Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christmas Market

We've got that Christmassy feeling, the tree is up and we have loads of gift ideas in stock for Christmas. 

More works from artists such as:
John D-C, Emma Simmons, Emma Kidd, Herbert & Friends, Meredith Walker-Harding, Melissa Hartley, Jo Everett, Me & Tex and Do A Bit.

At Sweets Workshop we've had a busy few months producing our new Food Fight calendar for 2013, launched a new range of Christmas card designs and (a shop favourite) the Summer Hill map tote bag. Also new to Sweets Workshop are men's and women's T-shirts, designed by John D-C, made and screen printed in Australia. 

Sweets is introducing new frames for our artwork which are carbon neutral and produced by Corban & Blair up the road in Lewisham. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Snack Attack Artists & Writers Announced!

John D-C 
John Debono-Cullen is a graphic artist & his creative projects are heavily influenced by his many interests & hobbies. These usually include a healthy combination of bric-a-brac, screen printing, rock & roll dancing, blues piano, velvet dinner jackets, art deco theatres, record shopping, the creations of Jim Henson, ten pin bowling, the hohner harmonica, 1979 bedford short wheel based vans, print gocco, vintage comic books, white elephant stalls, animation, drive-in movies & Cuba.

Emmajane illustration 
Emma Simmons is an illustrator & graphic designer. As a compulsive collector of shapes, textures, patterns & 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. 

Amanda Kelshaw
Happiest when trawling through mint condition, vintage magazine finds and serendipitously stumbling upon the twee, the typographical and other word meets design jackpots from original sources. This fine tooth comb is Robert Rauschenberg meets Nigella Lawson at a mid-century soirée.

Anais Taylor 
Anais Taylor is a designer & illustrator inspired by nature and her local farmers markets. She aims to create art to inspire people to live more seasonally and sustainably. 

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 & expression, then pieces them together to create creatures that wriggle & dance.  

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 
I see that different foods like different people each have their own personality. I like to create situations involving these food characters that are humorous and relatable. I have been working with food in my art for the last 3 years in both watercolour & sculpture. Food is a great passion of mine, as well as an easily relatable subject for the public. 

Carmen Hui
Carmen Hui is an illustrator/graphic designer from Sydney's Inner West. With a compulsive obsession to document and illustrate everything around her, Carmen attempts to shine a new light on what most people over look and consider ordinary.

Dawn Tan 
With an immense love for food, Melbourne artist & illustrator Dawn Tan creates art inspired by all things delicious. Her work has been featured in magazines & publications such as Frankie Magazine, Yen Magazine and InsideOut and on notable blogs such as The Design Files, Finders Keepers Blog and Desktop Magazine. Ranging from giant food sculptures, to meaty pillowcases, ice cream softies, recipe paintings & even melamine wares; Dawn is unstoppable when it comes to dreaming & whipping up food inspired art! 

Fiona Roderick 
I am a printmaker, usually creating prints of the harbour & flora and fauna, but have been drawn to collage recently; strangely as much as I am drawn to dark chocolate. So a collage using chocolate wrappers was the perfect combination. 

Genevieve Carr & David Graham 
David Graham & Genevieve Carr are a Newcastle and Summer Hill based couple. Their work is a collaboration between David’s writing and Genevieve’s visual art which capture an absurd & surreal vision of the world. Currently completing an honours in Arts & Fine Art respectively they intend to continue working together in 2013 in a series of different formats. 

Herbert & Friends 
Herbert & Friends is a Sydney based softie label created by artist Torunn Higgins. Combining her love of nature, fabric and design, Torunn’s creations take on a life of their own. Her range of softies brings together an odd collection of friends, from turtles to alpacas & anteaters. These quirky characters get up to all kinds of mischief & each one comes with a little account of their latest adventure. The creatures are handmade using recycled felt, up-cycled & new cotton fabrics.

Kate Allan
Vegetarian. Cat lover. Baker. Sewer. When she’s not being Mrs Sprout of Sprout & Bean catering, Kate is looking after her handyman husband & several furry & feathered kids in a rust coloured cottage on top of a mountain. If she’s not busy in the garden growing beans, she’s wielding a knife in the kitchen murdering carrots. 

Lily Edelstein
I’m a 16 year old living in Haberfield, gradually filling my family home with zombies, vampires & morbid imagery. I have a tendency to describe skulls & bats as adorable, & to give impromptu lectures on issues surrounding gender. Teenage goth I may be, using my interests to represent themes I have opinions on: inequality, ignorance, selfishness and materialism frequent my creations. 

