Recently I’ve been spending a bit of time browsing tumblr and pinterest (ok, more than a bit of time) and while I think these modern pin-boards and journals are a valuable tool, it’s led me to questioning how to keep track of my ideas, the inspiration that comes from the everyday, that which I don’t find online? How do artists keep records of their thoughts and do they really reference their records when creating works? This month at Whipup we will be hearing from artists and crafters and finding out a bit more about how they keep records of their ideas and where those ideas come from.

First up, is Dan Stewart-Moore. Dan is a sculptor who trained at the ANU School of Art where he is now a lecturer and research student. He has previously been known as a “metal-head” (a sculptor who works with steel) but more recently he has been experimenting with stone and timber.

Dan has exhibited works nationally and internationally with pieces in private collections in the USA, UK and Australia and is currently working on a solo exhibition “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” which opens on August 22.

Today, Dan shares with us how he records his ideas and develops those into pieces of art.

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Can you tell us how you document your ideas? Do you use a journal, sketchbook or random pieces of paper like the back of beer coasters or napkins?

Well I hope none of my students read this but in truth even though I draw every day I don’t use my journals as a place where I plot out my work. They are more like a dream space, a place where anything could happen. I create worlds, or at least fragments of worlds in my diaries. Although to look at them you’d just see lots of scratchy sketches.

When I’m planning a work I use plasticene. It means I can work with it quickly and cleanly – which is unusual for a sculptor, then I document it photographically.

Do you have a notebook always on hand or do you schedule time for creative thinking and doodling? Perhaps you do both?

There’s always a visual diary next to the loo. I do my best thinking in there.

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I imagine you would have many sources of inspiration, can you tell us what or who most inspires you?  

That’s a big question so I’ll try to break it down a little.

Conceptually I guess my biggest inspiration is psychology in particular I find that psychology offers a fantastic insight into climate change. We tend to assume that sane people are rational, yet any psychologist will tell you this is not the case. Our irrational behavior regarding climate change has been a source of frustration and anxiety for me, understanding why we do the things we do has been a trully insightful journey.

Aesthetically I’m a sucker for all kinds of things. Natural patterns like Fibonacci spirals in plants, the surface of water, contemporary architecture, modernist design, the list goes on.

The people who have inspired me the most are artists like David Jensz, Anthony Gormley, Kensuke Todo, Michael Le Grand, John Lennon, Salvador Dali, Simon Shuerele, Geoffrey Bartlett, Daft Punk, Masahiro Asaka, Studio Job, Sol Lewitt, Jan Svankmejer and many, many more.

We would love to know more about your creative process, how you develop ideas, what makes something become an artwork rather than remaining an idea on a page? 

Short of giving you an exegesis on how I make an artwork it really is a matter of trial and error with a Marquette (small version) then if I think it can work I experiment with the construction method and materials. Sometimes I’ll just know that it will work. Other times I need to do a lot of testing before I’m happy to proceed to undertaking a major piece.

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Anything else you would like to share with us?

I’ve got an exhibition on soon – “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” and generally I think most people think exhibitions are a bit intimidating. The truth is that they are – but only for the artist. The snob factor that people get so anxious about is non-existent at M16 artspace openings. People in suits mix with skinny dreadlocked men, the young confer with the old, in short no one is judged. So I would dare you to come but there isn’t any daring required.

**All images in this post are the property of Dan Stewart-Moore

 

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As I’m sure everyone in the world with web or media access has heard, on the 22nd of July the world welcomed the newest heir in line to the British throne, Prince George.

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To celebrate his arrival, designer Fiona Goble and the Ivy Press have released this free pattern, which includes dolls and outfits for Princess Catherine, Prince William, and wee Prince George.  Fiona Goble published a fun book of patterns called Knit Your Own Royal Wedding in preparation for Kate and William’s wedding in 2011.

If you strive for authenticity, you might like to make a little baby shawl for your knitted prince in the same style as the gorgeous Filmy Fern shawl that was the official gift from New Zealand.

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Book reviewed by Megan.  Megan is a wife and a mother to four children who spends some of her days in a hospital looking after sick people and some of her days at home hanging out with her gorgeous family. When she finds some spare moments she heads to her work table in a corner of the house to knit, embroider or sew. Megan can also be found in the kitchen cooking far too many cakes and biscuits. She will always choose reading a craft book over sweeping the floors!

