Monday, April 29

Montage Maker interview - Nicole from Tall Rabbit

Tall Rabbit popped to life in 2009. 

My first market stall was at the November 2008 Made on the Left market and I didn’t have the Tall Rabbit name then. I was selling four products - badges, screenprinted cushions, framed pictures and hollow-form felted toys. From then on, my aim was to have at least one new item for each market I did. Since then I have made over 35 different product lines! The main ones I sell at the moment are lasercut jewellery, greeting cards, magnets, badges, framed prints and notebooks.

I studied Illustration and Design at uni which I really enjoyed. Perth is not the best place to find work as a full time illustrator and I prefer to draw for myself anyway. That way I can make everything cute! I work as a graphic designer which is quite a creative job. I enjoy the problem solving aspect - finding the best way to communicate using visual elements - it’s not just about ‘making things look pretty’! With my Tall Rabbit work, I have the opportunity to be really creative but in a different way. I get to invent characters, draw, make things with my hands, paint, play around with fonts and colours on the computer, experiment and have a lot of fun! I also get the satisfaction of seeing something that I have created go from start to finish and know it is every single bit my work.

Even before I started making things I always appreciated handmade. Whenever I travelled to somewhere new one of my favourite places to check out would be the local handmade markets – the things there are always so unique and original and really feel special. They mean so much more than a cheap, mass produced trinket. It also feels good to be supporting another creative person.

Producing handmade items means that I can make sure that all my products have a consistent high quality and that every item will have to meet my standards. I can be a perfectionist at times and if something is not quite right I won’t sell it. That way I can always be proud of what I produce

I get inspiration from everywhere. I try to keep a sketch book and camera with me at all times in case I need to record something I see or think of. The internet is also a great source of inspiration and research but it is also a great time waster! It is so easy to start looking up something then suddenly it’s 2 hours later and you have 50 windows open, each with potentially interesting or useful information or pictures that you just have to look at!

It is always a challenge to find enough time and space to do everything I want. Even if I had an enormous studio space and every minute of the day, I still think it wouldn’t be enough for all the ideas I have! I often dream of having a big studio with separate areas for printmaking, my computer, a sewing area and a crafting area. I would also have a ‘cute area’ for my collection of cute things I have gathered throughout the years (I have a lot!).

I was involved in the very first Montage in Fremantle in January 2011. I love being part of the Montage Collective as it has allowed us to do something together that we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise and I have met lots of people through it. It is a rare opportunity to have your products in a retail environment as well as being part of running the shop and interacting with customers. I have never worked in retail before and it’s a good chance to learn about merchandising and marketing as well. I look forward to each pop-up shop we do. Even though it can be quite stressful and a lot of hard work it is also fun and rewarding. I’m really proud of what we have done together.



Friday, April 26

Montage Feature Artist - Samantha Hughes Designs

My name is Samantha Hughes of Samantha Hughes Designs. I make art, illustrations and lovely handmade things in a tiny studio at the top of a turrety-house that looks out over the treetops. 

My work has appeared in exhibitions as well as on posters, trading cards and even on shoes. I love to create cute and quirky designs that make people smile. I love zombies and monsters and they often feature in my work. I like to create in the deep velvet time around midnight, when cake eating monsters and other strange beings come out to play. 
This is my very first time being a feature artist with Montage – and I am very excited to be a part of it!

What else do you do with your life? 
I am also a librarian. I have a deep love for children’s books and promoting reading and literacy.
I have always loved making things. When I was little we had a box full of craft supplies that I loved to rummage in, then create something fabulous. My art and craft cupboards are the grown-up version of that box - full to bursting with possibilities. I like the puzzle-solving elements of making – from brainstorming ideas to creating a finished product. Sewing and painting also involve a lovely, intense kind of focus almost like meditation that makes me feel better when I am having a bad day.

