long time no see!

What must you think of us dear readers? We say we are back when clearly we are not. We seem to be popping in here only to coincide with radio appearances (this morning 10:30am on RRR FM!). Truth is even though we said the book is finished, it's never really finished. There is the painstaking and painful editing and proofing, the publicity planning, all at the same time as trying to get things on an even keel on the home front - which for us is quite the challenge! That said we have started leaving the house/studio/writing bunker more and more we've found some fantastic things out there in the world to see


Hello Play!

We admit to being a little biased when it comes to artist/designer/coolguy Spencer Harrison. He designed our book and let us tell you a little secret - it looks beautiful! Somewhere between wrangling our craft tome, creating the Rhythm and Repeat Project, painting epic murals and hosting one of the best Instagram accounts ever, Spencer has created an amazing new body of work. 

No Vacancy Gallery has never been more fun, with a magical selfie wall complete with props, painting, sculptures, ceramics,  works on paper and super cool merch (we love our squiggle socks!). Better get in quick, five more days of delight to go.

No Vacancy Gallery 
Until June 21


Portuguese artist Patrícia Correia Domingues and Polish artist Sara Gackowska were joint winners of the 2014 Gallery Funaki Emerging Artist award. This combined exhibition showcases both old and new work from both makers and is both gutsy and austere, earthy and futuristic. Like sci fi props from Prometheus (we loved that crazy film).  It's a treat to see international work in such an intimate scale. Gallery Funaki remains one of the most important fine art jewellery galleries in the world, lucky for us it's only a tram ride away.

Until June 20

Field Libraries

Yes you may have to brush your hair and shine your shoes to feel comfortable going into the Anna Schwartz gallery but don't let their retro snobbery put you off. We've told you how much we love Emily Floyd before, especially following her epic show at Heide last year. An injection of colour into this dreary Melbourne winter is just what we need, so we'll take our chances with this Slaves of New York style of gallery. 

until 11 July

Group Exchange

When you can't go the mountain its great when the mountain can come to you. When it comes to local textiles the Tamworth show is the biggest in the business, and while we've been waiting to see one for years now but never managed to pull it off. How fabulous to find a collection of the best in the business in Hawthorn at the Town Hall Gallery.

 22 Australian artists were invited to explore the theme of collaboration. This of course mean many different things to different artists and we think in this case the word 'dialogue' is most appropriate. We'll be doing a full review of this show next  Monday, one not to be missed

Until July 26

Hold Me Tight

Brunswick's home of workshops, studios and hand made retail, Home-Work, is now adding an exhibition program to their bow. The inaugural show Hold Me Tight  features a fabulous collection of vessels from vases to modular shelving made by a great collection of artists, artisans and makers. One of the most refreshing things we've noticed so far this year is the number of new spaces that have opened their doors to  new and emerging makers. Closing this weekend so get in quick!

Until June 21


Clay Social

There's a new kid on the block in North Melbourne and its a cracker! Guild of Objects is the brainchild of three small batch potters - Brooke thorn, Chela Edmunds and tao Oudomvilay. Think super cool ceramic, metal and textile objects made by small scale independent artist as well as a workshop and exhibition space, Guild of Objects is dedicated to presenting the work of emerging artists, fostering neighbourhood interaction, presenting fun and accessible classes, artist experimentation and a love of the handmade. Winning combination if you ask us, and they're conveniently located right next door to one of the best cake shops in town Beatrix! Their first workshop - a ceramic cup building workshop with Chela sold out in hours, but we've managed to snaffle a class in their second session next week YAY. 

690 Queensbury Street
North Melbourne

Thinking in Three Dimensions with Felt

On June 27, authors, artists and felt wranglers Cat Rabbit and Isobel Knowles have an uncanny knack of turning two dimensional ideas into three dimensional wonders. Pop Craft is presenting a brilliant opportunity to learn some key tricks of the trade with these two magical makers. Basic sewing knowledge is essential but everything else is provided. Learn Pattern making, planning, cutting, stuffing and sewing in this hands on workshop. More details here

