Friday, May 15, 2015

Interview with artist Julie Mia Holmes

We speak to printmaker Julie Mia Holmes about the ideas and processes behind her upcoming exhibition Flotsam & Jetsam, which will feature a collection of etchings and embroideries.
6th June – 15th July

Can you tell us about your new show Flotsam & Jetsam? 
Flotsam & Jetsam’ is a collection of etchings and embroideries inspired by a year of beachcombing and the reading of novels.

What has inspired you to create this work?
Beachcombing has a lot to answer for! It is beginning to become a problem…..my studio is starting to fill up with smelly decomposing corals and sea detritus. Things I simply CANNOT leave behind on a walk, they must be drawn!

Every year a large number of migrating Short-tailed Shearwaters (Mutton Birds) get washed up on our beaches. I’m talking truckloads, it’s pretty depressing. They’re doing the long haul from the Arctic to Antarctic. They have the longest migratory path of any bird. No wonder they’re so exhausted by the time they get here. Looking at them on the beach I thought they looked beautiful, serene and at peace – this is in the early stages of death I might add, very much like us in sleep. I took many photos (these guys were NOT coming home with me!) and started some drawings. Picking up a needle and thread just felt like the right thing to do. I wanted to reference medicine and mending things, trying to make something whole again. And then I couldn’t stop! Embroidery gets very addictive.


 
While looking at the Shearwaters I kept thinking about how other sea forms like corals, sponges and seaweeds mimic our own internal organs. Finding them washed up on the beach was as if the sea had belched up it’s own organs. I started to draw the things I collected and made trips to some fantastic rock pools nearby, paying particular attention to different textures, colour and form.

The other important inspiration in this collection of work is my reading life. Working in a Bookstore means lots of reading! I started feeling slightly guilty about reading because it was taking up so much of my art making time – it’s much easier to sit down with a good book than problem solve with a drawing. Then I thought why not use the books I love to make some prints. SO the Book Project started. Every book that I enjoy gets a print made from it. It might be a particular phrase that floats my boat or just a general picture that pops into my head. They’re usually connected to animals or birds and I’ve managed to make 18 so far. It is an ever-growing project!

What artistic processes have you used to create the works in your show?
Etching is my favourite printing method and Aluminium plates have become the base for all of my etching adventures. Aluminium is a lot cheaper than more traditional metals like copper and zinc and you can use less harmful chemicals like copper sulphate in your etchant solutions easily sourced from local hardware stores. You can even pour it on your rose garden when you’re finished with it! 

I’ve incorporated techniques like Sugarlift, a process where a sugar solution, in my case condensed milk (there was a lot of paintbrush licking!) is applied to the plate and left to dry. Then Bitumen is applied to the whole surface of the plate in an even layer and left to dry. THEN you submerge the plate in warm water and let the sugar solution underneath the bitumen dissolve before putting the plate in an etchant bath of copper sulphate. This creates a beautiful texture on the plate similar to those found in corals and rockpools.

There’s also a lot of Drypoint work on my plates. This means drawing straight onto the plate with sharp needlepoint or a handheld drill with different drill bits to create different textures.
 
There are many more printing techniques I’ve used but we’ll be here all day! There is alchemy to printmaking that I love and it’s a constant learning curve. Last week I found out you can’t print white ink from an Aluminium plate. It was something to do with the chemical reaction between the titanium in the ink and the aluminium. The white just kept turning grey!

As for my embroideries I approach them like drawings, every stitch is a new line. I sketch a general outline onto the fabric and then create the details and form as I go.

After making the etchings it just seemed like the natural progression to join the two together and I started to print onto the fabric and stitch over it. Everything always merges in the end!

What are some of the challenges you have experienced in your process?
Printing two large etching plates, one over the other, is always a bit tricky to get the registration right. It’s a nightmare when you pull a beautiful print off the plate only to realise you’ve buggered up the registration. Lots of swearing follows…..
 

The embroideries take a very long time too! I never know how long they’ll take and they always end up taking far longer than I think! I have a problem where I always seem to make things more complicated than what I first intended.

And, there is never enough time!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

An Interview with artist Marilyn Walters


 'Last Light' has been extended until 30th May
We had a chat with Marilyn about her show at Sweets Workshop, which will run from 18th March until 30th May. Marilyn’s exhibition ‘Last Light’ uses the motif of the setting sun to explore the playful interaction of light on different surfaces and objects.


