Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Intern Tales: Gretta

We've had a lot of interest in our intern position lately & so we thought you guys might like to know a little bit about the lovely (for some reason always) girls that spend time learning new things with us here at I&S HQ.

Here's some words from Gretta on her final day with us - 'bye Gretta!

We'll miss you!
xx T

How did I, an Environmental Studies student from the United States, end up in the Ink & Spindle studio? A long journey! I’ve been in Australia since late August on a study abroad program. The focus is Sustainability and Environmental Action. Because it’s through an organization (The School for International Training) and not a university, my group was able to travel all around Australia. We did workshops about everything from sustainable agriculture to rainforest ecology to social change. What has stuck with me through the whole program is that sustainability can mean many things. Sustainability isn’t just about the environment; it’s about people and communities. Part of my program is a month-long independent study project (ISP). From the first week in Australia, we each had to develop a project- an internship, creative piece, or research-based project. When I heard “internship”, I instantly thought of Ink & Spindle! The only limits on my project were that it had to relate to sustainability (check!) and had to be in Australia (check!). My mom is an art quilter/fabric addict and had found Ink & Spindle on the blogosphere a few years back, so I was already a fan upon my arrival in Australia. When I approached Lara and Teegs about a possible internship, I was happy to find they were enthusiastic about the idea!

What has amazed me about Melbourne is the creative community. During my time with Ink & Spindle, I’ve had the opportunity to go to the Melbournalia opening, Markit@Fed Square, and meet all sorts of awesome-sauce Melbournians doing and making amazing things. Seeing all the collaborating that happens gives me hope for the future! I’ve been reflecting a lot on sustainable consumerism and whether or not it’s an oxymoron. While consumerism has caused immense damage in this world, it is also at the forefront of environmental change. It has the potential to be an easy way for people to lower their impact. Lara and Teegs have worked hard to produce textiles that are sustainable from beginning to end. By sourcing organic cotton, they aren’t buying to a toxic industry that has led to 250,000 farmer suicides in India. By using water based, solvent free inks, they aren’t putting themselves and others at risk. The quality means durability, so their products last. While people may care about the environment, it can be really difficult to live your life sustainably. I struggle with it all the time, and I study it! It is important for consumers to have more sustainable options. It is equally important for young people like me to see that running a sustainable business is viable. The supply side needs to grow, and the consumer base needs to use its voice.

Besides learning loads about sustainable business practices and textile design, I got to get to know Lara and Teegs and all the other wonderful people in and out of the studio. I had adventures in Melbourne, often as a result of my poor directional skills. I got very inspired by Melbourne’s architecture, especially the colors and designs around Fitzroy, where I was staying. The result: some lino block prints of windows, door, and fences, and a print run of stenciled fences! I’ve completed a “Prismatic” quilt top from Kathreen Ricketson’s book “Little Bits Quilting Bee” from the fabric I printed. I will complete the quilting upon my return to the United States in a few weeks.

Thanks to Teegs and Lara for an amazing experience! Melbs, I’m sure we’ll meet again!

Gretta's lino cuts, she made some lovely art prints from these &
developed the idea further to create the design & handcut stencil
which she printed as a two colour separation below!

Quilt top completed! Didn't Gretta do a wonderful job??


Hannah said...

This is a great post! I am friends with Gretta back from Knox and it's so exciting to read about her experiences at Ink and Spindle! It looks like you do amazing work. Fun post!

Karen L R said...

Lara and are THE BEST for opening your studio and hearts to all of your lucky and lovely interns.

I can't wait to see what Gretta pulls out of her backpack when she returns home next week!

xoKarenLR (Gretta's Marmie)

Lindsey Reed said...

I am so inspired by my little sister Gretta and so grateful to you at Ink & Spindle for the work you do, and being so open to teaching it to others! I agree with Gretta that us "young people" need to see sustainable business models like yours! Now she can come back home and teach others all that she's learned!

debbi d-w said...

What a marvelous post! I'm so heartened to see creativity & fiber moving into the next generation - especially so thoughtfully.

Unknown said...

Such an insightful post... thanks Gretta for sharing your thoughts and views on sustainability, you made some very valid points. Lucky you landing the internship you wanted and having such wonderful experiences in Melbourne and Australia. All the best for your future :)

Uniforms Australia said...

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