Mahani Del Borrello 
With a background in graphic design & photography, Mahani is used to creating artwork with the aid of machines. Feeling nostalgic for a simpler life & with a desire to add more hand-crafted elements to her work, Mahani has begun experimenting with illustration and various printing techniques. Mahani is currently studying printmaking at COFA & aims to incorporate her love of design & photography into her prints. 

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

Narelle Adair Coxhead
I’m a freelance designer and illustrator who lives in the Inner West. I like working both by hand and with my trusty old Mac. For some years I've participated in print portfolio exchanges and group exhibitions with digital works, but this year I’ve done some workshops in traditional printmaking and hope to build on these skills. I’ve worked as a graphic artist/illustrator and studied both visual arts and textile design. My current interests include retro fabrics, 1950’s design; the Paisley motif and the textural possibilities of monotypes. A fan of the still-life genre, I’m fascinated by the strange Dutch Vanitas paintings of the 17th century. 

Nia May
My papercuts illustrate a curious, two-dimensional world foxes, teapots, skeletons, birds & little girls lost. There are no brushstrokes or subtle distinctions of tone & shade in this place – only the edge the scalpel creates – evoking a benign kind of humour & wistfulness for the folly and fantasy of childhood. I make them by using a sharp knife while drinking lots of tea; and my house is often filled with confetti.

Sheree Evelina 
Sheree Evelina is a brand designer and illustrator with a passion for drawing black & white pencil sketches: while sitting in her sunny room in the attic beside her monkey toy; chatting with people in the park/café and munching on her favourite snack, muesli with yogurt. She feels happiest when creating illustrations that tell stories and make people smile.

I am Katy Dee and I'm a human magpie, if I were a bird I would live in a nest the size of the moon. I love to collect, stamp, mix, stick and sew to create handmade eclectic shiz. I love nothing more than to rummage in an op-shop to find old and special things to make into something new. I wish they could tell us their story, where they have been and what they have seen. Using a mixture of new and found things I mix it all up to make a shiztastical item...whether it be jewellery, homeware or a soft furnishing.

Why Not James
The story of Why Not James is true in my mind, I remember being told many years ago that my naming was left right up to when the last minute was called. I imagine this, the moment my parents said Why not James? Why Not James, for everyone deserves their 15 minutes of fame. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Food Fight Exhibition & Publication launch 2012

Our thanks goes out to all of the artists and writers who submitted pieces for this year's SNACK ATTACK edition! The big exhibition and calendar launch will take place on Sunday the 7th October for the Summer Hill Food Festival as a part of Crave Sydney. The festival will be a fun day, come along to experience some of Summer Hill best gourmet delights and to see some amazing new talent.

Stay tuned to our website, we will soon be announcing the artists featured in this year's SNACK ATTACK exhibition and calendar.

Date: Sunday 7th October

Official Opening: ALL DAY

Where: Sweets Workshop, Shop 4, 58-60 Carlton Crescent, Summer Hill 2130

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Exciting NEW publication Format Announced For FOOD FIGHT 2012

We are happy to announce that  Food Fight, the Snack Attack Edition will be produced as a calendar this year!

If you submit your written piece or artwork for Food Fight, the Snack Attack Edition, you have a chance to be featured in the exhibition, and/or limited edition calendar. If you are featured in the Food Fight event, you will receive a free copy of the publication and a bio on our website. 

Sweets Workshop has two major prizes up for grabs. From all of the entries received, Sweets Workshop will select the best artistic and written entries. The winning artist will receive a solo exhibition in 2013. The winning writer will receive a Sweets Workshop gift voucher. 

Get your Snack Attack entries in! The deadline of the 1st September is fast approaching. 

The selection criteria for Food Fight will be at the discretion of Sweets Workshop. The Artists prize for a solo exhibition in 2013 includes the use of the Sweets Workshop exhibition space and free promotion material including flyer, poster and e-invite produced by Sweets Workshop. The Writers prize, a Sweets Workshop gift voucher, is valid on all stock at Sweets Workshop. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Call out for FOOD FIGHT submissions 2012

The SNACK ATTACK – Edition
Food Fight is a yearly collaborative exhibition and accompanying publication produced by Sweets Workshop. The publication will be taking on an exciting all new format, which we will talk more about in the coming weeks!  Food Fight is all about food, pitting image against text, recipe against illustration, photograph against story. In the ring this year – SNACK ATTACK!!