Shaping and Texture for Woven Tapestry with Sara Lindsay

This July Pop Craft is presenting a very exciting opportunity for weavers to work with one of one of the masters of the craft. Sara Lindsay, a founder of the Australian Tapestry Workshop, knows more about tapestry than the rest of us combined and then some. Simply put, her knowledge and teaching skills are legendary. This extraordinary pair of classes will see you learn some seriously impressive skills to build your textile repertoire over two consecutive weekends. One not to miss out on. More details here




After another long month in the writing, editing and finally photo shoot bunker we are now officially climbing out of the publication abyss and hitting the gallery, workshop, workbench circuit again.
Ramona's been off in Adelaide opening jeweller Sim Luttin's fab new show (which we'll more about) while I've been recovering in bed from the post photo shoot flu (which we shall never speak of again). But enough about us. What you really want is to hear all about the incredible adventures happening in the craftiverse's during the next month.


Anna Davern's new exhibition of contemporary jewellery is one worth making time for. Continuting her own practice of riffing on royalty, politicians, colonialism and the 'cultured' elite this new exhibition of works references the traditions of portrait miniatures skewered brilliantly with wit and design nous. Davern manually manipulates the highly regulated imagery of the British monarchy and upper classes by slicing and dicing in a way that distorts and dissects the traditional depictions of empire and social position. Clever clever collage.

May 11- 23 at E.g.etal
opens Friday 15th May from 5-7pm.

Exquisite Threads

Seriously important for anyone interested in needlework, feminism, history and culture (isn't that all of us!) This collection of english pieces from the 1600's to 1900's is a testament to the skill of the domestic crafter throughout English history. Over 60 works are displayed, each representing the integral place handwork held as both an educational tool and creative outlet.  Ramona hit this one up on the weekend and tells me its gobsmacking. Recommendation enough I think!

NGV International ground level, until July 15.


Somewhere between Old Gregg and Aphrodite lies the under sea neo-psychedelia of local jeweller Milly Savage. Her approach is unique, raw and mystical, simultaneously reverent of the culturally attributed 'magic' attached to precious metals and stones as well as playfully recontextualising their traditional vaulted placement into new bubblegum-hued underworlds complete with magic foam and iridescent foil. Her use of lost wax casting adds weight in both physical and metaphysical ways, adding an alchemical touch to works already brimming with vitality. Seriously cool stuff we can't get enough of. 

24/7 in the Craft Victoria window until June 2.


Tea x Zen and Chawan Fetish

Its fair to say that melbourne has developed a strong taste for all things Japanese and craft related, and while our reputation says 'coffee drinkers' we're also pretty serious about our tea. Slow Clay has come up with the goods again, marrying all three together in a pair of unique events presented by 'globe trotting contemporary tea master' and interventionist Adam Wojcinski. Tea x Zen is an authentic, hands on experiential workshop option while Chawan Festish will allow the enthusiastic and knowledgable Wojinski to regale you with rare and fascinating insights into the ancient art of the Japanese Tea ceremony. Interested? Find out more here 

Slow Clay
May 24 and Friday June 12

Clay for Nepal
Vipoo Srivalasa and Lynda Draper
This brilliant fundraising idea has been conceived and orchestrated Vipoo Srivalasa with assistance from Vicki Grima and Adriana Christiansen. All money generated will go to Oxfam Australia's Earthquake relief appeal.  This is an incredibly important event for the huge group of makers who have donated their works, but more importantly for the people of Nepal who's lives have been devastated by this tragic event.
vessel by wingnut and co
There is a strong connection between ceramicists the world over and in particular there are a number of local potters who have spent time working with their Nepalese counterparts. The list of participating artists is long and includes the creme of contemporary ceramics. Having both an Auction and buy now online shop, has allowed them to showcase works at all price points, so there is really no reason not to get on board.

The auction kicks off May 15 and closes on May 17. The works are amazing and the cause incredibly important so please support them in any way you can. See a complete selection and find out more about it here . Tell your friends, tell your family and let's make this a cracking success.

There's loads more to see make and do this month - listen up to Ramona talking all about it with Kulja and Dylan on the RRR's this morning at around 10am.  Happy Crafting people! Beck.



still breathing

We have officially become bad bloggers and we have no one else to blame but ourselves and one giganto manuscript that is so close to being finished we can almost start to breath normally again. We unchained ourselves from the computers on Friday night to attend a wonderful feast at the newly minted Popcraft Studio in Northcote. We'll be talking about that and other craft delights this morning on The Grapevine on RRR with the lovely Dylan and Kulja.