What can the viewer expect to find?   
I hope the viewer will be moved and intrigued by these small works and will find in them joy, wonder and a sense of fun as well as the more sombre aspects of the fading light. I have tried to combine the emotional with the whimsical, the majestic with the minute. Although, throughout my career, I have mainly worked on a large scale I have retained an interest in fragmentation; shards of pottery, traces of human presences in the landscape, fragments of things remembered, recorded for whatever reason. Some of the pieces in this show date back to earlier  encounters with the tiny gestures that make up the whole.


Why the setting sun?
There is a timelessness associated with the sun set.  At any given time an infinite number of sunsets are taking place all over the planet. The fading light has many meanings. Some may see the sunset as an end, a closing, a morbidly mysterious event. Others will find in the last blazing splashes of intense light gathering on the horizon, about to plunge into the deepening shadow beyond, Nature’s ultimate performance. 

At the same time the enduring azure twilight of an English summer evening, brings a new meaning to the idea of the last light of the day. The purple infinity, melancholic softness, the seasonality, holds the promise of a new day yet to come. 


Why use everyday objects?       
These are both scaled down versions of everyday objects and small objects that are so familiar in our everyday lives as to be almost invisible. They combine interesting surfaces with playful reversals of scale. For instance there is a note of absurdity in placing a sunset inside a small box or a number of images of sunsets in a miniature suitcase. But light touches everything in its’ path and it changes every thing it touches, however humble.



What challenges did I find in creating the pieces?
Joyful ones, for the most part. We are dangling here between the conventional paint on canvas aesthetic and something else that might be closer to Pop Art or the souvenir, than say Turner’s wonderful light- saturated world or Monet’s shimmering surfaces. Indeed witnessing the sunsets themselves in Hampshire and Scotland as well as in Sydney, Uluru and Perth was both information gathering and collecting but it was not about recording the thing, but the moment, that fragment of light that somewhere down the track, emerges  and repositions itself.


The biggest challenge was presented (and solved)by the space itself, by Sweets Workshop. I wanted to bring the sunset indoors, into an intimate space, a space that draws the viewer into the surfaces of the pictures and objects and does not endorse the long distance Picturesque stance. Sweets Workshop was perfect. 


Whose artwork do I enjoy?
The list is too long. I tend to respond to what I’m looking at, at what is on at the Galleries or the Movies. This Summer we have been treated to two major Pop Art or Pop Art inspired exhibitions plus a controversial film on the life and art of William Turner. I enjoyed both.
I remain a devotee of both Monet and Antoni Gaudi and of David Hockney. Monet will always be the painter of light. Gaudi’s fragmented world will continue to puzzle  and delight us. David Hockney’s eccentric fragmented installations and shattered landscapes continue to amuse and his incredible draughtsmanship, to inspire.   

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Interview with Artist Emma Kidd (Benconservato) about her 'World of Beasts' Exhibition

Join us for the official exhibition opening
Saturday 2pm, 14th March 2015
We had a chat with Emma about her up coming show at Sweets Workshop, which will run from 11th March until 14th April. Discover a world of strange and peculiar creatures created by Emma Kidd, full of imaginary places and animals that aren’t quite what they seem.
 
Tell us a bit about your show, what can we expect to find in a world of beasts?
My show is a new collection of articulated creatures, some that interact with each other. All are unique and are ready to make your mind wander. 

Where do you get the inspiration for your beastly characters?
Inspiration comes from... real life animals I think. And a healthy dose of Henson movies and shows as a child, and perhaps some more questionable psychedelia, such as "Tommy".
Who’s art/illustration work are you admiring and enjoying?
Work I admire at the moment, I'm not sure actually. I like to see all types of creatives at work. I like the drive to work more impressive at the moment. The walls that people hurdle to be able to do the things they love.
 

What materials do you use, do you have a process that you particularly enjoy when you are creating your characters?
I do love watercolour paper, that is around 300gsm. I like ink and gouache. They have become my favourite materials. 

Has having a little human beast at home inspired your work and changed the way you create?
The small beastie in my house definitely changed my way of working. He made me value time tremendously. He has made me realise I am very much a mortal being and time is something to be valued. It is amazing to see him grow and learn. So yes, he probably inspires me.
 

