Tag Archives: events

The launch of the Stellar Collection at Tait's Sydney Showroom. Photography Fiona Susanto courtesy of Tait.

The launch of the Stellar Collection at TAIT’S Sydney Showroom. Photography Fiona Susanto courtesy of TAIT.

The Stellar Collection was launched in Melbourne and Sydney during October and November 2014. I so enjoyed these events with TAIT because after all our hard work we shared Stellar with such lovely people. It’s a pleasure to post a transcript of the short speech I gave on the occasion of the launch of Stellar in Sydney, on 6 November 2014.

In the moment welcoming guests

Christina Waterson in the moment welcoming guests. Photography Fiona Susanto courtesy of TAIT.

Thank you for sharing this special evening with us as we launch the Stellar Collection.

The Stellar Collection was inspired by the night sky. As a child I was in awe of the Milky Way’s beauty and would spend many a hot summer’s night out on the water tank star watching. My brothers and I would look for satellites and shooting stars, often making our own constellations using the stars we could see, and our different interests as a reference point. This playfulness is at the heart of the Stellar Collection as it encourages people to become modern-day astronomers, making their own constellations and patterns in the form of sculptural screens, ceilings, wall reliefs and objects.

While the names and patterns for our traditional constellations are inherited from Greek mythology, almost every culture on earth envisaged patterns in the stars that captured their unique culture and nature. For Stellar’s signature patterns I re-imagined the stars in the night sky to form a set of new constellations based on the patterns and lines of Australian flora and fauna.

Avid audience

Avid audience listens to Gordon Tait’s MCing for the Sydney Launch of Stellar. Photography Fiona Susanto courtesy of TAIT.

Tonight we are launching three signature patterns in the Stellar Collection called Kingii, Banksia and Rosella. Kingii reflects the distinct form of the Frilled-neck lizard’s open mouth. Patterns within the Banksia’s flower spikes at different stages of growth and blooming are reflected in the Banksia pattern. And my favourite pattern in the collection, Rosella, captures the moment when a family of Rosellas (birdies) alight from feeding on grass seed and pine nuts.

My passion is to create large-scale intricate surfaces whose depth, detail, and effect on light and shadow transform and bring a finer grain to the spaces around us. Therefore it’ only natural that Stellar’s elements form sculptural screens, wall reliefs and ceilings. The elements also make both functional and sculptural objects and we have a few of our favourites on show tonight.

We are delighted to share the Stellar Collection with you and can’t wait to see the unique patterns, objects and colour combinations that you create with Stellar.

Thank you and enjoy the evening.

What a wonderful evening. Thank you to all who attended for making it so special!

What a wonderful evening made special by the lovely guests. Photography Fiona Susanto courtesy of TAIT.

Gordon Tait and Susan Tait.

Gordon and Susan Tait sharing a special moment with Christina Waterson. Photography Fiona Susanto courtesy of TAIT.

Stellar is a credit to all involved in the process. A massive thank you to Susan and Gordon Tait for your generosity of spirit and belief in realising the Stellar Collection. Thank you to TAIT’S fabulous team whose skill and expertise across all areas of streamlining, fabricating and sharing Stellar make it unique. To Max&You thank you for your amazing energy on all things marketing and publicity of Stellar for TAIT, and especially such enjoyable launch events. Thank you Mr Cameron Bruhn for MCing Stellar’s Melbourne Launch, and Gordon Tait for MCing the Stellar’s Sydney Launch – you both brought a personal touch through the insights you shared.

Thank you to all who attended the launch events – it was great meeting such lovely, enthusiastic and talented individuals.

Visit TAIT for more information about the Stellar Collection.

My Torbreck Home and Studio of Seven Years. Photography Aidan Murphy.

My Torbreck Home and Studio of Seven Years. Photography Aidan Murphy 2008.

Maybe you’ve noticed I have been extremely quiet of late. I’ve been busy planning, packing and de-cluttering in preparation for moving from my precious Torbreck studio and home of seven years. It was a major undertaking, made more difficult by the success of my creative practice and a very busy 2014. A good problem to have – yes!

I launched my creative business from this studio in 2007. The unique light and outlook at Torbreck has been inspirational. Many of my collections including The Komodo Series 2008; The Bloom Series 2009; Scale Screen 2012; Shadow Set 2012 and Soft Cell 2012/14 were conceived or made as small tentative studies at this special address.

