Grow – Meet the Maker with Bek Spencer

Rhodesian born, South African raised, and Australian now,  I’ve spent the better part of the last two decades in retail – much of it as a retail planner. I am an incurable maker, and dabbled in drawing, sewing, crochet, knitting, and photography (a great passion from high school), but I’m keen to try it all.  Years ago I started making Christmas baubles in my spare time as gifts and for fun (and out of curiosity of how they are made); and people wanted to buy them.  THEN I saw beeswax wraps online and my first thought was – I need to learn how to make them.  After lots of mess, trials, fails, improvements and learnings I learnt how; and people Read More

Grow – Meet the Maker with Ebony Balaz

I am an artist, designer and maker of things. Like many creatives I have quite a varied set of skills and interests. My background and training is within the fashion industry, but over the last few years I’ve been exploring my creativity in a more explorative and playful manner. I paint bright abstract artworks on paper and canvas. I love the expressive nature of paint. Mark making is a very cathartic process for me and the journey that I go on each time I create a new artwork is constantly inspiring. I enjoy using my creative skills to bring products to life, be that sewing for my children or taking my paintings into textile form. Creating something, essentially from nothing, Read More

Grow – Meet the Maker with Fiona Read

I love nature and painting. Nature inspires the subjects I paint. And my creativity helps me enjoy the beauty of nature! Nature has such exquisite colours, patterns, scents and sounds. Being in nature or painting helps me relax and appreciate the present moment. When I’m painting I can get absorbed for hours. I have also felt this mindfulness when walking in the bush or past a scented rose bush, when seeing this giraffe in South Africa, or when  exploring exhibitions of the great impressionists or local art and crafts. I’ve always dabbled in art, throughout school and was encouraged to paint alongside my Nanna and Grandma. I’ve had fun exploring landscapes, birds and flowers. I’ve studied botanical watercolour painting with Read More

Grow – Meet the Maker with Cr Rebecca Paterson

My day job (though it definitely extends into nights and weekends!) is a Councillor at the City of Monash and Chair of the Monash Business Awards as well as being involved in a number of other committees. I also have 3 kids aged 2, 4 and 10 who keep me very busy.  I enjoy most crafts, and have been sewing, painting and crafting ever since I can remember. I started off with long stitch, moved to cross stitch and other embroidery, got into beading, pastel and water colour painting, then dress making. After having my first child I started knitting and then crochet, card making and jewellery making. I just love craft. My two favourites would have to be knitting, Read More

Grow – Meet the Maker with Sarah Munnings

Sarah is a jeweller working with Sterling Silver, Copper, Brass and Abalone shell and has taught herself to drill, solder and smelt pewter. Sarah did not consider herself a creative person until people repeatedly told her she was, and after a year or so she started to believe them. Looking back she acknowledges that she was always creating in some form, and never taking a traditional path. During her degree she was often found under bushes and in long grass looking for mounds and earthworks before recreating historic buildings using maps and aerial photography. Sarah completed her degree and took a position as an Executive Trainee with HSBC bank, working nationally and internationally, and continued her creativity through community projects while her day jobs ranged from managing branches, operations Read More

Grow – Meet the Maker with Brooke Taylor

Bohdi Taylor Artist. Previously Bohdi has enjoyed a successful career as a mosaic artist and teacher under her real name Brooke Taylor Brooke’s Mosaics. She also facilitated numerous large scale artworks in her community with funds sought from grants from local council and Arts Vic. Most recently Bohdi picked up a brush and began exploring the medium of acrylics. Lead there by a curious sequence of events, firstly experiencing the loss of her son Bohdi through miscarriage “Two days after losing Bohdi”,  she says “I sat in front of a painting I’d been working on, and hated it. So I started painting, and because I didn’t really care about the outcome, and figured that anything I did would be an improvement Read More

Grow – Meet the Maker with Robyn Saunders

My love for ceramics began when my children were experimenting with clay in Secondary school. I really wanted to feel the joy that comes from taking a piece of clay and creating something that started off as a figment of my imagination. I started my journey by joining Dromana Potters group and taking weekly night classes, being tutored by some exceptional potters. This led to the setting up of my studio at home. I work from my home studio at Baxter, on the Mornington Peninsula. My studio allows me to work on many projects at the one time including hand built slab forms and wheel thrown work. These works will sometimes resemble traditional ceramic form and when my whimsical potter Read More

Weaving Stories through Craft – Danielle

My favourite handmade item is a pair of orange sandals that my husband made for me. José and I have been married 7 years. We met salsa dancing in Melbourne and were friends for many years. I moved to Spain and lived there for nearly 4 years where José came to visit me, we got together and I returned home for love. José is from El Salvador where art, music, dance and the Spanish language play an important role in enriching the creative spirit and has lived in Australia 29 years. His heritage includes a long line of artisans from designers to dressmakers, woodcraft makers, actors, artists, dancers and writers. In 2014, inspired by his culture and passion for life, Read More

Weaving Stories through Craft – Helen (Part 2) told by Ian

My story is about my wife, Helen. We have been married for almost 49 years and lived on the Mornington Peninsula for nearly all of our married life. Our two children, Ken and Robyn, completed their secondary school studies at Rosebud High School apart from one year at Capital High School where I worked, in Olympia, Washington State, USA. Their tertiary studies, at Monash University, resulted in Ken completing a degree in Civil Engineering before achieving a PhD in that field. Robyn completed degrees in Arts and Science majoring in Slavic Languages (Russian) and Applied Mathematics respectively. During her studies, a scholarship enabled Robyn to spend 3 months studying in Russia. Ken and Robyn are both married to wonderful partners Read More

Weaving Stories through Craft – Helen (Part 1)

My name is Helen and this is my story. I was born in Scotland a long time ago… 73 years to be exact.   In primary school when we reached grade 5 we were taught to knit mittens.  We did this on four double pointed needles and had to place and knit a thumb.   Because we were so slow at school, we were allowed to take them home for the weekend to get a wriggle on.   I must admit my Granny helped me a lot with this.   In grade 6 we graduated to socks.   Once again 4 double pointed needles but this time we learned to turn the heel, very important and when we finally knitted the sole of the sock Read More

Weaving Stories through Craft – Yvonne

Since I have started my business, Originals Lab.  I have met some heart warming people and as a result have swapped many hand made items with fellow crafters. I made a pair of earrings for my friend Sharon and she insisted on paying me and I refused.  Little did I know was that Sharon was planning on surprising me with something even more special. While we were at swimming with the kids each week, I noticed that Sharon would bring in her knitting needles and was knitting with this amazing wool from Hedgehog Fibres.  It was this stunning hand spun and dyed wool with flecks of fluro pink, fluro yellow and blue.  I have never seen anything so unique. A Read More

Weaving Stories through Craft – Marnie

My first night out of hospital (after 6 weeks of being treated for depression and anxiety) I painted the first watercolour painting called “If I could only fly” in a series called #cantfly. The series of paintings was inspired by my time in hospital and the challenges (enormous ones!) I faced after discharge.  I felt extremely vulnerable and stripped bare after being in hospital for so long, and this piece came out of my feelings and fears that – even with wings – I might never fly again.  The piece shows a girl on tiptoes, leaning forward and up with her arms stretched behind her… like she’s trying to fly. The series has people in all the butterflies, in different Read More