Your show at Sweets Workshop has been featured in The Sydney Morning Herald Spectrum Now in partnership with ANZ, can you tell us a bit about Spectrum Now?
Spectrum Now is a Sydney-wide Festival from March 11 - 29 with all types of exciting events, exhibitions, and one off happenings. Should be good. Excited to be a part of it.

On Sunday 29th March you will be hosting a ‘Create Your Own Beast’ workshop at Sweets Workshop, what will be be creating?
During my workshops, I either, encourage people create their own animal, person or creature or I provide a variety of templates or already cut out animals, such as horses or giraffes. From there, the sky is the limit. I like people to explore their inner creative, without being too frightened to do so. 



WORKSHOP: Make Your Own Hinged Beast
Emma Kidd (Benconservato) will host a workshop on creating your very own hinged beast. Cut, paint, colour and hinge your own creation to take home. Great fun for children and adults.
Date: 10am, Sunday 29th March.
Cost: The workshop costs $15 and includes all materials.
Time: The length of the class is approx 1-2hrs.
Bookings: Limited positions available, bookings required, contact Sweets Workshop on info@sweetsworkshop.com
Where: Sweets Workshop, Shop 4, 58-60 Carlton Crescent, Summer Hill 2130. (Just opposite Summer Hill train station)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sweets Workshop featured in SMH Spectrum

A couple of weeks ago our shop received a lovely write-up in the Sydney Morning Herald's Spectrum! Just in case you missed the Mystery Shopper article, here it is to check out.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Upcoming Exhibitions at Sweets Workshop

Our exhibition season will be off to a flying start this March for art month. There are creative events all over Sydney for you to check out some diverse artistic talent.


MARCH
14th March until 14th April 2015
A World of Beasts by Benconservato

We will be hosting a new exhibition, A World of Beasts by Benconservato (a.k.a Emma Kidd) for Spectrum Now. Spectrum Now is 'dedicated to bringing the broad-ranging and vibrant cultural and artistic life of Sydney to the streets'.

Emma has been drawing and crafting hand-painted creatures and beasties for many years, her show  creates a believable world of fantasy for everyone to dwell in and take home.



Sunday 29th April 2015
Create Your Own Beast Workshop with Benconservato

On Sunday 29th Emma Kidd will be running a small workshop at Sweets Workshop where you can create your own Hinged Beast, details will be announced in February for bookings. This is a special event for the MOST Event (Marrickville Open Studio Trail). Our gallery will be open on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th of March to welcome people on the arts trail.


APRIL
18th April until 12th May
Last Light by Marilyn Walters

In April Marilyn Walters will turning the sun down on Sweets Workshop. Her exhibition 'Last Light' will use the motif of the setting sun to explore the playful interaction of light on different surfaces and objects.



We will be interviewing both Emma Kidd and Marilyn Walters a little closer to their exhibitions, where we will show you a little more about their processes and concepts.



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Now open for 2015


We are now open for the new year after a fresh coat of paint and a shop rejig. We are looking forward to announcing our first exhibitions for 2015, stay tuned to our website, we'll be spilling the beans at the end of January.

We are closed this Saturday 24th January but from next week, we are back to our normal shop hours, Tues, Wed and Fri 10am until 5.30pm and Saturday from 10am until 4pm. Pop in to enjoy some cool art during the summer heat.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Happy New Year!

We are taking a little time to give the gallery a fresh coat of paint for the new year. We will re-open on the 17th January with our regular hours: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10am - 5.30pm and Saturday 10am - 4pm.

We hope you had a fabulous break and we look forward to revealing our upcoming exhibitions and events for 2015 soon.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Extended December Christmas Opening Hours


Well, it's that time of the year again and we've beefed up the Sweets Workshop opening hours to help you get your Christmas shopping done.  
Throughout December our opening hours will be: 
Monday to Friday: 10am – 6pm
Saturday: 9am – 5pm
Sunday: 10am – 4pm
Christmas Eve till Midday

Friday, October 3, 2014

An interview with Emma Simmons about her new exhibition 'Best Inner West'



  An exhibition of local landscapes by Emma Simmons
Opens 11th Oct - 3rd Nov


About you
I'm Emma Simmons, I am a Sydney based illustrator who enjoys drawing landscapes and suburban scenes. Sydney has a real mixture of architectural styles, offering plenty of inspiration to draw from and a few challenges as well.

I've have also had some fantastic opportunities to illustrate people's own homes, which has been a great challenge and given me quite a few different architectural styles to play with.