The Komodo Series 2008 by Christina Waterson including (L > R) Study, Solid X-Screen and Plexa Screen 2008. Photography Christina Waterson 2014.

The Komodo Series 2008 by Christina Waterson including (L > R) Poly Woven Study, X-Screen (Solid Edition) and Plexa Screen 2008. Photography Christina Waterson 2014.

Early morning in the studio, April 2014. Photography Christina Waterson 2014.

Early one morning in my Studio, April 2014. Photography Christina Waterson 2014.

2014 Portait Christina Waterson.

A special inspirational place. Me pictured with Fall 2002 and Taking Flight parts 2010. Portrait for 2014.

For me this place represents freedom and escape, light and openness, and I feel many of these aspects are part of the work I conceived and made while residing and working there in the sky. While I am deeply saddened to leave this special place I know an exciting new chapter is just beginning.


Always home for sunset. Photography Christina Waterson 2014.

A special thank you to Linda, Ty, Alex and David from Torbreck who everyday go above and beyond to make Torbreck a special place to live and enjoy!



Launching the Why We Create Series in 2012 at Pin-up Project Space Melbourne. Photography James Braund.

Throughout my creative practice I enjoy sharing knowledge through writing, blogging, lectures, talks and workshops. It may come as a surprise to you just how active I am in this area. It’s an integral part of my practice, if not sometimes the most important.  Why? I feel sharing my perspective and experience in this way may encourage other practitioners, bring perspective to professions about the importance of design and creative thinking; share an understanding of the process behind realising creative projects and encourage people to find their own groove and path in the world.

On the eve of presenting a series of workshops and talks for QUT Art Museum as part of the WOOD: art design architecture exhibition (presently at QUT Art Museum) I reflect on some of the key knowledge sharing moments I have enjoyed along the way.


Sharing the making and concept behind Tracelet 2012. Photography James Braund.

Since starting my blog in 2011 I have enjoyed writing about creative practitioners’ work as well sharing the background to my own practice and process. During this time I also contributed as a freelance writer and photographer for ArchitectureAU and worked as Creative Director for Howwecreate.

QUT Landscape Design Studio Workshops 2009. Photography Christina Waterson.

QUT Landscape Design Studio Workshops, 2009. Photography Christina Waterson.

Pattern and Tectonic’ Workshops for Brisbane State High School Year 11 Art Students in early 2013 culminated in their annual CREATE event. An Art + Place Workshop and Talk, for Arts Queensland, at Noosa in 2012 led to a chance meeting with architect Phillip Daffara (PlaceSense). My inclusion in a series of Workshops with artists Nicole Voevodin-Cash (Public art and Landform) and James Muller (New media/Film maker) for Montessori International College Students the same year came from this first meeting. The workshops engaged students and staff to use art practices in galvanising concepts, developing guiding principles to articulate the Art+Place vision; and identifying opportunities for integrated artworks within the College’s new campus.

Why We Create's Queensland Launch

Why We Create’s Queensland Launch in 2012 at Trace on James Street.

Side Project Interview with architect Shane Thompson.

SLQ APDL Side Project Interview with architect Shane Thompson. Image Courtesy of APDL.

There have been a host of public lectures and forums each with their own unique focus, content and audience. Most memorable were an SLQ Side Project Interview with Architect Shane Thompson in 2012, Pecha Kucha UNLIMITED Talk (State Library of Qld) in 2010, World IP Day Talk QUT (Kelvin Grove Campus) and Pecha Kucha Vol 01 (Brisbane Powerhouse) in 2008. I recently gave a talk to design students visiting DesignEX 2014. I presented alongside the exceptionally talented practitioners Gordon Tait (TAIT) and Adam Goodrum in a session chaired by Penny Craswell. I so enjoyed seeing Gordon and Adam’s inspirational work!

Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award Talk at Redland Gallery in 2008.

Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award Floor Talk at Redland Gallery in 2008.

Artist Talks are a lovely way to connect with people and share knowledge on a more intimate level. My most memorable and enjoyable artist talks include one held at the Rosshilli House, Ipswich (Queensland), a Gold Coast Chapter DIA Breakfast Talk in 2010, and a Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award Talk at the Redlands Regional Art Gallery in 2008.

Bond Uni Guest Critic

Guest Critic for Bond Uni Architecture Design Studio Crits in 2013. Photography Courtesy of Bond University.