Love with a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche, Penguin

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The days have been getting very cold and damp down here in the southern hemisphere and on chilly evenings I have taken to retreating from the family a little and having a long hot bath…with a book.

Torre DeRoche, the author of ‘Love with a Chance of Drowning’ is an Australian woman who was living in America when she met the man of her dreams in the shape of a gorgeous, adventurous Argentinean man named Ivan. After a whirlwind romance he persuaded her to sail off into the sunset to Australia! The two of them, lots of beautiful Pacific islands and Torre’s morbid fear of oceans. An unusual combination, but a combination that has resulted in a lovely book that I enjoyed hugely as lay back in my hot bath.

Torre writes in a delightfully conversational style with lots of self-deprecating humour that makes you feel as though any of us could circumnavigate a good portion of the world if we had the right boat and the right partner by our side. And even though’ Love with the Chance of Drowning’ is about a grand travel adventure it is also very much the love story of Torre and Ivan, a unique story in itself.

So whether you are lying on the beach in the northern half of the world or snuggling under blankets in the southern half, grab this book and start reading.  In no time you will be deeply engrossed in life on a boat with Ivan and Torre.

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Yellow Colour Palette

Because where I am it’s freezing cold and I need warming up, we are going with summery yellow and warm fuzzy link love this week! (image above created here)

Stitch :: The Paisley Pillow

Share :: A cup of (hot or iced) tea with an old friend

Knit :: This Sunshine Scarf

Lounge :: under a quilt or under a tree with a good book

Crochet :: A flippy floppy ear flap hat

Visit :: Your local park and enjoy all that the weather has to offer. What do you notice about it in different seasons?

Make :: A beautiful sunny yellow picnic quilt (quilt pictured below by Jen Carlton-Bailly aka bettycrockerass)

quilt and photo by Jen (bettycrockerass)

Sew :: My favourite skirt pattern, perhaps using these bucks or scallops

Read :: Aloud to a loved one

Eat :: Courgettes with feta and mint

Enjoy :: your weekend, whatever it may bring

**No payment (monetary or in-kind) is received by whipup for any links in this post, they are genuine recommendations of the author**

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Danielle is a Canberra-based quilter, crafter, knitter and collector of fabric who loves to applique. She blogs infrequently at Petits Elefants, but is more likely to be found on Instagram and twitter (@petitselefants).

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Today Danielle reviews Hand-Appliqued Quilts: Beautiful Designs & Simple Techniques

With so much inspiration around us, little wonder that many of us frantically try to squeeze in as much crafting as we can in the few short hours we might have available every week. The temptation may be to focus on quick-sew techniques in order to produce as many quilts as possible in the time available, and certainly there is a list of reasons as long as my arm to make quilts in this way. But sometimes, or perhaps more often, you might want to slow things down a little, use your few hours to meditate over each stitch, knowing that your project will become an heirloom to be treasured for years. Hand appliqué is just the technique I have turned to when I need a ‘slow-it-down’ project and is the subject of this gorgeously-presented book from Tonye Belinda Phillips.

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Tonye manages to break the art of appliqué down, demystifying it as a foreign technique to one that is truly accessible to anyone with simple sewing skills. Even if you’ve never hand-sewn before, you will find that appliqué really isn’t difficult – Tonye describes her appliqué technique as a basic ‘get-out-there-and-do-it’ approach – and the detailed instructions guide the way. She gives useful tips on tackling different types of shapes – curves, points, circles and valleys (such as the dip formed in the ‘v’ of a heart shape) – and advice on fabric selection, choosing a colour palette for your project, and finishing techniques.

Included in the book are projects ranging from dolly quilts through to large bed-sized quilts, and each of the designs could easily be mixed and matched to form your own personal project. The projects display Tonye’s unique eye for bold colour applications – a number of the quilts feature bold background, such as red and mustard yellow. The shapes in the projects, for which templates are included, are in a naive, hand-drawn style, and the quilts are an engaging mix of modern and traditional.

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Hand-Appliqued Quilts: Beautiful Designs & Simple Techniques is a beautiful book, with plenty of guidance for beginners and more-advanced quilters alike, and plenty of colour and design inspiration for starting your own hand-appliqued quilt. It will definitely be my next source when the urge strikes for a slow-it-down project!

 

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