How long have you been drawing landscapes?
I started back in 2008, when I was working in Balmain. As Balmain is one of the oldest suburbs of Sydney, many of the buildings had a crumbly charm or 'character' if you like. I was always and am still collecting fabrics, laces and paper textures... and just started thinking about fabric patterns in the way I was thinking about the texture in the buildings.

Since then I have been drawing buildings that I love with their little quirks and buildings that have been a part of the history and lives of people in the inner west. 








How would you describe your style?
My drawing style is fairly loose. My line work is drawn freehand with ink, I add water colour which can create some lovely effects and textures. I then digitally add different textures and fabric patterns that I think might represent a surface well. The end result is a texture rich digital collage.

Along side my digital collages, I have created some small Gocco prints
for this show, hand finished in watercolour and metallic ink.


What interests you in the old inner west?
To be honest I'm interested in the signs of age that visually show a buildings history, whether it be the architectural style or the deteriorating condition. The way that we use these buildings is constantly changing along with the needs of the community and the population and often they are gutted and re-purposed, the suburban landscape is always shifting. 

What can people expect to see at your show?
The show features some of my favourite scenes and buildings of the Inner West. Looking at all of the pieces in the show as a collection, you might say that I have a fascination for recording older buildings, in some cases documenting them before they disappear.




Wednesday, September 17, 2014

'Best Inner West', An Exhibition of Local Landscapes by Emma Simmons



Opens 11th Oct until 3rd Nov

Sweets Workshop's Emma Simmons will be opening her second exhibition of landscapes of the Inner West.

With a huge amount of inspiration in the local area, drawing scenes of Sydney's Inner West has become a little bit of an obsession for Emma. The show will feature some iconic landmarks and show off some of her favourite local private commissions of people's homes. Emma's works are created from ink, watercolour an fabric textures.

'Best Inner West' opens over the weekend of the 11th and 12th of October and closes on the 3rd November. The official opening is at 2.00pm on Saturday 11th October at Sweets Workshop
. The exhibition will also be open on Sunday 12th October as part of the  festivities for Summer Hill's Neighbourhood Feast.

Sneak Peak of 'The Rio Milkbar'

Friday, June 13, 2014

What a Weekend! Sweets Workshop at the Sydney Finders Keepers Market


Our thanks go out to the
Finders Keepers team for having us as part of the Sydney Market last weekend. As always it was a fabulous, fun event, with loads of tempting goodies created by very talented people, to see and buy

It was great to see many familiar faces over the weekend, thank you for swinging by to say hello and spend some time with us. We'd also like to say a thank you to all who took home a little piece of Sweets Workshop with them, we hope you enjoy what we have made.

Head over to our Facebook page to check out some more pics of our weekend at the Sydney Finders Keepers Market.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Sydney Finders Keepers Market


This Friday and Saturday Sweets Workshop will be closed as we are packing up and moving in to the Finders Keepers Markets. We will be launching some of our new illustration works and groovy record bags exclusively for the Sydney Market. The market will be open at 6pm on Friday 6th of June and close at 5pm Saturday 7th June at the Australian Technology Park.

There will be loads of talented designers, musicians and delicious treats to keep you busy and entertained over the long weekend.

We hope to see you there.
(please note, the shop at Summer Hill will be closed on the 6th and 7th June)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Interview with artist Jackie Case

An Exhibition by Jackie Case
26th April - 17th June
You are a Melbourne based artist, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Jackie Case was born and raised in the very ‘Zone One’ suburb of North Balwyn in a Dental Surgery. Yes, the distinct smell of disinfectant and toothpaste feels just like home. Jackie was equal middle child in a large family of six siblings. In such chaos, retreating upstairs with a pad of paper and a handful of pencils Jackie could find peace and relaxation within her own imagination. Drawing was a very private and internal past time, showing others her work made her feel very embarrassed and vulnerable. She would always make her friends hold her folio at the tram stop because she didn’t like people knowing she ‘thought’ she could draw. At sixteen Jackie decided the best way to support herself financially was to get her B.A in Graphic Design, which she later did at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (R.M.I.T). Always with the hope of pursuing a fine art Jackie travelled extensively going to every major Art Museum and Gallery as humanly possible. Finally around 2003 Jackie put down the computer mouse and picked up a pencil... Jackie’s work can now be found in private collections all over the world including representation by Rebecca Hossack Gallery London. 
 Woolly Mammoth

What is the concept behind your upcoming exhibition at Sweets Workshop, what can people expect to find?
The concept for the Sweets Workshop exhibition is small but detailed quirky little slices of life. A mixture of complicated technique with often simple but endearing images. Expect to find anything from ‘Straw Sucking Gold Fish’, to extraordinary detailed trees, if Jackie finds the subject interesting maybe someone else will too. Jackie’s artist style was first inspired by the technique of etchings. The warmth of shading juxtaposed against the beautiful strength of line and intricate detail. Today Jackie focuses heavily on the line work in an effort of produce ever increasing detail.