Guest lecturing and critiquing is also important and takes a lot of energy to ensure feedback is specific, clear and relevant to each student and their project. Last week I had the pleasure of being a guest critic for Suzanne Bosanquet’s 3rd Year Design Studio at University of Queensland (UQ). I have been a guest critic across a diverse range of design fields including Architecture Design, Interior Design and Landscape Design at The Queensland University of Technology, University of Queensland and Bond University.

The 2014 Australian Interior Design Awards Jury.

The 2014 AIDA jury (L-R): Paul Kelly, Susanna Bilardo, Hamish Guthrie, Joanne Cys (jury convenor), Geraldine Maher, Victoria Judge, Matthew Blain, Christina Waterson and Ryan Russell. Not pictured is jury sustainability advisor, John Gertsakis. Photography Jonathan Butler. Courtesy of ArchitectureAU.

Being a member of the judging panel for 2013 The Australian Interior Design Awards and returning as a Co-Chair for the Awards in 2014 was insightful, affirming and fantastic to contribute to the design profession in this way. Other guest judging roles I have undertaken include for the 2008 Noosa Regional Travelling Scholarship, and 2012 Launchpad Programme.

You never know the difference made through sharing in these ways. I encourage you to be generous with your time, ideas and perspective when it comes to knowledge sharing. Your biggest legacy may well be how you inspire people to greater things in their own practice.

See QUT Museum’s website for WOOD Workshops in June 2014. I am also presenting a public floor talk on Thursday 12 June 2014 at the QUT Art Museum.

An intimate lunch.

An intimate lunch at Space Furniture, Melbourne.

I was blessed to attend an intimate lunch hosted by one of my all time design heroes – Patricia Urquiola, at Space showroom, Melbourne. Patricia and partner in life and business Alberto Zontone were in Australia at the end of November for Space Furniture’s 20th birthday celebrations!

Spanish-born architect and designer Patricia Urquiola is one of the world’s most renowned designers. Her designs, such as Smock or Tropicalia Chairs and the tactile Dechirer tile range for Mutina, are inspirational. Each of her projects show an understanding and respect for materials, exquisite and sensitive detail, and a beautiful playfulness.

Yes, I am in awe of her work. To meet Patricia and find she is also a generous, intelligent and down to earth woman just really blew me away! I was speechless after spending lunch with her and I still am now!

Dhiren Bhagwandas and Jon HOlland. Photography Courtesy of Space Furniture.

Designer Dhiren Bhagwandas and Jon Holland (Space Furniture, State Manager). Photography Courtesy of Space Furniture.

Good company, great conversation and a special meal shared. Photography Courtesy of Space Furniture.

Good company, great conversation and a special meal shared. Helen Kontouris with Nick Rennie. Photography Courtesy of Space Furniture.

The other special Australian designers that shared the experience were Lisa Vincitorio, Helen Kontouris, Nick Rennie, Dhiren Bhagwandas and Emma Aiston and Daniel To (Daniel-Emma). Wow… such esteemed company and a great experience!

Patricia Urquiola!

Patricia Urquiola so kindly wearing my gift!

When I gave a set of my Tracelets to Patricia she exclaimed, “I have nothing to give you!” Patricia has given so much already through her inspirational work!

Thank you Patricia and Alberto; all of the Australian designers that attended; and especially Jon Holland, State Manager of Space Furniture, Melbourne for a great experience and initiative!

Parallel Nippon Contemporary Japanese Architecture 1996 – 2006 opened at artisan: idea skill product in fortitude Valley on 8 August 2013. Photography Christina Waterson.

Parallel Nippon Contemporary Japanese Architecture 1996 – 2006 opened at artisan: idea skill product in Fortitude Valley on 8 August 2013. Photography Christina Waterson.

To conclude my wrap of the exhibitions and events I visited throughout August I would like to make special mention of the thoroughly enjoyable evening I had at the Parallel Nippon opening hosted by artisan: idea skill product, on 8 August 2013.  I attended the opening on the generous invitation of Raymond Quek (Professor of Architecture at the Soheil Abedian School of Architecture).

Professor Raymond Quek, Dr. Paul Emmons and Christopher Hill. Photography Christina Waterson.

Professor Raymond Quek, Dr. Paul Emmons and Christopher Hill (Linedota). Photography Christina Waterson.

