Monday, February 25, 2013

Forté Apartment

Friday last saw the launch of Forté, Melbourne's arguably most eco-designed & built apartment building, located on Bourke St, Victoria Harbour.

We were thrilled to be asked to design the interior of a 2 bedroom apartment for display & along with a score of gifted local artisans & businesses, we opened to a demanding public!

Many thanks to Faun of Lend Lease who organised the festival & asked us to participate.

Below are the first few images we have to show you, all by Natalie Jeffcott.

Ink & Spindle bedlinen in Grevillea, Linear and Kangaroo Paw & Miso artwork

Artworks by Beth-Emily & Ghostpatrol, ceramics by Abby Seymour, terrariums by Squiggly Rainbow, sideboard from Grandfather's Axe.

Furniture by Grandfather's Axe, cushions by Ink & Spindle, artwork by Abby Seymour.

Furniture by Grandfather's Axe, reupholstered in Kangaroo Paw, terrariums by Squiggly Rainbow, cleaning products by Planet Luxe.

Wilkins & Kent lamp in Leuca.

Thurling Guitars, Mark Thurling creates beautiful guitars using only sustainable timber and non-toxic finishes.
Artwork by Beth Emily, Abby Seymour & the artists private collection.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Forte Living Festival - this Friday & Saturday!

Late one evening, an email landed in our inbox from the creators of Forté, the world's tallest timber apartment building, with a request to partner with them. We were cautiously optimistic...

Upon further investigation, Forté turned out to have some pretty great eco-credentials: Super strong, cross-laminated timber construction; rainwater capture use to flush the toilets; no carpark but a bike store instead; a veggie garden on each balcony; solar shading; the use of non-toxic materials (carpets, paint); the list goes on!

The lovely folk at Forté offered us an empty apartment to fit out. However we liked. I'm sure you can imagine our reaction: um, yes please!

So we quickly started calling up some fabulous Melbourne based designers & businesses to help us in the furnishing of our completely empty apartment. To our delight, Grandfather's Axe, Wilkins & Kent, Armadillo & Co, Bradley's Curtains & Blinds, Tane Furniture DesignShelley Panton, Abby Seymour, Beth-Emily, Ute, Thurling Guitars, NancybirdMattt & Squiggly Rainbow all have donated their time & skills to this awesome project!

To celebrate to Official Launch, Forté are throwing a rad party - we'd love you to come join us in the celebration!

Market! Outdoor cinema! Tours through the apartments! Expert Speakers!

We're sure looking forward to this Friday's launch - 12-7pm! Hope to see you there xx

Friday, February 15, 2013

Open Studio tomorrow!

Printing demo at 11:30am! Come one, come all..

Monday, February 11, 2013

New (ish) prints in the shop!

New colourways in the shop!

It's funny how sometimes we'll print a bunch of new colourways but it takes us ages to actually photograph them and put them in our online store! Fortunately we managed to squeeze a little photo shoot in last week so finally we can introduce them to you!

First up, Kangaroo Paw in Mustard and Snow, available both as a medium weight on Hemp/Yak and an upholstery weight on our gorgeous 100% Raw Hemp....

Kangaroo Paw in Mustard & Snow on Hemp/Yak

Kangaroo Paw in Mustard & Snow on Raw 100% Hemp (upholstery weight)

Next up, Lace fans in a pearlescent Soft Gold, on a gorgeous, lightweight linen that's suitable for apparel...

Lace Fans in Soft Gold

There's our Linear design printed in the lovely neutral colourway of Snow on unbleached organic cotton/hemp...

Linear in Snow

And last but not least, Kangaroo Paw in Black & Greylead on oatmeal 100% linen (suitable for just about everything, including upholstery).

Kangaroo Paw in Black & Greylead

Hope you like!


Friday, February 8, 2013

Open Studio - next Saturday 16th Feb!

Would you believe it, it's time for our first Open Studio for the year already! Where did January go??

This Open Studio is going to be a little more exciting than usual in that our lovely studio buddy Abby Seymour is going to have her wares for sale also. Not only will her gorgeous current range be available but she will also be selling some of her beautiful ex-season stock at pretty generous discounts.

Hope you can make it down to the studio next Saturday 16th Feb - 11am to 1pm, with a printing demo at about 11:30!

xx Lara & Teegs.

on internships & industry...

Lara posted this yesterday on her personal blog and since it's so relevant to I&S we're cross posting over here. Interested in your thoughts!

One of our past interns Lauren, printing a two colour repeat design

I'm taking a little break from my usual programming to talk about something a little controversial at the moment - internships. Sparking into a bit of a hot topic in the media and twittersphere in the last few days, Fair Work Australia are cracking down on internships that might be deemed illegal if they're not conducted as part of an 'authorised educational training course'.

Of course the topic is pretty close to my heart because at Ink & Spindle we engage interns on a fairly regular basis. Some of our interns are requesting a position as a compulsory part of their degree, others are coming to us entirely of their own volition. They might be a full-time parent looking to return to work, or a student who has studied something entirely different and now are curious about changing career paths... to us it doesn't matter what their background is so long as they're keen.

A very blurry Robyn, printing a single colour repeat design of dutch houses!

I think that yes there are instances in certain industries where internships are exploitative - big companies offering long term positions when they could afford to pay someone but choose to substitute a paid position with a free intern. These situations are unethical and set a bad precedent in their industry. But there are other situations such as ours where we simply can't afford to pay an extra person. We aren't dependent on interns - our business functions fine without them - but if there are individuals keen for the experience we'll gladly take them on board. We might not have a lot of spare cash but we do have a wealth of knowledge to impart. There are a lot of menial tasks to be done around the studio but we try hard to ensure that the positions are mutually beneficial.

I can't help but feel that the issue of unpaid internships is largely a 'first world problem' and seems to occur largely in 'desirable' industries, e.g. textiles, music, fashion, design. There seems to be an abundance of willing workers and not enough jobs for all of them. To me that's not just an issue of exploitation but equally an issue with our education system. Here we are providing an gamut of exciting higher educational opportunities, giving people the illusion that they can work in whatever field they desire, but without any accountability from our educators with regards to finding work in the chosen field after study.

Intern work - stencils on the lightbox

Textiles is a classic example. Perhaps it's my ignorance but sadly I just don't see where all the jobs are for the students who are studying textile design. Yet our universities keep producing new graduates; students who are passionate about design and are lead to believe there'll be work at the other end. And when there's not, it's no surprise they're willing to do unpaid work to give themselves an edge.

In my opinion the best way to find work in our field is to make your own job. That's what we did. So when our interns come through we focus less on 'textile design' and more on 'small business' - how our business runs, how we make it work, the ups and downs and challenges. These are valuable insights for anyone, not just a student of textile design. Interestingly most of the successful creative individuals I've met are those who first studied something else entirely different. I think that's awesome.

xx Lara.