiful RUM interiors magazine from Denmark – I can read a few of the words – but mostly it is just for those beautiful images.
In 2012 when we lived in Copenhagen for a few months found a fantastic new book on Danish 50′s modernist houses “Mestervæker” written in English by an American architect but only published in Danish! I contacted the publishers, tried to contact the author…but eventually just bought the sizable book in Danish for the stunning images. So imagine my delight when I was browsing through the NGV gallery bookshop the other day and came across the recently published English edition: “Landmarks – The Modern House in Denmark” by Michael Sheridan. So now I have 2 copies, one of which I am greatly enjoying reading. Every one of those houses truly is a masterpiece.
Late last year I finally got around to doing a workshop in shibori – the japanese method of tying and dyeing cloth – generally using indigo dye. I’d been meaning to try this for ages and a workshop came to my attention at The School run by stylist Megan Morton. It all just worked perfectly – I could visit my friends in Sydney for the weekend, learn shibori, check out the adjacent Koskela‘s beautiful shop and have a meal at the delicious Kitchen by Mike. Perfect!
The workshop was great – about 25 students all of whom shared a love of the colour indigo (what is it about the combination of blue and white that is so seductive?). It was such an easy and satisfying process and in just a few hours I finished a couple of beautiful silk scarves. I love that you are not really sure what you are going to get until the end – a bit like cutting snowflakes out of paper (which I find very addictive!)
I had visited a traditional indigo dyer in Kyoto and had been intrigued by natural indigo – the seething vats of dye – a living material that reminds me of fresh yeast in temperament. It has so much potential and I’m looking forward to trying out some ideas at home when I get some time.
The workshop was so well run by Joanna Fowles (see a review of her course at Design Files) – and the morning tea was outrageously delicious (courtesy of Mikes) and beautifully presented (that Megan Morton attention to detail….). In all a great experience and highly recommended!
I found this image of one of my wrap rings (in 9ct gold) when I was looking for something else the other day. I love all the raw layers of metal together – it really does look so beautiful – even if I do say so myself!
I’ve visited the beautiful Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen twice so far this year and even finally became a member to remind me to visit this lovely place more often. Given that it is only 10 minutes or so drive from my home (I could even bike ride there along the Yarra river) I have no excuse not to visit regularly. I have to admit that I generally don’t visit for the art – but rather for the stunning environment and in particular Heide II, the modernist house designed in the mid 1960′s by architects McGlashan & Everist.
It reminds me of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark that I have visited many times which remains my favorite place anywhere. I love the modernist architecture of both museums – both designed to sit comfortably in their landscape like sculptures in themselves.
Maybe it’s because I grew up in a modernist house that this kind of architecture just puts me at ease, makes me want to find a corner and gaze out the window, dream, read a book – make myself at home. I love the strong connection the interiors of both have with the landscape around them – human scaled, beautifully textured spaces that are a backdrop to the view outside. I always feel so inspired and at peace with the world after visiting these two museums on opposite sides of the world.
Heide recently reissued the catalogue of an exhibition (I sadly missed) held at Heide in 2006 Living in landscape : Heide and houses by McGlashan and Everist. It is a beautiful publication featuring many photos of the construction of Heidi II and its time as a home for the founders of Heide Museum, John and Sunday Reed.
I feel privileged to have such easy access to Heide and will be a regular visitor this year to drink in the atmosphere of this very special place.
Hi there. Yes, it’s been a while since I posted here. Hopefully I’ll do better this year.
Just went to see “Secret life of Walter Mitty” at the cinema – beautiful film. A quirky story stylishly shot in full saturated colour so right for it’s reference to Time Life magazine – and the stunning scenery of Iceland made me feel I need to start ticking off my list of lifetime “must see’s”: 1. the magnificent Icelandic landscape while trecking on an Icelandic horse 2. northern lights and 3. see a big whale up close in the wild (within 10m – I’ve seen one about 100m from shore but my mind just couldn’t compute it as real). And maybe a fourth would be to see icebergs/flows/cliffs in the Arctic or Antarctic.
A good film to start the year with.
Here are some new stud earrings that I just delivered to toolz. I do actually love colour – but I’m always seduced by the purity of the natural metal tones.
I always feel like a bit of a burst of colour at the beginning of summer - particularly this year with the unseasonably cold rainy weather we’ve been having in Melbourne lately (not that I’m complaining….. but I will be when the really hot weather comes!)
And yes, I will be also putting some of these into my webshop……
This week I’ve been making some some new stud earrings that I’m really pleased with – they look great and are lots of fun to make – each pair has its own unique character and personality. I delivered this lot to toolz in Collingwood (Melbourne) the other day. I’ll be making some more and putting them into my shop soon.
I am working hard now to get lots of new pieces into my webshop – I put these copper earrings in the other day. This is a new form I’ve discovered – very pod-like and fragile looking – beautiful in very fine silver and copper. I’m enjoying making it into earrings and pendants. More to come!
It has been pointed out to me by friends who visited my exhibition that the images on my website gallery don’t capture all the fine detail that is a feature of many of my pieces – the intense working of surfaces with textures and fine drilled holes – inspired by the forms & textures found in the Australian bush. The format of my gallery doesn’t really allow me to capture this fine detail – but hopefully the following images give you a little more information.
I seem to have been busy busy busy since the exhibition opening – but unfortunately not with making jewellery. Have had some really good feedback from people who came to the opening or have visited the exhibition since – including the blog Handmade Life who awarded it show of the week!
I’ve uploaded images of many of the pieces into my gallery and I’m determined to get some pieces into my webshop. Just give me a week or two……