Yes its time once again for everyone to dive headlong into Australia's biggest month about making. This is Craft Victoria's 7th Craft Cubed, and this year everything is in the detail. Gemma Jones has put together yet another amazing festival which demonstrates the vibrancy strength and diversity of the contemporary making community we love so much. This year there are over 90 events from workshops, to open studios, exhibitions, seminars, social gatherings, and markets, showcasing over 700 makers, ITS HUGE PEOPLE! You can pick up a neat little pocket guide all over town which will give you a run down on the festival - whats on, who's in it, where you can find things. OR head over to the Craft Cubed Website where you can search for everything from jewellery made from salvaged Japanese Haori fabric to Macrame Forest in Warrandyte or an evening of local craft whisky tasting in hand made drinking vessels matched by medium to the malt… whoa! When we say there's something for everyone in this festival we're not joking.
Some of our top picks include the ever popular Craft and Design as a Career seminar at Deakin Edge, last year's took us from fist pumps to tears as we listened to the most incredibly honest, insightful and inspiring artists and makers talk about carving out a career as a creative. This year's list of speakers is rad - glass artists Amanda Dzeidzic, writer Claire Rossyln Wilson, curator Hannah Presley, artist Kate Rhode, Senior Curator of Fashion and Textiles at the NGV Katie Somerville, craft based designer and super cool chick Kitya Palaskas, artist/designer/curator/creative advisor Liane Rossler, artist Peter Waples-Crowe, the fabulous crochet hat master Phil 'Chilly Philly' Ferguson and head weaver at our spiritual home The Australian Tapestry Workshop, Sue Batten. What a day - more craft than you can imagine plus free goodie bags! Book early.
The City of Dandenong is once again putting on their festival within a festival with Cultural Threads. From knitting to crocheting, dyeing to weaving, needlepoint to yarn art, this month-long program of events and activities invites people of all ages and backgrounds to engage in a variety of textile based initiatives guided by some of Victoria’s and Australia’s most celebrated artists. Last year was full of amazing stuff and this year will at least match it if not exceed it. We can't wait!
The Guild of Objects in North Melbourne are running special ceramics classes with artists including Robyn Phelan, Chela Edmunds, Jessilla Rogers and Leah Jackson. This is a great chance to get your hands dirty with some of the most colourful and creative ceramicists in town and well worth doing - we still use our cups made with Chela last year almost every day!
Home Work in Brunswick has a range of wine fuelled artist talks studio sundays with super craft stars from around the globe including world wide weaving 'sensation' Maryanne Moodie and closer to home the lovely Gemma Patford, and Lara and Jess of Home Work. They've also put together a very special craft supply store full of goodies for budding crafters along with a long list of special workshops just for Craft Cubed.
And the list of local heroes wouldn't be complete without mentioning the super fabulous North City 4 who among open days and workshops are also running the first Craft Film Festival. Woo Hoo - this is a film festival we can REALLY get behind - while you probably all familiar with THAT ceramic scene in Ghost, this festival will take a much wider and more eclectic look at where film has featured craft in a selection of short films and curated excerpts from documentary, drama, animation, comedy and satire. Bring a blanket, blanket and hot toddy and get amongst it!
The Australian Tapestry Workshop is running a special Minature Moments two day masterclass in design development for weavers based on drawing and collage. This is a fabulous opportunity for tapestry weavers who may be looking to learn new skills or master existing skills in the inspirational space of the workshop.
One of our most fave spaces and people Pop Craft and Pauline Tran respectively, are really putting a show on this month. First up is the Double Happiness exhibition which pairs local textile luminaries Eddy Carrol & Pauline Tran, Cat Rabbit & Catherine Campbell, Isobel Knowles & Dell Stewart and John Brooks & Pauline Tran together to create new works. This exhibition has been highly anticipated (particularly by us) in a gobsmacking show of textile adornments inspired by the Peking Opera (swoon). In addition there are workshops on hand making sequins, illustrative embroidery and a textile treasure swap meet that is not be missed. (note to self)
Out of town you'll find the 2016 Indigenous Ceramic Award at Shepparton Art Gallery showcasing 7 artists working with clay, selected from all around the country. These artists have been shortlisted for the major $20,000 prize - one which reflects SAM's ongoing commitment to australian ceramic art. This is going to be a brilliant celebration of the rich and diverse use of ceramic media by Indigenous Artists and we're pretty sure it's going to blow some minds...ours included.
AND at the Stockroom in Kyneton New Primitives, an exhibition featuring 12 australian artists that feature primitivism in contemporary ceramics. This looks to be an incredible show and includes some of the best names (and personal favourites) Tai Snaith, Sharon Alpren, Andrei Davidoff, Irene Grishin-Selzer, Kate Jones and Janetta Kerr-Grant. There is even a hand building workshop attached to the exhibition for people wanting to get their hands dirty and learn from the masters. Take yourselves out for the day and check it. Highly reccomended.
We should also mention that we have top drawer shoemaker and high faulting' local leather maven Emma Greenwood in the HML house all month (thur/fri/sat) Emma will be making a pair of custom high tops from the ground up as well as teaching two super fab workshops - tassel making this saturday and leatherwork basics on Saturday August 27. She's got a bunch of amazing hand made kicks and boots on show in the space as well as her trademark little people sneaks and leather accessories for sale if you're in the market for either goodies or chats. She's an absolute delight and serious genius so do yourself the proverbial favour and come down and say hi!
There are still some tickets available for Emma Greenwoods tassel making workshop at ours, in which you can whip up a top pair of earrings, key rings and bag bling under the masterful guidance of the lady Greenwood, but her leatherwork basics workshop is selling fast so if you want to get on board book now!
We're also running our first hand weaving workshop on Sunday the 21st - its an intimate class full of cool tunes, cool threads and nice food while you weave yourself a checked wool scarf under our tutelage. If you've ever wanted to have a crack at this weaving palaver now is your chance AND you get come away with your very own winter wearable or wall hanging. BONUS this class is ok for both frequent weavers and absolute beginners - serious wins all round!
The Mari Funaki award for contemporary jewellery 2016 is on again and not to be missed. This biennial award was established in 2014 to celebrate the life of Mari Funaki and recognises the talents of emerging and established artists worldwide. If you want to see the best of the best contemporary jewellery then do not miss this exhibition. You were warned!
We couldn't go without reminding you to all to get down to NGV Australia for Making the Australian Quilt: 1800-1950. We know we talked about this on the RRR's last month but this show is setting the crafting community on fire (metaphorically speaking). So much to see, so many ideas springing from this landmark survey of Australia's crafting past. This is one of those exhibitions whose footprint will be all over art and design for the next few years as contemporary makers reconnect with the material, technique, design and history of this historical craft.
See you at 10:15 this morning on the RRR's once again as we give Dylan and Kulja the run down on all that is CRAFTY!