Raymond was also accompanied by Christopher Hill (International Adjunct Teaching Fellow at Bond University and Co-Founding Architect of Linedota, London) and Dr. Paul Emmons (Associate Professor at the Washington – Alexandria Architecture Centre of Virginia Tech). Paul was in town after presenting his lecture “Embodied Orthographic View of the Architect” as part of Bond University’s 2013 Architectural Lecture Series.

Traditional Music enjoyed. Photography Christina Waterson.

Traditional music accompanied the opening at artisan. Photography Christina Waterson.

Guests attending the exhibition opening enjoyed tracing the evolution of Japanese Architecture between 1996 and 2006 while enjoying traditional music and intelligent conversation.

It was interesting to see many projects I’d personally visited, summarised here in an exhibition format. How hard it is to translate through exhibition the true experience and joy of architecture. One must experience architecture in the flesh; in time; through arrival and the sequence of spaces; and within a greater context.

Parallel Nippon at artisan

Parallel Nippon exhibition panels. Photography Christina Waterson.

And then there is the detail, of which an exhibition can offer but a taste and only encourage one to undertake an international quest. I am dreaming of travel; especially a return to Japan in the not too distant future. Parallel Nippon only further ignited this feeling in me.

Now I must hasten to the joyous and ever shifting present…

But first a special thank you to Professor Raymond Quek for such a kind invitation to attend the opening. Further gratitude to Raymond, Christopher Hill and Dr Paul Emmons for making it a most enjoyable evening.

For more on the travelling exhibition see a review by Hayley Curnow for ArchitectureAU. Continuing its international tour Parallel Nippon opened at The High Court of Australia, in Canberra, on the 12 September (running until 4 October 2013). Visit their website for details.

Hightide's Brisbane Launch Kicks off with a bang!

Crowd gathers for the Official Brisbane Launch of Hightide on 1 August 2013. All photos courtesy of Hightide and Luxxbox.

August started with a bang as the Hightide: Queensland Design Now book by Jason Bird was launched at Luxxbox Showroom in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.

Formal Proceedings.

Formal Proceedings: Jason Bird speaks of his passion for the book as Andrew Mackenzie (URO Media) and Hon. Ian Walker MP wait in the wings.

Hon. Ian Walker MP, Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts officially launched the book with a heartfelt speech. Guests included design professionals; the DIA; Robert Forster (Co-Founder of the Go Betweens) who wrote an essay for the book entitled ‘Beautiful Loneliness’; media; avid design students; and of course the designers featured in the book.

The HIghtide Team

The Hightide Team: Bjorn Rust (Designer)(Gestalt-Ingenieur), Andrew Mackenzie (Publisher, URO Media), Ellie Gleeson (Editor) and Jason Bird (Author and Founder)(Luxxbox).

Party On!

The celebrations continue: Hightiders Marc Harrison (Husque) and David Shaw (SG) enjoy a chat with our Minister.

Christina Darcy Ari

Hightide Catch: Christina Waterson (yes thats me!) with Darcy Clarke (Designer) and Ari Athans (Jeweller).

Hightide's Brisbane Launch Kicks off with a bang!

This man is a legend: Robert Forster (Co-Founder of The Go Betweens) shimmies through the crowd.

Party On

Party On: Ok so some of the designers kicked up their heels and had a little fun playing up for the cameras!

Toshi and Darcy

Hightiders: Beautiful Fukutoshi Ueno and rogue Darcy Clarke share peace and love.


What’s you name? A kind stranger balances the Hightide Book – Brisbane launch success! Voilà!

STAY TUNED! The Hightide Queensland Design exhibition will open at artisan: idea skill product in late october and run from 25 October to 21 December 2013. On display will be key works from each of the 23 designers featured in the book. It’s going to be a great way to end the year – on a high note!

All photos courtesy of Hightide and Luxxbox. Thank you again for a great evening! For a preview of the Hightide: Queensland Design Now book visit Bjorn Rust’s awesome flick through video or to secure your copy go to URO Media.

Let the SpeedMeet +Folio Review commence. Photography Elliot Fooks.

Let the SpeedMeet + Folio Review commence! Photography Elliot Fooks.

The latest instalment of Tarmac’s SpeedMeet + FolioReview (presented by DIA Queensland Branch Tarmac Student Council) was held at The Queensland Museum and Sciencentre on 30 July 2013.

Using the format of speed dating, but with a whole lot more style and design intent, Industry Professionals sat down with passionate students, reviewed their work and offered advice about landing that all important first job. Students received folio feedback, made some important contacts, and gained insight into the industry.

