Thursday, October 30, 2014

New work for Washington Post - Food




We embroidered the opening page graphic for the Washington Post's Food section last Wednesday.
I thought it would be nice to share some of the process from pencil sketch through to digital colour mock up and final embroidery.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Spring II










Today my little one and I spent a nice day playing in the garden, baking and eating. Although I am itching to get back into embroidery. Hopefully sewing up some small pieces in time to pop onto our shop ahead of Christmas - some small geo abstracts and new sweater letters.

Our daily routine now includes going into the garden to admire the aquilegia that's finally in bloom (trying to stop Ava from plucking all the flowers) and most important of all, checking on our strawberry plants. Trying to harvest the tiny alpine strawberries before the bugs get to them. We also watered the sprawling raspberry tangle that's beginning to fruit. I left it to go wild meaning to prune back a few canes but when I eventually got around to doing it I discovered quite a few canes were in bud. I'm not entirely sure how to take care of this plant and i'm not even sure what type of raspberry it since I purchased it at a local nursery. But I think it might be the floricane type since some of the old canes are fruiting again but then again some new canes are fruiting so it's all very confusing!

I hope I can keep it thriving. We all love raspberries at home and it would be amazing to eat our own instead of the often lack lustre tasting ones from the store. We also made some time for blowing bubbles and baking some muffins. This will be the last time we use frozen blueberries though, they are completely tasteless. With a drizzle of maple syrup and butter they're not too bad though!

Monday, October 20, 2014

HOOPLA group show

Hey all! We have a group show coming up curated by He Made She Made at their Sydney gallery. Opening night is next Wednesday night. October 22nd / 18.00 - 21.00 He Made She Made 70 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst.

Lots of amazing people in the show - Kitiya Palaskas, Adame France, Jordan Clarke, Izziyana Suhaimi, Province, Maria Aparicio Puentes, and Victor Espinoza Aparicio. The hoops were custom made by HMSH and are a whopping 80x80cm. 

We based our work on a piece of lyric by Sunset Rubdown. It's another one of our painting with thread pieces but a bit more fractured and loose. We hope you can make it down if you're based in Sydney!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Net Magazine and AFAR

We had some recent magazine work come out for two great clients through our UK agents Handsome Frank. The first is a cover for the Wordpress 4.0 launch for Net magazine and a spread and drop cap for AFAR magazine's feature on fashion label Suno. We also answered some questions about our embroidery process for Net Magazine over at the Creativ Bloq website.






Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Thank you - embroidered notes

These are from earlier in the year but just realised we haven't shown them here before. We have a new group show coming up where we've developed a technique of fractured patterns and brush stroke textures that we've played around with in these embroidered sketches. We usually have a heap of tangled orphaned threads after each embroidery project. Which we collect into empty jars to use later for little embroidered sketches/doodles and experiments. These are a couple of thank you embroideries we created using some of these left over threads. Little notes to say thank you to some kind hearted people that have supported us along the way.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Spring I

My lithops seedlings from Dec 13 are finally going through their first regeneration. I didn't use the right soil substrate and generally haven't taken the greatest care of them. They've suffered a few unplanned repottings due to being knocked over thanks to my clumsy positioning of them. But i'm glad to see a few robust looking ones amongst them and it's great to see some of their true colours emerging with the new leaves. The seeds were a mixed lot so it will be interesting trying to identify them! 

Our older lithops are also going through their usual springtime regeneration. Including this Alien lookalike and a pseudotruncatella that's splitting into a double head. Also a cacti and haworthia aristata in different stages of flowering. 












Friday, September 26, 2014

Material Edge at Wangaratta Art Gallery

We're very proud to be part of an exhibition on now at the Wangaratta Art Gallery (Vic, Australia) that has been curated by the wonderful Sally Huguenin. Sally has brought together artists/designers working in contemporary textiles across varying fields such as the visual arts, fashion and graphic design.

 "The exhibition includes work as diverse as Douglas McManus’ laser-engraved textiles with 3d printing; Kathy Temin’s renowned synthetic fur landscapes; and an interactive pompom installation space by Australia’s queen of craft, Pip Lincolne. There will also be four incredibly intricate outfits by Sydney fashion designers Romance Was Born, including a dress famously worn by Cate Blanchett that is on loan from the Powerhouse Museum; knitted self-portraits and photographic imagery by Melbourne-based contemporary artist Kate Just; and colourfully embroidered advertising and typography by twin sisters and graphic designers, Maricor/Maricar."

 The exhibition runs until the 19th October. More details can be found on the gallery website and the flyer is below.

The work we have on display is primarily our commercial work - showing how embroidery is being used by clients in publishing and advertising. We also included some of our personal textile pieces that were created after our time in London ("Maps" wallhangings) as well as two new pieces created specifically for Material Edge. "Don't Worry Baby" hand embroidered lettering and a new patchwork wall hanging, "Neue Folk".







Thursday, August 28, 2014

Unexpected Collaborations: Robocrop process

This week's post is about the Robocrop video and the process behind making it. It was quite a different approach to Sweetfighter with the entire video this time shot in camera. We used lighting techniques and wired props to tell the story of an agricultural / robotics collaboration. Our concept was to present a futuristic vision of nature through the symbiotic relationship between science research and nature. The idea was to use plants but have them glow, Avatar like and also be wired electronically to sway as if swaying in the wind.



Having proposed all this in our storyboards we then had to figure out how to build it so began nightly tests using fluorescent fluid to make the flowers and plants glow. After finding some helpful tutorials online we settled on using two recipes. One based on highlighter fluid and the second on tonic water. The difference between the two was the colour of the glow they created. Highlighter fluid created a more toxic looking yellow glow while tonic water produces a more softer blue glow.
Even the clean up produced some interesting specimens. The close up of the tissue looks almost cosmic.



We also tried different methods for getting the plants to soak up the fluid, A – through the cut stems which took a bit longer to take affect and is less effective, B – soaking the flower blooms directly in the fluid. Much more vibrant and the effect can be seen within hours. Just watch out that the blooms don't start to disintegrate! The variegated devil's ivy was soaked through the stem in highlighter fluid for about a week and you can see the glow start to spread through the veins in the leaves. It was really interesting doing these experiments. We'd love to do another project using similar techniques. Not that plants aren't already naturally beautiful but it's amazing how they can be transformed through a relatively lo-fi technique. Down below you can see some of our glow tests on kale, fox glove and the garlic flowers.



Although for glowing purposes white and pale pink flowers worked the best we had to make sure the plants we used were edible. Luckily were able to source some pretty interesting plants at the Eveleigh growers market as well as the Chinatown markets where we scored garlic flowers which we'd never heard of and the enoki which looked amazing under the blacklight.







Meanwhile my partner luckily has started to tinker in electronic gadgetry so offered to build the contraption needed to wire the plants. He used an arduino board with a manual trigger, some of the early tests show a bit of experimentation with how to get the wires hooked up to the plants elegantly. We initially used metal collars which gave a nice motion but looked a little too steampunk. In the end we wrapped the wires directly onto the stems and crossed our fingers the force wouldn't snap them. 

Some shots below on set of the plant set ups in 'daylight' and under the blacklight. The same plants were used for both sets. One of the advantages of using the tonic water to make the plants glow is that it's clear in daylight (unlike the highlighter fluid that gives off a faint yellow tinge).