How do you come up with ideas? 
I have more trouble stopping ideas than I do coming up with them! I have a stack of notebooks filled with doodles and sketches. I get inspired by fairy tales and folk tales. Cartoons and the things I loved in my childhood all feed my idea factory.

Tip for balancing time 
Set aside time just for you every week in your diary. It might be five minutes or a whole day where you switch your business brain off.  It’s far too easy to get caught up in the exciting whirlwind of making lovely things. You need to look after yourself too.

What are your plans for 2013?
In 2013 I want to work on new illustrations and making sweet little objects that make people smile. I would really love to build the commissions side of my business – making art especially for people is so rewarding.

Tell us about a piece you created that has made you happy
I recently did this painting of a librarian moose wearing a rainbow jumper for someone who was leaving work. It was such a perfectly ridiculous combination of things that it made me giggle as I drew it. And I got to put glitter on it! It was one of the most fun commissions I have done in ages. 

What sets your work apart?
I like to think I have a very individual style to my work. Intense colours and quirky characters unite to make cute and vibrant art.

What do you wish you could do better
Manage my time and my ideas! I have too many ideas and too little time.
What has surprised you about your biz? When people recognize me at markets and say how much they love my work. It’s completely thrilling but also always very surprising!

How do you select gifts/ jewelry / clothing for yourself or to give to others (what is your personal style?)
When I am choosing jewellery or clothes I look for something that makes me smile. A bold pattern, luscious colour or unique design will always make me pause when I am out shopping. I love handmade jewellery because I know that there will be nobody else on the planet who has the exact same piece as me. 


Tuesday, April 23

Montage Feature Artist - stepmum's

Hi there, welcome to stepmum’s!

We are happy to join the Montage team as guest artists in this year’s first pop up shop.  All our products are handmade either by me, Lena or my husband Rainer.

We started our business back in 2004 after we emigrated from Europe to Australia. Perth wasn’t in desperate need of German actresses so I had to find my little niche. At that time I had a market stall with our first and then only product wallets made from milk cartons. My stepmother had shown me how to make them and was a great companion in discovering the beautiful world of recycled goods. She is honoured in our business name “stepmum’s”.

I love to play around with new materials. One that particularly appealed to me was vinyl records. It is so much fun, you can do almost anything!  I like that the material itself has a story. The music is still on it we just can’t hear it, or can we?  I gradually increased our vinyl range and now we have clocks and bowls, cake stands and pencil holders, even bags! We also recycle the covers into postcards. The cheesier the cover is, the better the card. All our price tags and business cards are from recycled covers as well.

In 2007 Rainer was hooked by the whole recycling idea and added his fantastic inner tube products to our range. He makes bags and pouches from truck tubes and seatbelts. Sometimes when great ideas emerge you wonder why you didn’t come up with them earlier. Where else should you have a bag made from a truck tube? When we go to the tyre places to source our tubes it’s like going on a treasure hunt. They can have all sorts of pattern and prints. Sometimes we find one that has been mended with patches multiple times and we wonder where the truck has been? Wouldn’t it be great to know?

All the materials are sourced locally. The ‘green’ aspect of our business is very important to us but it is equally important that people buy our product because they like the design and find it useful. Although our stuff is retro and quirky we try to go beyond being a gadget. We both produce at home (between our various other jobs) and the best moments are when we find time to work on new ideas. We also both agree on the big disadvantage when working with recycled materials, the cleaning! We both hate it! But the magic transformation from this big smelling rubber pile into those immaculate shining satchel bags is worth the effort. It is very encouraging that after almost ten years people are still exited and inspired with what we are doing.

Stepmum's will be in store at Montage until the end of this week.

Wednesday, April 17

Northbridge O-day

Montage is so excited to be opened during Northbridge O-Day this weekend (squee!!)