Students mingle before the event starts.

Students gather before SpeedMeet + FolioReview event starts. Photography Elliot Fooks.

Every five minutes (or so) a bell rang to mark the time for participants to stand up and swap tables (and therefore mentors). This format made for an exciting event with a fast and furious pace, and interesting and to the point discussion.

Folio review and feedback. Photography Elliot Fooks.

Folio review and feedback. Photography Elliot Fooks.

Attending students were from a broad range of creative industries including Interior Design, Architecture, Graphic Design, Illustration and Industrial Design, as well as hybrid and interdisciplinary mixes of all of the above.

Julian Munro (Derlot) talks shop with an avid audience. Photography Elliot Fooks.

Julian Munro (Derlot) talks shop with an avid audience. Photography Elliot Fooks.

The industry professionals, who mentored for the event, included Jason Bird and Benjamin Breitenstein (Luxxbox), David Shaw (Street and Garden), Marc Harrison (Husque), Julian Munro (Derlot), Natalie Wright (Lecturer Interior Design, QUT), Christina Waterson (yes thats me), Beck Davis (Design Department, Griffith Uni), Kasia Jarosz (Jarosz Design), James Luu and Melissa Tooley (PDT), Philip Bugden (One Alliance) and Eddie Maksoud (Edwards Advertising).

Check out upcomingTarmac Events (including Speedmeets and Design Crawls) on the DIA Tarmac Facebook page or get in touch with DIA Tarmac directly and be a part of their next great event!

A SPECIAL THANK YOU to Vanessa Parker (President of the DIA Qld Tarmac Student Council) for inviting me to be a Guest Professional for the event! Gratitude to Elliot Fooks (3rd year Industrial Design student, QUT) for the great photography.

Since March this year I have been contributing to ArchitectureAU. Its an online portal for Architects and Designers to connect with people, the latest projects and critical discourse. To date I have contributed five stories with photographs and illustrations.

APT7 at GOMA – View to Damien Gulkledep’s Pomio People 2011. Photography Christina Waterson.

1. My first was a postcard about APT7 at GOMA.

This story also included a series of collages and illustrations I completed while Studying Architecture at The University of Queensland.

Design Process – This story also included a series of collages and illustrations I completed while Studying Architecture at The University of Queensland. Collage by Christina Waterson.

2. The next was an interview with Queensland Interior Designer Marisha McAuliffe about her groundbreaking research into the Design Process.

The Opposite House Foyer – a luxury hotel in Sanlitan Village, Beijing, designed by Kengo Kuma’s. Photography by Christina Waterson.

3. Then I contributed a Postcard about a great hotel I stayed in while visiting Beijing, called The Opposite House.

Jeweller Phobe Porter at the Opening of her Exhibition entitled Unfold. Photography by James Braund.

Jeweller Phoebe Porter at the opening of her exhibition entitled Unfold. Photography by James Braund.

4. I loved writing the catalogue essay for Jeweller Phoebe Porter on the occasion of her exhibition Unfold held at Craft Victoria. It was great to share this essay called Making Refining Sharing on the Architecture AU website accompanied with beautiful imagery by photographer James Braund.

WOOD: art design architecture - view to Sherrie  Knipe's work

WOOD: art design architecture – view to Sherrie Knipe’s work Boot Lace. Photography by Christina Waterson.

5. And my latest contribution – a review of the exhibition WOOD: art design architecture at JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design, Adelaide.

I have come to really love being creative through writing and photography, as well as meeting the talented practitioners behind the amazing work. It is a pleasure to present their stories through the professional forum of ArchitectureAU.

Follow the links above to my articles posted on the ArchitectureAU website, have a read and let me know what you think!

This year marks the 40th Anniversary of JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design. Founded in Adelaide JamFactory has ensured some of Australia’s most talented craft and design practitioners have realised their full creative potential. On any given day the quality and diversity of practitioners working within JamFactory’s walls are a reflection of its contribution over such a long period of time.

It’s Monday and I decide to visit JamFactory Studios to see who is at work.

Natalie Gock working at her bench within JamFactory’s Metal Design Studio, Adelaide.

Natalie hand sawing copper sheet into test forms.

Natalie’s previous work – Black Cockatoo Neck piece. Image Courtesy of JamFactory.

