Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! We would like to announce some exciting news, the Sweets Workshop family is expanding, we are awaiting the arrival of a Sweet little baby in the New Year. We wish you and your families a fantastic Festive Season, thank you for all of your support throughout 2015, see you in mid Jan 2016.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Saturday, December 5, 2015

This Christmas Shop Locally & Creatively

Get all your Christmas shopping done without setting foot out of the Inner West. Sweets Workshop is located in Summer Hill Village and offers a broad collection of local and emerging artist's work, ranging form children's books to original artworks. If you can't decide what to get for your KK, Bestie or Grandma we also offer gift vouchers in store. You can also shop online here.

Throughout December we have also extended our opening hours to:

Monday: 11am – 2pm
Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday:
10am – 6.30pm
Saturday: 9am – 5pm
11am – 2pm
Closed: Thursday

We wish you a very Merry Christmas 

& a Happy New Year!

Thanks you for all of your support throughout 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Food Fight 2015 Exhibition & Calendar Launch

Join us on Sunday the 11th October for the official launch of our Food Fight event for 2015. 

Food Fight is an annual exhibition & calendar featuring artwork & recipes by Australian artists & makers focusing on this year's theme of Seasonal Love.

The exhibition & calendar will launch at Sweets Workshop to coincide with the Summer Hill Feast of Flavours Festival, which is always a delicious event.

Food Fight features loads of local Sydney based talent and Sweets Workshop favourites Including: Antipastel, Meredith Walker- Harding, Jess Chen, Beth Josey, Julie Mia Holmes, Kyle Fernandes, Carmen Hui, Emma Simmons, Emma Kidd, John D-C, Nic Dalton and Fiona Roderick.

The exhibition will run until the 11th November 2015.
Shop 4, 58-60 Carlton Cres Summer Hill (just opp the Summer Hill Train Station)

Friday, August 14, 2015

POMS AWAY! An Interview with Crafter Meredith Walker-Harding about her upcoming exhibition at Sweets Workshop

 By Meredith Walker-Harding
22 August - 3 October

What is your exhibition ‘Poms Away’ about, what can people expect to see in the show?
‘Poms Away’ is a celebration of the humble Pom Pom! People can expect to see poms attached to all sorts of things: garlands, chandeliers, cushions, wall hangings, baskets, pennants - basically anything I could whack a pom on!

Why the Pom Pom?
I love how tactile, accessible and nostalgic poms are.
Everyone can remember making them in primary school arts and crafts: sitting cross-legged on the carpet, trying to squish a big ball of cheap acrylic wool through the holes of two crookedly cut cardboard donuts. After what seemed like hours of wrapping, snipping and failed attempts of securely tying off, your heart would swell with joy when you popped out the finished product - a cute, squishy, colourful ball of fluff! 

My materials and making methods may have changed, but I am still struck with wonder  each time I make one, at how something with such ordinary beginnings can turn out to be so beautiful!

Can you tell us where you get your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from all sorts of places - traditional Polish holiday decorations, the quilts of Gee’s Bend in Alabama, vintage sports pennants, Japanese fabric, flower markets, craft stores and Pinterest to name a few.

What are some of the challenges you have experienced in your process?
Cleaning up after an epic pom-making session can be a challenge - that fluff gets everywhere!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sweets Workshop's 5th Birthday YAY!

It's our birthday at Sweets Workshop and over the course of the past 5 years we've had the pleasure of hosting some wonderful exhibitions. We'd love to take this opportunity to thank all of the artists and art lovers who have been a part of Sweets Workshop.

Take a quick trip down memory lane and have a look back at the last 5 years of Sweets Workshop in the video above. We hope to continue bringing new and exciting locally produced art and design to Summer Hill for many years to come.

Lots of Love
Emma and John ox

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… 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
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.

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.

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.