Monday, May 8, 2017

Monday Maker - Lava Living

Hello Kirsty, 

Thank you for sharing in our BrisStyler interview. Now, let's get to know this label of yours, Lava Living.

Were you creative as a child & do you come from a creative family?

Very much so to both questions. Art was always my favourite subject, and where I excelled. My parents were very cultured people, free thinking and they mixed in creative circles. My father originally trained as a signwriter and he kept a sketchbook full of fantastic sketches and animations. I wish I knew what happened to that sketchbook.

Both of my parents were mad about classical music and opera which was always playing in our little house in Norman Park, with Dad pretending to be the conductor. He eventually became an amateur opera singer. And he also became a talented quilt maker later in life.

Mum was an avid reader and became a freelance writer for Mode Magazine & Queensland Homes and my brother is a talented furniture designer and maker.

So how would you describe your work Kirsty?

Modern shibori textile design to suit the sophisticated bohemian.

Would you say your work has evolved since you started?

In the beginning when I started shibori and indigo dyeing, I was so captivated by it that I would lose sleep at night thinking about my next creative session. I would be up in the morning at the indigo vat before I'd even had a cup of tea!

Although I had some very early successes I also had many failures and lessons learnt by mistakes.
I now have developed a repertoire of techniques and designs that really work depending on the textile I am working with and the product I am making. I still lose sleep thinking about new designs, but I guess that proves my passion for it.

How did you start selling on Etsy?

I opened my Etsy shop in 2012 when I was creating screen-printed hand-made paper and some jewellery, but I only listed a few things and didn't commit to it or maintain it. It wasn't until early 2016 when I felt I had more of an artistic identity, that I transformed the Lava shop with new branding and shibori collections on Etsy and social media.                         
Where does your inspiration come from?                                                  

I'm inspired by the natural world and people who stand up for environmental protection and equality in all living creatures. People like Jane Goodall and the Dianne Fossey. Ethi-cool design brands inspire me as well, such as @miomojo_italia.

I've recently discovered the art of Shepard Fairy @obeygiant who does amazing screen prints for "art machine for social change"

How is your work eco friendly?

Often I buy commercial end of rolls and remnant fabric from Reverse Garbage and fabric stores along with upcycling bed and table linen from op shops. I even reuse shibori scraps.

What is your workspace like?

Under my house is my 'work cave' ( it's cool and there is not much natural light) this is where I do all my shibori and sewing. Plus I have a small showroom.

Out the back is where I do the indigo dyeing. The vat sit inside the opening of a small garden shed and I have a table set up in front of it under a canopy of palm trees. 

This is where I dip and dye and oxidise my shibori bundles. Then rinse, unbind, untie, unpick and hang on the line.

What is your favourite thing to make?

Currently it is a collection of cross body tote bags made from 'Australian Super Cotton'. A new and unique textile, grown, spun and woven in Australia.

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?

I'm looking forward to experimenting more with new shibori techniques and I'd like fill up my calendar with more events. I'm also planning on improving my branding image. So much to do, so little time.

Do you have a top tip to others wanting to break into the creative market?

Always trust your instincts.

What's a typical creative day for you?

It varies, for example I usually do all my shibori over a few days until I have a decent collection. After washing, drying and ironing all the pieces, I then spend a few days back in the cave designing, cutting and sewing the pieces into a variety of items.

Do you have a favourite quote?

'Always follow the will of Allah, but don't forget to tie up your camels.' - Unknown 

What kind of music do you like to listen to while you work?

I like 'SBS Chill' or 'Buddha Radio'.

Do you have a favourite handmade item that you have bought?

I have a Japanese linen jacket created by Gillit of Massuri. 

And where can we find you online?

How did you find out about BrisStyle?

From another BrisStyle member I met at a market. 

Why did you become a member?

To connect with other makers, gain support, and be exposed to further opportunities.
Why do you craft?

I studied art casually for approx. 16 years at the BIA and experimented with many art forms, but I felt most alive and engaged when I did a workshop and a couple of semester blocks in Sculpture.
I love working with my hands and to see something transform before my eyes into a piece of art is truly rewarding.

I see craft as something that brings art into your everyday life rather than being something to view and admire once in a while.

Thanks so much Kirsty, it was lovely getting to know you a bit more and we look forward to seeing your beautiful creations a bit more in the future.