Saturday, June 25, 2011

Chichi Ginjaka - New in Store

New in the BC store; Corsages and Feather pieces by Chichi Ginjaka.
These sculptural pieces made using recycled materials are designed to be worn in the hair and also as a brooch.

Sewing since she was a young girl in Japan Chichi has always appreciated the old Japanese culture of recycling everything including old kimonos right down to their thread.

Staying true to this tradition each reclaimed item has been completely transformed by the artist’s hand, including the fine details of hand painting the antique buttons on the top of each corsage.

Come in store to see these beautiful architectural designs in the flesh.

Pieces retail from $30.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Featured Artist: Katie Jacobs

What started you working as a ceramicist?

I had a fun teacher in high school, and we went on a ceramics camp to Torquay and fired sculptures we had made from ceramic in a rubbish bin a caveman I am fascinated by fire. 

Where does your inspiration come from?

Anywhere. Reading about the adventures of Shackleton, watching ads for lady razors, Arts Project Australia (where I work), New Zealand pop music, travel, friends, family, monkeys... 

How would you describe your aesthetic?

Pop, bright, shiny, fun.

Tell us a bit about your studio. Do you work alone? Share your space?

At the moment I work at Northcote Pottery, which has great light and lots of people going through the space for classes, kiln firing and supplies, giving the space a good creative flow! I have wallpapered the door and made a small arrangement in the window looking in. It is tiny though, I need more room!!

As a ceramicist do you have a favourite mug you have you sip your morning tea/coffee out of?

I wish I did. I feel somewhat ashamed to tell you the truth! 

 What’s next for Katie Jacobs? Travel? New work? Inspirations? Etc…

I am relocating to the US to study my Masters in Ceramics at Indiana University, working as a technician/Graduate Assistant in the studio. I can't wait!! I plan to come back in 3 years with renewed energy, fresh ideas and hopefully the words to prove it! 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Featured Artist: Olenka

What got you started/interested in jewellery making?

There are a few clues in my childhood…I was always making and collecting things, I remember a pretty hard-core craft phase (pressed flower profusions and candle making mishaps) and these times surely cultivated my interest in creative processes. Even at primary school I was mostly interested in art lessons and loved succeeding at any project; I clearly remember in a senior class mastering the coping saw! I have a carpenter extraordinaire father and my mum works for a boutique jewellery store so in combination, I think that my becoming a maker was quite a natural cause don’t you think?

What inspired your new series of work?

This series called Arabeske is inspired by our travels to Turkey and the Middle East and namely the spirit of place that I found therein. I’m curious about the invisible weave of culture, stories, art, and beliefs that a place holds. Throughout my travels, I continually found myself mesmerised by the abundant ornamentation that was established in Middle Eastern Arts. I was as much inspired by the bountiful features and outstanding craftsmanship, as I was humbled by the faithful dedication to craft. My current Arabeske range aspires to share the enchanting world of emblem, arabesque and sacred geometry found in Turkish and Islamic tradition. Cultural awareness is important to my practice as an artist—as I delve into depicting texture and ornament, I am exploring ideas that interest me intellectually and spiritually.

How would you describe your aesthetic?

A fusion of flourish, arabesque and curlicues shapes. I enjoy saw piercing intricate motifs and decorating with semi-precious gemstones. I have been working with gemstones for many years and believe that they have talismanic significance.

Tell us a little about your studio life? In there much? Share it? Work alone?
I really look forward to my studio days! I get to see my lovely friend Jess, check out new exhibitions and pieces in the store, potter around the studio and enjoy walks around Balmain village. At the moment I can't spend as much time there as I would like, but I'm determined to change that in the near future. I love the new coral feature wall because it makes a cosy corner for me to nestle in at the bench. I find the best way to work is having a clean space for beading and decorating and a dirty space to saw and polish. I know I'm rather lucky to have two bench spaces to myself, but Jess knows she is welcome to share my tools anytime :)

What’s your earliest memorable piece of jewellery?
I have a little bluebird brooch that I'm pretty sure is as old as me. I also distinctly remember a gold bangle with a ballerina on it from my grandmother. I was told not to wear it to school and so of course I did...needless to say it was never seen again!

Whats next for Olenka and/or Arabeske?

Next up for me is an extra day in the studio and broadening the Arabeske range to include necklaces, rings and brooches. At the moment there is a lot of earring action happening so please stay tuned for the new pieces.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Featured Artist: Mainichi

Every week the B.C. blog will be presenting a featured artist, with  interviews, photos and insight into the makers behind the pieces we have in-store and what better way to get the blog-ball rolling, than with the amazing jewellery by Mainichi... Enjoy!

What attracted you/got you started in jewellery making?

At the time I started Mainichi (2004) I was busy primarily establishing my Interior Design practice here in Melbourne (Dearne Herrenberg Interiors). I wanted an outlet for some immediate creative satisfaction, something small which I could design and produce with my own hands in a relatively short period of time. Interior design tends to be a long, drawn out process, with alot of deadlines before any actual built works emerge, so the satisfaction of seeing your own ideas come to fruition can happen quite some time after actually generating those ideas.

With jewellery making it was quick to do, I had materials and equipment at hand that I could use, and I could do it after working hours, as a way to have some down time. It was also an escape from the computer and technology that I was using in my day to day design work.

What inspired your collection?

Initially a holiday in Japan got me inspired to start playing around with some materials I had purchased in Tokyo and Kyoto, and I had some designs in my mind for necklaces which really worked with the materials I brought back. Essentially, what underscores the whole philosophy of Mainichi is the materials - they are the real inspiration for the designs I produce.

How would you describe your aesthetic?

I would say colourful, playful, graphic, feminine, fun, simple yet many-layered.

Tell us a bit about your studio space...

I work from a home based studio in East St Kilda. Initially it was designed by me and built to accommodate my Interior Design business, and it's accompanying large library of reference material. Slowly since my son was born in 2007, it has been taken over by Mainichi. I share the space with our kitchen, dining, and my son's play area.  So it really is a multipurpose space. My studio takes up one long wall in the space, and consists of a long work bench, storage cupboards over, and a cabinet where all my printers and jewellery/craft materials are stored. Of course it can never be big enough!!

What’s next for Mainichi?

Becoming a Mum in 2007 gave me the incentive to focus more on Mainichi and less on my Interior design business, as it was easier to juggle with being a full time parent. Finally after almost 4 years I believe Mainichi is establishing a real niche and, I hope, a following. After the birth of my second child, which is imminent, I will be taking a short break from making; until I work out the logistics of managing Mainichi and two children! But I intend to return later in the year, full steam ahead, and perhaps with some new, fresh designs and ideas. I still have a long list of materials and making techniques that I want to explore and experiment with. And I'd like to work towards another exhibition of more experimental and sculptural designs, somewhere in the near future, similar to the window exhibition I produced for Craft Victoria last year (A Tale of Fish & Wood).

Hope you enjoyed our first featured artist, be sure to come in-store and check out Mainichi's fabulous range. Next week we'll be interviewing Breathing Colours' very own resident jeweller Olenka about her exciting new range Arabeske!