We’re calling for submissions from artists and writers to contribute to the exhibition and publication. What we’re looking for are illustrations, design, photography, recipes, stories, poems and so on, that focus on the theme Snack Attack. It could be about your favourite snack, place to snack or an attack of the snack! 

The exhibition will run from 7th of October to 14th November 2012, with the launch of the publication on the 7th to co-inside with the Summer Hill Food Fair. YUM! The publication will be a limited edition print run. To have a look at what was on offer in previous years for  The Sweet Tooth Edition and The Pack a Picnic Edition.

If your artwork is selected it may feature in the publication and/or the exhibition (where it can be offered for sale). Any written piece or artwork chosen to be included in the Food Fight publication or exhibition will receive a free copy of the publication. 
 Submissions close on the 1st of September 2012. Email us your entry as a low res electronic file (pdf or jpg) to If your work is chosen, we will contact you for high res files. If working digitally please make sure you work to 300dpi, and if working by hand we can organise high res scans. Please feel free to forward this invitation to anyone you think might be interested in contributing. 

For those of you who don’t know about Sweets Workshop we are a retail art gallery which exhibits and stocks art, decorative objects, giftware and independent publications with a strong focus on locally handmade items. Located in Summer Hill, our aim is to offer the community something original, sweet and within reach. We have a dedicated exhibition space, which can feature one particular artist/designer, object, artistic process or theme at a time. The exhibitions change regularly to incorporate as many artists and designers as possible. For information about us please visit our website

The selection criteria for Food Fight will be at the discretion of Sweets Workshop. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Interview with Crafter Katy Dee

The exhibition 'Stitchester' runs from 
14th July – 14th August 2012

What's the concept behind your exhibition and what can people expect to find in your show?
Stitchester is a fictional fabric village.

I wanted to create a tactile, fun and colourful experience using some of my favourite fabrics and materials to bring back nostalgic memories for myself and others.

People will find whimsical treats from the lolly shop, house and fruit shaped cushions to sculptures and Illustrations of the village itself.

What are the mediums and processes you use to create your works?
Each piece is a unique one off. I sketch and design the ideas of the shapes I would like to make then I hand-make a pattern for each item. Each one has a different process depending on the details. The details on the pieces are always done first then I sew it and up stuff it. The little sculptures are free-form patterns usually, finished with a brooch pin hand-sewn onto the back or left alone as a soft sculpture.

I have used a variety of fabrics, beans and stuffing. Choosing and matching the fabrics is a huge part of the process as I like to take time and care to think about what looks and works best together.

You use some lovely patterns and materials, where do you find them?
I love old fabrics and sourcing them... I trawl through op-shops and garage sales, and online stores selling vintage items to find kitsch/chintzy/fun fabric, the bolder and brighter the better! I do have a bit of a thing for floral patterns. I also use newer fabrics as you can’t always find what you need, but I try to buy handmade or vintage whenever I can. It adds something special to a piece and makes it even more unique.

When did you start creating soft sculptures?
About a year and a half ago I started making soft birds, hearts and shapes which have ranged in size from small to very big. I love starting with a sketch or just an idea in my head then making it 3D and somehow more real. It is like giving it life! It’s very exciting filling it up and seeing how it takes shape.

How would you describe your style?
Quirky, colourful and fun. I have always loved bold and bright colours and am known for clashing things together which is dominant in my work. I like to mix and match, play with scale and have fun. I like my work to be enjoyed more than appreciated.

What inspires your work?
I am always looking for inspiration, I read a lot of blogs and am always on the net gawking at something pretty. I also like to get out there and just look. For this project in particular I found myself leaving craft corner to explore the Sydney suburbs for different styles of buildings.

Colour, print and texture inspire me every day.

I have always been inspired by handmade craft and traditional methods with a modern twist. I believe the things we own and wear should be as unique as us. This inspires me to create and to learn new skills.

Stitchester is a whimsical nostalgic memory of English villages captured in fabric, I am from a small town on the south coast of England, surrounded by villages that are very cute, very individual and very old. I enjoyed thinking about visiting Stitchester and the unique things I would like to buy there. I wanted to make these ideas real in fabric for me, and as a tactile experience for others.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Colouring Competition Winners

A big thank you to all the young artists who entered the 'Beasts Unhinged' Colouring competition. We received some fantastic entries! Congratulations to the winners who are featured below, we will be in touch to organise your prizes. Well done! 

