Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Grampians Textures week

I am   teaching for the first time this week at beautiful HALLS GAP, in Victoria at the Grampians Textures.    I have selected some amazing leather for the students.. Can't wait.  Its from the 14th March till thursday 19th..

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Between Milan and Frankfurt. The Bag museum in Amsterdam, then later in Copenhagen.


This is the famous BROWN PAPER LUNCH BAG   BAG.....

Another very interesting design is this TULIP STYLE BAG,  similar are available  for purchase.

 In an elegant canal side 16th century house in Amsterdam,  what was a private collection has become   The TASSEN MUSEUM OF BAGS AND PURSES.    The world's largest ( over 4000 items)  collection extends from the middle ages to the most contemporary designs , demonstrates that the Bag  exists in a wide variety of forms,  functions, materials and  decorations.
To the right is an example of fine crafting and design.Modern  with a Deco influence.    A large display from that period includes beautiful accessories and bags.

I spent many hours looking at the rare and the beautiful, old and new. All examples of functional objects becoming works of art.


The last week of the Europe trip was to visit friends in the capital and be there for a birth, but I found  a very comprehensive Leather and Fittings supplier in the city, SKINDHUSET, and stocked up on interesting pieces from them. They supplied some Australians with their exotic and beautiful fur pelts they said...   The really impressive thing in Denmark, obvious everywhere, was the unique approach to design and then the high level of workmanship in the finished product.  Furniture design stores were like museums as well, with older pieces among the new highlighting the importance of tradition as well as innovation. As in the photogragh below inside a department store, Illums Bolighus , that had all the sections you would find normally,except every single thing in its four levels  was totally unique.  Also in the old town  I enjoyed a visit to a traditional Book Binding workshop where all the wonderful old equipment had been taken over by a very skilled and brave young woman.                         

Monday, 16 February 2015

After Milan, to Frankfurt and Amsterdam

From there and now with Italian coloured pants it was on to the next event, in Germany at Offenbach Internationale Lederwaren Messe ( Frankfurt). Not near the same mega event in size,   though with all the big names from Italy.  German and lots of Dutch producers show their work here.   Certainly more  traditional styling and not a bad thing, but still with  lots of  innovators. especially from Holland   which has a long history producing quality leather and bags too.     Many companies from there feature that washed and worn look in very urban designs with the manufacturing done in India.... The way of things of course..

 At this Fair I did get several bags from the colourful eclectic Desigual stand..(desigual.com)  A large producer that still manages to make a staggering range of individual looking designs that seem to combine bright colour , textures ,effects and zany fittings with great flair.  Luckily they were handing out large shopping bags, that made  good presents for daughters later....  At this fair the  new design accent was on urban styles, soft looks, sport and bike orientated, and again it was amazing to see it all and talk with people there, certainly more english spoken.  All happy to discuss business certainly but also design and work methods.          At a previous visit to Mipel  (1998)   I was wanting to ask about what real (as apart from tourist) courses were available in Italy, and the only person I could find with fluent enough english, was a very helpful and knowledgable elegant gent who gave me his card,   from which I found later that he was a real legend in the industry  and had designed many courses, as well as leatherware.    He lamented that the government there had closed most training courses , unless you were in prison strangely,  though it seems the art / fashion schools were stepping up I found  by the later visit  and of course those offered by Arpel.  At that time also in Australia we were following the same course and really all leather  skills courses for bags and shoes were gone.               Between Milan and Offenbach we had been to Amsterdam to see the worlds best Bag Museum,  see lots of art and see how Gin was made.   We did taste some product, but had to stay aware enough  to dodge the un- swerving bikes  and be able to not breathe in too heavily in the streets around our central hotel ....

Monday, 9 February 2015

   I recently attended the autumn ( Europe )  MIPEL  Fair in Milan. This is where all the best  new work is showcased and a chance to see large and small Labels , and even student designs , mainly from Italy As well as all the current and classic production.    It is held  at the vast Fiera di Milano  at the end of Fashion week.    I met and talked with other designers and  revelled in being surrounded by the best in the world..    
  For me  the centre of design in Leather is Italy    and we are in an exciting period where influences from all ages are used together and styling evolves rapidly,  from  detailed and complex constuction to the  de-constructed.  
  Many thousands of buyers from around the world attend; there are Fashion  shows and  events.  Outside  the vast hall that  the Mipel is housed in,   there are at least another six  for the Footware equivalent!                      

 Some things   don't  change, although this is a different take on glamour in advertising, where it seems always necessary to have a beautiful model  draped around anything.....


Thursday, 1 August 2013

T'Arts The 10th Anniversary..

T'ARTS Gallery   The  10 th Anniversary...

March was the 10th anniversary of T'Arts Collective Gallery in the beautiful Adelaide Arcade. I have been a member since inception visiting about twice a year and enjoying the challenge of being a distant member, though spending time in Adelaide is always a great time...Also to be involved in displays and exhibitions with other members and solo, is a way of finding new design areas.  ....... Though I missed the civic reception, the party was fun and time to catch up with present and past members.......  A book was produced showing members work and explaining their approach to what they make.....




                  URBAN EFFECTS........  
 My latest window display at T"Arts Gallery in Adelaide   is new work in some amazing Italian leathers with interesting and colourful finishes and effects....  On till the end of august..

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Check out the new Hunter Arts Network Facebook website,
 and keep updated on all events and shows in coming months