What materials do you like to work with?

Jackie uses simple pencil and eraser as well as some ink on paper to create her drawings. Her technique has been perfected over many years and countless hours of drawing. Her fine drawing ingenuity she attributes to her Father (the Dental Surgeon) with steady hands she too inherited. 
Couldface Woodface

What inspires your work?
Everything inspires Jackie’s work. She has ‘lifetimes’ of ideas and even if she revisits an idea again she finds there are so many directions they can go. At the start of each drawing session Jackie simply doesn’t know what drawings she will produce. “It’s exciting to just wait and see what comes. To stare at a blank piece of paper and not know what to draw lasts only for a second. These are often my best drawings as I have no preconceived ideas.”
 

Do you have any advice for emerging artists?
“My advice to emerging artists is show your work as often as possible. I started out in my local Cafe. It’s a great place to learn what sells and what works for your audience. The costs are minimal and your out lay is basically your time. Learning to get ‘over myself’ was probably the most difficult first step. Another great piece of advice I go was from a dear friend; “Just because a work doesn’t sell doesn’t mean it’s not good. You just haven’t found your right audience”. I’m really excited about showing at Sweets Workshop. It’s the wonderful mixture of small and quirky, with real heart and soul...” just like Jackie Case’s drawings.     

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Interview with artist Nic Dalton


Nic Dalton kicks off our exhibition season for 2014 
with his show opening 15th Feb until 11th March 2014.

Nic has worked in the music industry for many years. He's a musician with his own label and has played in numerous bands including the Lemonheads and Ratcat, he also DJ's regularly around Sydney. Something you might not know about Nic is that he is an artist at heart. In this interview Nic talks about returning to his first passion and working on his 'first ever' painting exhibition.


Tell us a bit about you and your background, you are not just an artist...
 When I left school in the early 80s, my parents wanted me to go to art school in Sydney like my eldest sister did.  I thought that if I went to art school, I’d start a band with fellow students and we’d all fight over who got to design the record covers.  So I went and started a band instead. When I would run into old school friends, they couldn’t believe I wasn’t doing art.  I did feel like I had left my true love (art) and taken up with that wild and crazy girl (music). But over the last thirty years of being a musician and songwriter, I have done so much art, not just for all the bands I’ve been in, but for my record label Half A Cow and the bookshop of the same name. I have sold paintings online to friends and fans over the years but this is my first exhibition of my artwork.

This is your first solo art exhibition though you've been creating art for many years, have you enjoyed putting the show together? What have been some of the challenges you have faced? 
 I started working on new work for this exhibition in the middle of 2012 and thought I’d be ready around six months ago. How wrong I was! Even though I pretty much had every day available to paint, life (in the form of two young children and late nights djing or playing shows) got in the way. Since this is my first public display, I really felt I had to lift my game and challenge myself with some new ideas. A local gypsy jazz band called the Spyglass Gypsies inspired me to do some paintings of them and I have found these to be a lot more work that I anticipated!

 

Can you tell us about the concept and ideas explored in your show, what can people expect to see? 
Most of the art is from the last year and a half but I have also included one or two older ones that I wanted to be a part of the exhibition. Like my music, there is a bit of variety but I have a few themes I have always liked to paint. These are homely tea pot scenes, my ‘alien’ characters (an indigenous tribe of world travelers) and pop art collage pieces that I have been refining since school days. Bright and poppy, just like a Monkees song.

  

Can you tell us a bit about your artistic processes?
I use acrylic paints (from years of touring, the paintings can be packed away in a jiffy as they dry so quickly!) and collage. I have a large supply of old magazines, record covers from the 50s and 60s and a huge box of those colour test strips from packaging that seems to make its way onto most of my artwork!