The 'Beasts Unhinged' exhibition by Benconservato has been extended until the 10th of July – Our favourite beasts are still lurking about. 

 Amélie & Clementine

 Arieal & Innes

Aurelia & Will

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Interview with Benconservato (Emma Kidd) – 'Beasts Unhinged'

Exhibition runs from 26th May - 10th July

What's the concept behind your exhibition and what can people expect to find in your show?
I wanted to put all my articulated creatures / people in one place at one time. There will be pieces from my mild obsession with "The Magic Flute" and all the reading I have done about it (who knows if it is true?), characters from my mind, that always seem to be a blend of human and animal, if not completely animal. I seem to like chimeras.

What are the mediums and processes you use to create your works? 
Always ink, gouache and a sturdy paper will get me by. I tend to use the ink like a base medium. I always wondered why old masters wanted to paint their canvases black or a colour first, without putting myself in such a high category, I found out why. Gouache goes on top of that... spray with varnish, cut, repeat.

How would you describe your artistic style?
I have had people tell me it is very outsider art, art brut. No idea. Make up your own mind.

Where do you find inspiration for your beastie characters? What do you enjoy about creating them?
To make myself a contradiction, slightly, I do like a lot of art brut, outsider art, so perhaps the inspiration comes from there slightly. When creating them, because I paint all the pieces separately, sometimes,  when I put them together, I find they need more or less, or different legs or something, it is always an evolving thing, even if you thought you had a set idea to begin with.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Interview with Beth-Emily and David Fooks – 'They are Visible'

Exhibition runs from 28th April - 22nd May

Beth and David, what is the concept behind 'They are Visible' and what can people expect to find in your joint exhibition?
Our exhibition 'They are Visible'  is based on the gaze, whether it be a subconscious or a conscious visual connection. The work sets out to meld the visible gaze of the depicted elements, with the emotional gaze of the viewer.
Beth Emily mainly focuses on elements relating to the natural realm. The primary focus is on the disposition and connection between the predator and the prey. The crossover tempestuous gaze exchanged.
David Fooks translates contemporary fashion photography and popular imagery, into a purely aesthetic dialogue between the viewer and the viewed. Using the viewers gaze as a mirror to the subconscious dilution of personal aesthetics, and cultural aesthetics; and notions of beauty and the ethereal.
Although the intention of both artists in depicting the gaze is quite different, the overall aim is the same: to connect and absorb the gaze of the viewer into the visible story created by the imagery.
You can expect to find artworks in the exhibition that subtly suggest or hint at the above notions.

How did the collaborative process work? 
We worked by finding a general idea and based our individual concepts around this. This was achieved by working on individual pieces and by working on a few collaborative pieces as our individual styles lend well to both of these treatments.

How would you describe your individual artistic styles?
Beth - I'm inspired by old traditional craftsmanship, especially botanical illustrative works. I like to mix old traditions with new media and meld soft and hard elements together. I also love to incorporate white space as it gives the composition breathing space.

Dave - My style is strongly shaped by the watercolour medium, with its organic movement, softness and subtleties. Similar to the way a musician will develop a new piece through an instinctual process of improvising on sounds in which they involve an emotional connection, my images usually shape themselves through the same aesthetic emotional instinct.

Do you both work in different mediums? 
Beth - We basically work in the same way, from how we build up a concept through to how we tackle it as a finished art piece. I tend to use a build up of different mediums, they can vary from pencil, graphite pencil washes, watercolour and my favourites medium at the moment gouache. Dave uses mainly watercolour and enhances the details by applying other finer mediums such as watercolour pencils and china graph.

Dave - We both have a history of trialling and incorporating digital methods also, as we both have a graphic design background a lot of those digital techniques and compositional ideas have been carried across as important tools in our current processes. But I think for me, watercolour is my primary medium at the moment.   

What are your influences, how do they affect your work?
Beth - My greatest influence is nature – its sublime beauty and our connection to it. With my artwork, my primary goal is to bring its presence into the forefront of peoples awareness even if it's in a subtle way. I'm also influenced by abstracted thought, textures and partnering soft and hard elements. I tend to fuse these influences together and construct concepts around them. 