Unfolding: New Indian Textiles is another great reason to abandon work! Writer and curator Maggie Baxter has had the enviable task of exploring the textile traditions and contemporary style of India, with and extensive exhibition hosted by RMIT Gallery to coincide with her new book on the subject. Surface embellishment, colour, block printing, beading certainly make our pulse race and as we are on the precipice of booking plane tickets as our reward for a year of slog this may just be the inspiration we need in choosing our destination.

We cannot believe that this year marks the 21st anniversary of the Fresh exhibition at Craft. It has been such a pleasure to be involved with this show over the years. Both of us have served on the selection panel at different times and we've watched with interest as some of our favourites from these best of the best graduates shows have gone on to have extraordinary careers in professional craft. Still such an important exhibition on the craft calendar.

We urge you all to make a trip south side to see the new group show Fertile Ground at the Australian Tapestry Workshop . Their Artist in Residence program has grown from strength to strength and last year was a stellar line up. You can see the fruits of their collaborative labour, explore the workshop, and pick up some delicious tapestry yarn while your at it. their 2015 calendar is just as exciting. We are looking forward to hearing one of our craft favourites  Phil Ferguson aka ChiliPhilly discuss his residency on the 7th of April.

For those of you looking for a road trip we highly recommend heading north (if you are based in Melbourne) to Ararat Regional Gallery for an embroidery group show (yes embroidery!) This is a kind of craft blockbuster that is well worth getting in the car for.  Slipstitch features recent work from Mae Finlayson, David Green, Lucas Grogan, Alice Kettle, Tim Moore, Silke Raetze, Demelza Sherwood, Matt Siwerski, Jane Theau, Sera Waters, Elyse Watkins and Ilka White. It's rare to get a discipline specific textiles show so this is a must see. 

If we have time we'll also talk up Easter and school holiday craft. We'll be doing a lot of making over the next two weeks in preparation for our book photo shoot - wish us luck! 
Well be on air around 10.15 1027 on your dial or streaming at RRR.



we're baaaaaaaaaaack

After what seems like an eternity, we are back on air this morning with the wonderful Kulja and Dylan of The Grapevine on RRR (102.7 on your dial!). We are really looking forward to getting back out into the world after a solid three month stint in the Writing Bunker we need to stretch our legs a bit and see what's out there. 
Lucky for us the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival has a bangin arts program this year with some shows already open despite the festival still being a couple of weeks off. We checked out We Wear Future at BSG on Saturday. A sprawling show of 20 artists and designers that, despite being a bit hit and miss, has some real gems. We kinda loved the 'morph jackpacks' by Cadia Belante(above). Turns out we missed a whole floor of this show, doh! A return visit for sure.

Stephen McLaughlan Gallery continues the have sneaky brilliant shows that slip under the radar, the latest is no exception. The Useful Set brings together some of the best ceramicists currently at the wheel (see what we did there)? Jane Sawyer, Prue Venables, Sophie Moran, Elizabeth Masters, Zak Chalmers, Phil Elson and on and on. With the addition of beautiful still life paintings by Lisa Banks this is quite a quiet gathering of marvellous minds. a MUST see.

We'll be talking more about White Goods, the current show on at Craft, later in the week. Suffice to say it's a beautiful meditative show - perfect for hot summer days. We'll also talk a bit about the mysterious National Craft Initiative and the new announcement of a Victorian Craft Award

We'll also tell you more about what we've been doing while on hiatus (a lot of hunching over our computers to be honest) but more excitingly what we are about to do! It's fever pitch here at HML headquarters with a kind of marathon of making ahead that will test our craft mettle to the core. It's nice to be back, we missed you! Happy New Year Everyone… RAMONA & BECK



There is nothing worse than when a blog you know and love goes quiet. You wonder what has happened? Have they lost interest? got sick? died? Well we are popping in to let you know that we are fine. About 2 years ago we were commissioned to write a VERY BIG BOOK. Our deadline is looming (one month to go) and we have gone into the HML bunker to finish it. We will be back February 16th. Wish us luck! See you on the other side
Beck and Ramona