The past few weeks have been full of researching and sourcing a rich tapestry of beautiful materials. Many of my works respond directly to a material’s properties and nature. Sometimes it’s a material’s translucency, figure or friction that I am working with. At other times it may be weight, thinness, shadow, structure or simplicity that I am drawn to. A search for a natural rhythm coupled with a responsive intuition to materials means that my work is never finished and the process of understanding and exploring is never over.
I am always on the hunt for interesting materials, processes and passionate people with unique knowledge of the materials they work with. I travel to some far and distant places and form important relationships with craftsmen, stockists and suppliers. Here are a sample of a few of the places I have visited to source materials for upcoming projects.
Uncovering some of my ceramics vessels made while study Visual Arts at QUT back in 2001 spurred me to see if Pottery Suppliers Milton, the local shop I used to frequent, was still based in the same location. To my delight it was and still stocked a full range of clays, glazes, reference books, and tools while also offering firing services.
I have also been spending a lot of time at Mac-lace, a leather supplier. My Nanna used to visit Mac-lace and Jolly & Bachelor in the 1940s and 50s when they were based in South Brisbane. My mum (who taught me leather work) shopped there in the 60s and 70s. I was lucky enough to visit Mac-Lace in its South Brisbane home in the early 90s just before it moved to East Brisbane then Capalaba. Great to see it’s still going strong!
The Big Red Shed’s been supplying recycled timber for as long as I can remember. On walking in to their timber yard I was transported by the scent of freshly sawn hardwood, the sight of each unique piece of timber and hearing provenance and previous life story.
In the process of designing an exhibition for a client I have been working with Brand Productions for the fabrication of the exhibition’s display devices, signage panels and custom vinyl signage. I have worked with Brand over the last ten years on projects for the Museum of Brisbane as well as for my own exhibition signage installations. Every time I visit they are making interesting things and are always on the go!