Dave - My visual influences are drawn from a wide range of sources; from mass exposed popular imagery blogs, fashion photography,  and contemporary Illustration networks, through to natural elements, sublime landscapes, and the textures of intricately woven fabrics. The inspirations are gathered and processed very instinctually, and compiled as an illustration of an almost subconscious cataloguing of my own aesthetic background, which then present with their own movement, emotion and an open ended narrative.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Interview with Artist Dominic Proust

Exhibition runs from 31st March – 24th April

What's the concept behind Misemono and what can people expect to find in your exhibition?
Misemono is a Japanese word for a sideshow or a type of small, temporary carnival. The exhibition will include a number of new and old pieces.

What are the mediums and processes you use to create your works? 
Most of the pieces in this show are watercolour and gauche, though I am a keen printmaker. I usually do a number of drawings before I paint or print. Sometimes I'll have an idea for an image already finalized in my head, but it seems the subject goes through quite a few changes as I re-draw it. I'll often do a sketch and leave it for a few years until I work out what I was trying to say with it, then I refine the idea. 

What do you enjoy about working on a miniature scale?
I've always worked on a small scale. I relish losing myself in detail. Most of my subjects are understated, seemingly insignificant in most people's day to day lives. I think the scale helps get that across. Miniature things can be quite arresting in a gallery environment. 

How would you describe your artistic style?
An immature, crude version of the kind of illustrations you find in encyclopedia (I love those). Also, I have a life-long interest in animation. I'm sure a lot of the films I've seen have had a significant effect on the way I illustrate.

What are your influences, how do they affect your work?
I draw a lot of my inspiration from the Japanese Zukushi prints. These prints particularized things as varied as animals, toys, and theatre characters. I'm also greatly inspired by the idea of a cabinet of curiosities. Cabinet of curiosities were kind of personal mini-museums. They contained objects from around the world that were yet to be identified or scientifically catalogued. The specimens were often false or incorrectly categorized. 

In essence, what inspires me is the natural world, in particular animals. I'm fascinated by Symbiotic relationships between animals and the relationships humans have with animals.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Interview with Printmaker Fiona Roderick

 Exhibition runs from 3rd – 27th March

What's the concept behind BIRDLIFE and what can people expect to find in your show?
BIRDLIFE evolved from recycling my lino print proofs into collages of beautiful, colourful birds, each with a personality their own! I have found it fascinating, as I am sure visitors will, how the different bird identities have emerged from my discarded prints, they could almost be real. This show has opened up the wonderful world of birds to me, amazing!

What are the mediums and processes you use to create your birds?
As a printmaker I make and sell original lino prints. The ink I use in my original prints is oil based, I use the colour reduction method which sometimes gives me unexpected results. Colour reduction uses one piece of lino which is repeatedly cut and printed with a darker colour each time. Printing can be unpredictable, you can plan and plan, but, you’ll probably get a percentage of prints that aren’t what you were hoping for. This could be because of incorrect registration or not putting enough ink on the roller. That is the exciting part really... the unknown. In the other works I have used plywood, oil paint, and the lino print proofs.

What do you enjoy about printmaking?
I have a studio in Sydenham, which is my shed, somewhere to go to escape to, to focus on my art. I enjoy the physical part of inking up the plate, and putting the lino and paper in the press. And as I have said, the anticipation of the unknown, as you peel the paper from the lino. Its just a beautiful form, the negative and positive space and deciding how to translate something you can see into a two dimensional print, deciding how to cut the lino, which tool, how much to cut and which way. The challenge with lino is deciding when to stop. If you cut too much away you are unable to correct it.

How would you describe your artistic style?
That's difficult! I think my style is fairly loose while working intuitively. I love colour, form and balance. My past life was a visual merchandiser, so I tend to see everything in a square, as if you are looking into a window, telling a story. 

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I think just from everyday life. I have always enjoyed photography and the things that you notice as you walk around. Natural forms, light, colour and finding a composition that catches your eye.

I also find the internet is a great source of inspiration - roaming around the world looking at printmakers and artists from distant lands.

I was born in South Wales and spent years horse riding along the Welsh cliffs which has instilled in me a love of nature and the sea. I love Sydney Harbour, and the ferries, I have created several lino prints of the harbour.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Happy New Year

We hope you had a wonderful festive season. After a lovely break, Sweets Workshop is now open for 2012. We're looking forward to getting the new year started with a great line up of artist exhibitions by Fiona Roderick, Dominic Proust and Beth-Emily.

Keep your eyes on the website for event dates or email us to join our mailing list. 
We wish you all the best for 2012 and hope to see you soon.