What inspires your work? 
Sport. No, only joking. As far as other artists go, I am inspired by so much great art of the Twentieth Century (Marc Chagall, Martin Sharp, Albert Tucker, Warhol, Sydney Long, Sonia Delaunay, Mondrian, Charles Blackman, the Art Deco movement and architecture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh) and the art and spirit of the original Australians. Music and books also inspire my subject matter as does a good cup of tea and a lie down.



Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Hours

We'll be open right up until Christmas Eve this year.
Sunday 11am – 2pm
Monday 9am – 6.30pm
Tuesday 9am – 12pm

We hope you have a great festive season, we look forward to seeing you in the New Year!
Sweet Workshop will re-open for 2014 in mid January.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Christmas Showcase


Over the Christmas season we'll be showcasing some of our favourite artists. We would also like to welcome a handful of new artists to the gallery including inner-west locals Eli Gallwey, Filippa Buttitta,  as well as Bricks & Paper. To find out more about these artists visit out Featured Artists page. 


We're looking forward to taking part in the Summer Sydney Finders Keepers Market opening on Friday 6th - Saturday 7th December. We'll be selling our new Christmas decorations 'Speech baubles' as well as our Christmas Card range. Of course Sweets Workshop will be bringing along our own brand of tea towel designs, poster and art prints, zines and stationery. We'll be happy to see familiar faces, so if you  are checking out the market, pop by and say hi! 


OPENING SUNDAYS:  To help fight the Christmas rush, from the 10th December Sweets Workshop will also be opening on Sundays from 11am - 2pm, right up until Christmas Eve. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Food Fight - The Festive Feast Artists & writers revealed




Our 4th annual Food Fight exhibition and calendar launch is on this Sunday 13th Oct for the Summer Hill Neighbourhood Feast, which is part of Sydney's Good Food Month

The fabulous artists and writers to check out in this 2013's Food Fight event are:

John D-C
I am a Graphic Designer, Illustrator and Toy Customiser. I use a mix of traditional hand-generated techniques along with digital processes to achieve a look that is new but that also has a very vintage commercial illustrative feel to it. I like to fill my creative work with colourful references to popular culture taken from my many hobbies and interests which usually include a healthy combination of comic books, 1980’s cinema, rock and roll music, vintage action figures, 1950’s movie posters and Saturday morning cartoons.

Emmajane Illustration
Emma Simmons is an illustrator and graphic designer. As a compulsive collector of shapes, textures, patterns and fabrics, I have a huge source of inspiration to draw from – but I need a bigger cupboard. Much of my work is collage based, I relish getting away from the computer and doing things by hand. 

Bev Malzard
Bev Malzard is a woman of significant age. For decades, even before the new millennium, she has worked as a journo, mainly in travel writing. In her journeys she has always been on the lookout for great food. She eats it, photographs it and writes about it. Sweet and savoury: but sweet wins her heart every time – she thinks there should be a little sugar in everyone’s life.

Bonnie Boogaard
Bonnie Boogaard is a Perth based artist whose love for food inspires her watercolour paintings and sculpture work. She likes to create fun and happy artwork that can be enjoyed by a large audience. Bonnie gained her Bachelor of Arts from Curtin University in 2010, studied her honours in Paris in 2011 and has been creating food based art ever since.

Carmen Hui
An illustrator from Sydney’s Inner West, Carmen is very much inspired by animals and nature. Often working with mixed media, her work is very much influenced by early botanical and anatomical drawings. When she is not drawing, you will very likely find her either crafting like a crazy nanna or sharing milky tea with her cat Miso.

Dianne Conlon
I’ve loved arts and crafts forever, my playroom is overflowing with stuff ready for whatever inspiration comes to mind. New materials to experiment with is my guilty pleasure but the traditional crafts should not be ignored either. Practice, practice, practice and have fun is the best advice ever given.

Emma Kidd (Benconservato)
Emma Kidd works in a room of black painted paper, paint, metal brads & disjointed limbs. Full pieces of paper & scraps litter most surfaces in her flat (she even finds paper pieces in bed). She carefully creates each body, feather and expression, then pieces them together to create creatures that wriggle & dance.

Glenn Harvey
Glenn has 17 years’ experience producing unique designs that give clients a point of difference. Glenn has produced work for Disney, Mattel, Virgin and a number of small businesses. In Beaster Egg, his two great loves - chocolate and design, have finally come together.

