Friday, August 21, 2009

5 minutes with... {paper by} forget-me-not

wrapping paper by forget-me-not

What do you do?
I make all sorts of stationery items and the material I like to use is paper!

But not just any paper… the stock that I use for my creations is selected for its minimal environmental impact and includes...

100% Australian recycled paper; handmade paper created from basic raw materials (such as waste cotton fabrics from garment industries) from fair trade co- operatives; and upcycled/re-purposed materials like plastic bags, that otherwise end up in our landfills & waterways.

Part of my craft involves designing with minimal packaging in mind, oh and to keep with the green theme, all pieces are handcrafted in a studio that uses green power.

How did you come up with your business name?
It is reflective of the ethos of my business… a commitment to not forget the earth & the impact we have on it through our living… to remember to make environmentally conscious choices.

Can you please walk us through making one of your products, from conception through completion, in 5 steps?
Tricky :). My creative process differs, depending on the product I am making, but for this exercise I shall select: special event stationery

1. Often my process begins with a random creative burst, however, when creating something for a special event {such as wedding stationery} then it is a more structured process… 1st step involves meeting with the bridal couple to listen to what their needs are, how they would like their day represented, and the budget they would like to work to.

2. Next, I go about sampling 3 or more designs that I think would meet the clients needs, including accessories and ensuring that all stationery is themed well {from invites through to placecards & thank you notes}… they are forwarded on to the couple for approval/feedback.

3. Once a design has been selected, the task of wording begins! Harder than it seems, as etiquette comes into play, and there are often many opinions to be considered. This process can take up to 2 weeks to finalise.

4. Once all the typesetting has been approved, then my work really begins… taking up to a further 4 weeks {depending on the quantity of pieces required, its complexity, and the amount of other jobs I am working on at the same time}. This is when I get nervous & a little bit perfectionist… I want everything you come together “just so” and to be beautiful. I generally break a job down into smaller tasks and set-up a production line… always making 10 units over, just in case extras are required by the couple.

5. When completed, I carefully package up all the wedding stationery and make delivery ~ my favourite part of the process. I love to see the face of the bride when she unwraps the tissue to see her wedding invite for the first time… it’s like it suddenly becomes ‘real’ and it’s really exciting to be a small part of that.

Where can we find you?
Online at Etsy, MadeIt and Cosa Verde
In person, I am regularly at Kirribilli, Mosman & Glenbrook Markets each month, and various other special events – all listed here.

What are you looking forward to showing off at Mountain Makers?
I have a new range of organic handmade wrapping papers coloured using vegetable dyes which *I* love, and am hoping that others love them too!

5 minutes with… metal and stone

Solid Sterling Silver Cowrie Shell Amulet Pendant

Who are you & what do you do?
I am Suzanna Coombes jewellery designer maker, silversmith and lapidary.
Born with the name Suzanna married the Coombes bit.

I`ve been making jewellery (and other stuff) for as long as I can remember.Whilst studying jewellery design in the late 80`s I specialized in silver work, combining it with various materials from perspex and found objects, to gold. My work has been exhibited in various group shows, the most recent being with the Jewelers and Metal Smiths group of Australia (JMGA)in an exhibition entitled "The Vessel", and at Metalabs "Expeditions" show held in Sydney.

In 2004 I took up the art of lapidary and stone carving, so my work now has a strong focus on Australian stones ranging from local sapphires, opals and quartzes, to the lesser know jaspers, agates and chrysopraises.

Can you please walk us through making one of your products, from conception through completion, in 5 steps?
It would be impossible to tell you how I make anything in 5 steps it is trade secret and would mean I would have to kill you!!

If you want to know how to make your own in (and it’d take more than 5 steps)
I teach silver smithing classes at Nepean Community Collage or you could join Blaxland Lapidary Club to learn how to cut stones ( also more than 5 steps!)

Where can we find you?
I sell at The Nook in Leura and online via www.metalandstone. and direct from workshop, making bespoke pieces.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Introducing Mountain Makers

The Blue Mountains a part of this earth that is not only world heritage listed, but also home to many arty and creative folk. An area never lacking in beauty, eccentricity, inspiration, energy, ideas & good clean fresh air

image by Yegor Korzh and available for purchase here

Excitingly, very soon a group of likeminded crafters & artisans will be gathering together over one weekend to bring you:

Mountain Makers
Exhibition and sale of work by local Etsy Artisans and Friends

This showcase will be held from Saturday 26th ~ Sunday 27th September 2009 at Glenbrook, the gateway to the Mountains… specifically in Glenbrook Hall (next to Glenbrook theatre). Mark the date in your diary, as we'd love to see you there!

Over the coming weeks we look forward to introducing you to some of the talent artists & designers who are involved... this space!