As part of O-Day Montage will open at 10am (both shopfront and market stall).
We will also have a market stall on the streets nearby.
When: Sunday 21 April 2013, 10am - 5pm
Where: Perth Cultural Centre, Northbridge Piazza and everywhere in-between

There will be so much to see and do on the day! Over 100 activities, workshops and performances, free things to collect - Local art, theatre and music will all be available throughout William St and Perth’s cultural centre, in Northbridge. 

Stumble upon curious delights as you browse designer markets, grab a tasty treat from one of the delicious food stalls, hunt down your free magnet set and pick up some new tips and tricks from one of the many workshops. Dance in the dark, learn some circus secrets, yarn bomb a Vespa scooter or beam yourself into a movie on the big screen... who knows where you will find yourself.

Here is a brief roundup of whats on offer!

Come and join in yarn bombing a vintage Vespa!

Montage are Bombing a Vespa…. with Yarn!!!

Join us in the Pop-Up Shop on O-Day for some knitting, crochet, stitching, french knitting, finger knitting, pom pom making fun - we will be yarn bombing a vintage Vespa in-store and we'd love you to join in! We provide yarn, hooks, needles, instructions, patterns, etc plus, of course, the Vespa! You provide your enthusiasm, sense of fun plus $2 towards materials. Previous yarn skills are optional - we will be there to help and show you how.

We have given 'Jessie' (the Vespa) a head start but are determined to have him in a full suit of yarn armor by the end of the day. Join us to make it possible.

The finished work of Vespa Art will be on display in the Montage Pop-Up Shop until we close on 4th May so make sure you come and have a look some time even if you can't make it on the day.

Join us in Vespa Yarn bombing to earn a stamp for a free book bag! (details below)  

Free special edition book bag- get stamped at Montage!

Have your Guide stamped as you complete O-Day activities - once you have collected at least 5 stamps, visit the info booth at the James Street entrance to the Perth Cultural Centre to collect your free special edition O-Day Book Bag!
Complete activities marked with a gold star to collect your stamp!
Patrons will receive an O-Day map, to be stamped as they complete activities.

Onwilliam Designer Markets

Browse over 30 stalls - a treasure trove of handmade jewellery, gifts, clothing and accessories from local designers. located in the Perth Cultural centre, Montage will be there joining in the atmosphere.

Free collectable magnet set 

Featuring artwork by Martin E Wills, collect your 25 piece magnet set from 25 locations throughout Northbridge.
Grab your official O-Day guide on the day or download a map of collection points.
This is the sixth annual OnWilliam magnet set, with each years featuring a different local artist.
Hurry, supplies are limited!

Bring the whole family to Northbridge O-Day!

The kids can meet local wildlife, get their faces painted, be a mannequin in a shop window, learn circus skills, ride on the incredibly beautiful vintage carousel, go on the giant inflatable slide, play a giant-sized game of checkers and much, much more! ALL FOR FREE!!!

From backstage tours to treasure hunts, to workshops and performances, O-Day lifts the lid on all things Northbridge. Get adventurous, get creative and get very busy - how much of the O-Day program can you complete?

When the sun goes down the fun is not over, party on at one of the many O-Day after parties!

Northbridge O-Day is brought to you by City of Perth, Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority and OnWilliam.

For more information about what's going on at O-Day visit the website here:

Sunday, April 7

Montage Is open (incase you missed the fanfare!)