Julie Mia Holmes
Julie is a printmaker and artist who lives on the South Coast of NSW.   When she’s not pecking about her studio making feathered and furry work she earns her feed moonlighting as a bookseller & wholefoods retailer.

Kate Allan
Vegetarian. Animal lover. Baker. Sewer. When she’s not being Mrs Sprout of Sprout & Bean catering, she’s fighting the dogs for the couch, the cats for the bed, chasing the chickens and making treats for her husband. She can be found teapot in hand, looking after all of them in a rust coloured cottage on top of a mountain. If she’s not in the garden growing beans, she’s wielding a knife in the kitchen murdering carrots.

Meredith Walker-Harding
Part time puppeteer, tour organiser & ukelele player; full time tea drinker, pineapple enthusiast, crafter and sweet treat baker for Sprout & Bean catering.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

JOIN US FOR OUR FOUTH ANNUAL FOOD FIGHT!



FOOD FIGHT
13th October - 6th November 2013

At Sweets Workshop we love art, not to mention food. Our annual Food Fight event combines these two passions by inviting artists and writers to submit pieces around a specified food theme during Sydney's Good Food Month

This is our 4th collaborative Food Fight exhibition and accompanying calendar produced by Sweets Workshop. Food Fight is all about food, pitting image against text, recipe against illustration, photograph against story. In the ring this year – FESTIVE FEAST!! 

The official exhibition opening and calendar launch will take place on the 13th October to co-inside with the Summer Hill Neighbourhood Feast and Sydney's Good Food Month. The exhibition will run from Sunday, 13th of October until Wednesday, 6th November 2013. The calendar is a limited edition print run, printed on 100% recycled paper and will be available from Sweets Workshop while stocks last.


Date: Launch day - Sunday 13th Oct 2013 for the Summer Hill Neighbourhood Feast
Exhibition runs from 13th October - 6th November 2013
Where: Sweets Workshop, Shop 4, 58-60 Carlton Crescent, Summer Hill 2130 


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Interview with stencil artist Maria Harding


Stencil Portraits on reclaimed wood by Maria Harding
EXHIBITION EXTENDED UNTIL 24th SEPTEMBER

What is the concept behind ‘Chasing Rainbows’ and what can people expect to see in your exhibition?
Since starting Stencil Portraits in 2011, I’ve absolutely loved creating custom portraits of children, capturing a moment in time and making it into something that can be treasured for years to come as an artwork.  But with all my portraits, I’ve had to part with them as they’ve been commissions for other people. So I thought it would be really nice to create some of my own personal portraits and have a bit of fun with them by adding whimsical and imaginative aspects to them and giving myself the freedom of doing my own thing.

People can expect to see joyful paintings of kids all engaged in fun nostalgic activities all painted on variety of wooden pieces.


Can you tell us a bit about the artistic processes you use to create your work? 
It starts with an idea in my head, a memory from my childhood or often an idea sparked from something my 3 year old has said or done. Then I’ll take photos of my son and his friends playing and work out which of these can be interpreted into my idea. I start out in photoshop, working with initially a filter, then redrawing and reworking elements to get the desired two tone effect. Then I print it out and hand cut the stencils, before painting with acrylic paints. I should say this is also a bit of a team effort as my husband has helped me in cutting, sanding and sticking together the planks of reclaimed wood ready for me to paint on. I can’t saw in a straight line so without him, I think I would have had to stick with canvases!



What lead you to work with reclaimed materials, what do you enjoy about it?
I love the idea of taking something that has been discarded and destined for landfill and turning it into something beautiful, and wood has so much potential for this. I often see offcuts/ old furniture thrown out on roadsides in my neighbourhood and one day picked one up and thought it would make a great little ‘canvas’. Painting on wood, especially if its got alot of natural grain or is rough cut has its challenges but I also find it so much more rewarding than painting on canvas and enjoy working with the texture, I feel it adds more depth and character to a painting.



What inspires your work? 
I’m inspired by alot of different things and people. My little boy is hugely inspiring with his abundant energy and enthusiasm for life, and I find kids in general inspiring as they remind me of my childhood and all the imagined worlds and games I would play in. Artistically, I’m inspired by street art, abstract art, interior design and expressive portraiture. I’m a big fan of colour, and get inspired when I see nice colour schemes, in nature or otherwise. At the moment with it being winter, I”m loving the sunsets we get around Marrickville - there are some awe-inspiring colours out there.

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