At the Metal Design Studio, I find Natalie Gock hand sawing copper sheet into fine petal like test forms. She is working on an exhibition piece for Maker/Wearer/Matchmaker – part of Art Month Sydney 2013. The necklace will be made in silver for one of the Directors of Nine Galleries (at 2 Dank St) to wear and be displayed at Studio 20/17 from 26th until the 28th March 2013. Natalie is an Alumna Resident having completed the Associate training programme in 2012.

Nadja Maher working on a new collection in JamFactory’s Metal Design Studio.

Nadja works the prototypes on JamFactory's anvil.

Nadja works her small earring prototypes on JamFactory’s anvil.

Nadja's previous work - Overnight Earrings.

Nadja’s previous work – Overnight Earrings. Image Courtesy of JamFactory.

Jeweller Nadja Maher (a 2nd Year JamFactory Associate) is working on a new collection. Nadja, having cut and annealed her little silver earrings prototypes, is now gently working them on the JamFactory’s prize anvil. The JamFactory structures the Associate’s week by engaging them to work with staff in the making of Studio pieces for wholesale and retail sale and contributing to public program’s via workshops, exhibitions and talks, while also enabling them to work on their personal practice and commissions.

Kate Sutherland making finishing touches to a commission.

Kate Sutherland, is finishing a special commission.

Kate’s bench within Jam Factory’s Metal Design Studio.

Kate's Previous work. Image Courtesy of JamFactory.

Kate’s previous work. Image Courtesy of JamFactory.

Diversity in material and form is encouraged in the Studios. Second year Associate, Kate Sutherland, is finishing a special commission. Kate’s fluid forms draw on the Art Deco and Art Nouveau periods as well as the relationship between metal elements and the human body.

Alice Potter and Christian Hall (the Metal Design Studio’s Project Manager and Creative Director, respectively), are running errands the day I do my rounds. Luckily I sat down with Christian Hall a few days earlier and discussed the history of JamFactory.

“JamFactory is very much like building an aeroplane while it is in flight…you can’t stop the plane, it has to keep going and is always in a state of incremental change…it has been built little by little over time. To start something like JamFactory today would be such a massive undertaking… it would be near impossible.” Christian affirms, “JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design is in a unique position.”

What may have started 40 years ago to support craftspeople and change the manufacturing production industry has evolved into a place that bridges tertiary study and practice. Through the large-scale commissions the JamFactory wins, Associate’s are exposed to different scales of working – often working in teams and combining many of the Studios (Glass, Metal, Furniture and Ceramics) together in one project. Associates and Staff also attend special master classes given by National and International visiting artists-in-residence.

Eddie Ferguson in Studio 3 – sourcing materials.

Window Jug and Tumblers by Andrew Ferguson.

Window Jug and Tumblers by Eddie Ferguson. Image Courtesy of Eddie Ferguson.

Down stairs in Studio 3 is Eddie Ferguson (2nd Year Associate) who spent the day before in the Glass Studio blowing his elegant Window Vase for stockists around Australia. When I call in he is sourcing materials and designing work that embraces the limitations of the glass blowing process.

Jeweller Regine Schwarzer sets a ring with a stone.

Jewellers Regine Schwarzer and Jessamy Pollock are hard at work in Studio 5. With a passion for the rocks and minerals of Australia, Regine is setting a ring with a stone as we speak. She trained in jewellery making and metalwork at the Zeichenakademie Hanau, Germany, moved to Australia in 1993 and has exhibited in countless exhibitions nationally and internationally.

Jessamy Pollock making paper and aluminium tests in Studio 5.

One of Jessamy's previous works.

One of Jessamy’s previous works Fold Brooch in anodized aluminium from her recent exhibition Shrink and Explore – a beautiful collection of wearable and unwearable sculptures.

Jessamy Pollock (Alumna in Residence) invites us to shrink within our imagination and explore her work at an architectural scale”. Jessamy has just embarked on designing a new wearable range of brooches and neck pieces and is in the process of testing her ideas in paper and aluminum. It’s great to see Regine and Jessamy working side by side on their individual work.

The JamFactory’s studio model is unique and sees experienced professional practitioners working alongside Associates in a studio environment. The program equips them with business knowledge, sustainable practice guidelines as well as all of the OHS of the technology they have grown up with. Alumni often stay on and work from rented share studio tenancies. They contribute to the depth of knowledge and strength of the JamFactory programmes.

Andrew Bartlett in Studio 6.