We are open!
Thurs 4th April - Sat 4th May, 2013

Mon-Thur 10-6,
Fri 10-8
Sat 10-6
Sun 11-5

224a William St, Northbridge Western Australia

Little Mo and Friends




Neddy Nibbles

After Many Years

Ella & Lilly

Tall Rabbit

Paper Plane

Major Mitchell

Simonette Ceramics

Eeva Margita

Fluid Ink Letterpress

Anna Hadwin Crotchet

Beau Est Mien

Beau Est Mien

Jessie the Vespa

Friday, April 5

Montage Feature Artist - Magali Dincher of Beau Est Mien Prints and Design

This week, we are wrapped to have the very special Magali Dincher of Beau Est MienPrints and Design as our feature artist. Magali will exhibit in Montage until Friday 12th April.
I think I have always been creative. But decided to have a degree in Urban Development and became a Town Planner. When I moved to Australia, I knew I wanted to do something else. Then I booked a printmaking workshop, which I incredibly enjoyed. Shana James, my teacher was really enthusiastic about my work and she really convinced me to keep printing. And that is what I have been doing for the last 4 years. People seem to like my work. And I like to make people happy. So, I keep printing to make people smile!
I teach printmaking in my Studio to people who want to learn more about different techniques such as Linocut, Collagraph, Screen Printing and Etching. And I love it!

Why do you love making?
I don't really know why, I know I do need to make.
What do you love about exhibiting in Montage?
I'm very happy to be part of it because the people who make it alive are great people. I love their work, I love their enthusiasm, I love the effort they put in this project to showcase and support Perth based craft people.
Any tips for selling creatives and selling online?
Do not be afraid of taking risks! 
I know it's a bit of an investment, but I recommend a beautiful and user friendly website.
What are your plans for 2013?
With my husband we are creating a range of stationery products including pocket journals, calendars, notebooks, postcards and prints of prints! My husband is a great graphic and web designer, and it's great working with him.

Monday, April 1

Montage Maker interview - Amy of After Many Years

My Name is Amy Farrell and I am the creator of After Many Years. I make light shades and mobiles inspired by the  patterns and shapes of magical palaces.  I have always had a love for drawing, designing and making. 

I have spent the last 10 years as an Art Teacher In the UK and Western Australia, during this time I’ve spent a lot of time dreaming about all the creations I could make while encouraging and helping my students create their own.

My label has been in operation for 4 months, during this time I have had a market stall at the Illuminites Christmas Night Markets and the recent Perth Upmarket, I have had a lot of positive feedback, which is really encouraging and humbling. One of my designs will be featured in the May edition of Australian House and Garden Magazine; I am so excited to see my work in such a renowned publication!!

I am currently studying Graphic Design at Central Institute of Technology, Teaching and working at The Butcher Shop Northbridge. These three roles which I love and enjoy all feed and inspire my creations for After Many Years, I feel lucky to have the opportunity to study for “the second time round” I’ve been able to develop my design skills which has ultimately enabled me to create the lights and mobiles I’m making today.

During my time working in London in a demanding inner city school, a man, who at the time I thought was quite odd and strange asked me if my parents had waited for many years to have me. I though this to be an odd question to which I replied, “No I don’t think so?” The man then proceeded to tell me that Amy was an acronym for After Many Years. I held on to the idea as using this name for something I might make one day, I always thought it might be a children’s book of some type with whimsical illustrations. At the time I was working in a stressful job and I had forgotten that creating and making once made me happy. Sometimes dreams and inspirations take a while to permeate through our fingers, I love seeing the name After Many Years written on my work, it reminds me to dream, create and believe.

Designing my pieces is a process which can never really be measured by time, I have recently been looking at my photos from my honeymoon in India, the organic lines of the buildings, the curves people make with their bodies while dancing have inspired me to sketch designs. I then like to make paper maquette of each of my designs, hanging them in my house to let the idea breathe. Most of the time I then cut re draw re cut then re hang....I live in a world of hanging paper shapes! Once I’m happy I then have my designs laser cut and hand paint each piece. 

I am very lucky to have a very good friend who is an electrician and has over seen the technical side of my lighting, my husband is also incredibly supportive and helpful with my new creative venture as are my lecturers and friends and Central Institute of Technology.

I believe in nurturing local creative talent in Perth There are so many talented people in our city who design, manufacture and make their products locally. Montage Collective is an amazing group of talented local people, I feel really excited to be part of the next up coming Pop Up shop on Perth’s creative mile- William Street Northbridge.