Furniture Designer/Maker – Andrew Bartlett greets me in Studio 6.

Andrew applying finishing coat.

Andrew applying finishing coat to a commission before final assembly.

In Studio 6 is furniture designer/maker Andrew Bartlett (Alumnus) applying finishing coats to a furniture commission. After installing the WOOD: art design architecture exhibition Andrew is content to be in the studio. We discuss his great respect for clients in the commissioning process and the importance of collaboration on such projects as the Penfold’s Ampoule Project. John Quan (Furniture Designer Alumnus) shares Studio 6 with Andrew but is out sourcing electrical supplies for his new lamp design when I visit.

Meeting in the Furniture Studio.

A meeting in session within JamFactory’s Furniture Studio.

Furniture Maker – Daniel Guest having a break from the workshop. Admin is a necessary part of any business.

Next-door a meeting in the Furniture Design Studio headquarters is in session. Furniture Maker Daniel Guest (2nd Year Associate who also assisted on the WOOD: art design architecture install) is quietly working away on a computer. Daniel moved to Adelaide to become a JamFactory Associate and sharpen his skills after completing fine furniture design and construction at the Australian School of Fine Wood in Western Australia. Like Daniel many practitioners are prepared to move cities and live in Adelaide to attend JamFactory.

Associates today differ from those attending the JamFactory 40 years ago. Then the practitioners were generally older with a diverse wealth of life experience and travel under their belt – as well as their own sense of identity and practice. Today’s Associates are more likely to be in that process while completing their JamFactory Associate training programme.

I sit down with Karen Cunningham (Glass Studio Creative Director) as the other glass practitioners including Tom Moore (Production Manager) stop for the day to enjoy frozen cordial and time away from the hot furnaces.

The resources that go into glass making are costly and finite. The Glass Studio’s Program emphasizes training through production while supporting the distinct parts of practice (experimental exhibition work and highly resolved production pieces). It encourages practitioners to think of glass in new ways such as through computer-based technology and sustainable practice.

The practitioners work together to form the Tumbler with tools.

Step by step – the practitioners work together to form the piece.

At times there have been up to 50 independent glass artists who regularly hire the hot glass studio. Making glass objects is a creative pursuit that needs to be undertaken with someone to assist throughout the process.

The glass form goes into the furnace again.

The glass form goes back into the furnace.


Further forming – the process is repeated until the glass tumbler form is perfect.

The process is mesmerizing to watch. I particularly enjoy the movement of the practitioners working together as they glide around each other to transfer the glass back and forth from furnace to forming area. On this day Liam Fleming is completing the Tumbler Exercise with Katie–Ann Houghton assisting, as George Agius prepares coloured glass with Alex Valero.

Glass Studio - Liam Fleming completing the Tumbler Exercise with Katie–Ann Houghton assisting.

View to Glass Studio from the Observation Deck – Liam Fleming completing the Tumbler Exercise with Katie–Ann Houghton assisting.

As I make my way from the Glass Studio to the JamFactory Office I pass members of the public enjoying the glass process from a special observation deck. They have just come from JamFactory Store which stocks the objects made on site. JamFactory successfully connects people to the power and energy of making.

In the JamFactory Office its late afternoon and Claudine Young (Executive Assistant) and Anne Fenech (Administration Assistant) are holding the fort. With the exhibition launch and public programmes for WOOD: art design architecture held the previous week, many staff have gone home a little early today.

I caught up with Brian Parkes CEO, after the WOOD: art design architecture exhibition opening and discussed how he sees his role in the organisation.

“JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design has a strong and meaningful history and an ever-growing community of esteemed Alumni. I see my primary role as spreading the word about JamFactory’s uniqueness, contribution and longevity with a wider audience”.

Brian Parkes sharing.

Brian Parkes opening the WOOD: art design architecture exhibition at JamFactory.

This is apt, because the day I visit, Brian is doing just that – spreading the word at an interstate presentation. I have to agree with Brian – there is no other place in Australia like JamFactory. The diverse practitioners I met working on this one day within JamFactory’s 40-year history are the true testimony to this.

A special exhibition entitled Designing Craft/Crafting Design: 40 Years of JamFactory opens on 19 April 2013 at JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design, Adelaide.

MARMALADE – JamFactory’s annual publication with designer profiles, special features and reviews has just been launched.

For all details including information about JamFactory’s Studios, Associates and Staff, Store and upcoming events visit JamFactory’s Website.