I thought I would take you on a behind-the-scenes visit to my studio and share with you what these work days look like.
The studio is where I slowly work on my creative practice; developing print collections and designing pieces for the home. I crave this time at the studio and it’s where I can centre myself and dedicate a few precious hours to just my work.
On my studio days I drive Margot, my old ’68 Mercedes from home. It’s like the whole world slows down when I’m driving her, it certainly does for all the people stuck behind me on the road :)
I like to arrive early, when it’s just me and my thoughts, before my small team arrive. It allows me to have some thinking and doing time within the space.
The roller door comes up and I put the music on straight away. I can’t ever be in silence here, even for a second.
I usually put on a Spotify playlist (here is a favourite one) and turn the music up loud, then walk around and take in what’s been happening downstairs.
One song I have on high rotation right now is an old cover by Bob Dylan called ‘Corrina Corrina’. I don’t usually like a lot of Bob Dylan, but this song seems to add to the atmosphere of the early mornings, plus I love a bit of harmonica.
The entry to the studio really sets the tone for the whole space and I love to walk in and see it looking beautiful. There are always stacks of photography books and magazines on the coffee table and vases of fresh flowers.
I really go out of my way to make the studio feel like home with these layers. I think it makes a huge difference to the quality of the work which is created here and the homely mood brings a sense of comfort for everyone.
Now that it’s a bit cooler in temperature I’m enjoying wearing my vintage trench coat with deep pockets. Funnily enough this trench used to belong to Mirka Mora, the French born Australian visual artist.
It has splashes of purple paint on it, which I love… it also came with a few old tissues in the pockets, which I didn’t love so much.
The entrance is flooded with natural light and is a place where I style new prints and play with sizes and scale. I like to be very hands on with the works.
I move the frames around all the time, like pieces of furniture. I do this here at the studio and also at home. I love how a ‘move around’ instantly revitalises a space and in doing so also revitalises me, and how I feel within the space. It lifts the mood and gets my creative ideas flowing. Basically it just makes me happy!
This process also helps me understand how the pieces can add dimension into the homes of our customers and collectors.
Even though I love to hang the photographic prints, my favourite way to display them is actually ‘on the lean’. All sizes look great ‘on the lean’ and can look so artful and contemporary.
I then head upstairs to check the emails and to see what orders and activity has come in overnight from the USA and Europe.
My photographic pieces are often included within interior schemes and commercial fit outs, by both interior designers and architects. I always find it exciting to see how my photographic pieces will be incorporated into their concepts.
This is where I sit at my desk and this is my view. I’m working on two new photographic print releases at the moment. They are both at difference development stages.
The other release is square format release of prints called ‘Ode to Olive’, which is a collection dedicated to the 1940’s Australian photographer Olive Cotton. The pieces are all bronze and sepia landscapes, all shot on my medium format Hasselblad, on film.
If you would like to know when I release these collections sign up here and I will email you.
This is a test strip of a new print called ‘Childhood at Seal Rocks’. When I introduce a new piece into the print shop I always arrange test strips to check quality and to make sure the colours are spot on and exactly how I want them to be.
Because I offer 5 difference sizes from small traditional sized prints through to the extra large prints, I need to be thorough and ensure the printing is of the highest quality.
I actually photographed this print while on an East Coast road trip before Covid. I was patiently waiting for the scene to unfold at the beach, then when the children started playing the childhood clapping game ‘Patty Cake’ in the shallows I knew it was ‘the moment’.
That feeling of nostalgic childhood holidays. These simple pure moments are the ones I’m always looking for.
Once a week I sign and date photographic works which have been ordered from my online shop. Each print is specially custom printed for our customers and then we carefully package and ship them all over the world to their new homes.
Knowing my work is going into peoples homes – the place where they feel protected and comforted – is a feeling I never take for granted. To be included within their home is a very sacred thing.
This particular piece is called ‘Sacred Ground’ and it’s about to be delivered to a regional customer out west for their homestead.
I love seeing the addresses come through of where the works will be headed and then seeing which prints they have selected.
The golden tones will work very nicely with where they live within the landscape and this medium size is the most versatile size I offer. It also means that this piece can be moved around from time to time within their home, from the hallway, to the bedroom or even into the lounge room above the sofa.
Here I’m signing the first edition extra large sized print of ‘Childhood at Seal Rocks’ that you saw on the test strip a little earlier. This is a new favourite piece. I find that the beach in sepia is a match made in photographic heaven and always looks so good.
The extra large photographic pieces are very special pieces of work. The scale is extraordinary and they really add so much impact to a room so effortlessly.
I know selecting prints can be tricky and it can be hard to decide which prints are right for your home. If anyone is feeling indecisive I always encourage them to email me and send through shots of their home. I love to help and talk interiors and find the right piece for your space.
We often send pieces of work to Australians living abroad who are feeling a little homesick, which has been rather popular over the last year or so.
This medium size piece titled ‘Gum Trees’ feels like Australia. You can almost smell the scent of the eucalyptus. It really does feel like ‘home’.
I remember reading a passage from an Australian gardening book where Dame Elisabeth Murdoch sent an envelope of lemon scented gum leaves to her husband who was abroad, to remind him of home.
When he received the envelope he scrunched the leaves in his hands, releasing the scent of Australia, which I’m imagining would break your heart if you are longing for home. He then kept the leaves in his pocket until he died years later.
This print has the same effect on me.
This piece called ‘Australian Summer’ is a photograph I’m really proud of. I had a very particular idea for this shot and it took months to find just the right group of trees, with just the right amount of calm ocean.
Whenever I sign this print for customers who have chosen to collect this piece I always think to myself that this person who has bought this work ‘gets it, they get it’, they understand the gentle beauty of this photograph’.
If I feel there is a gap for something at home, I will find a piece or have it custom made and test it out at home first.
When I’m in product development mode I like to observe the forms of the lifestyle pieces.
The pieces have to both look good and feel good while being held within the hand.
Currently on the table I’m about to introduce Australian beeswax pillar candles and I’m selecting glazes and working on forms for a stoneware tabletop release later in the year.
Before I know it it’s usually time to leave and head home to our new baby Edie.
To be honest I generally always feel a bit torn. I love my work and always want to stay, though I know there is now a little bundle who I love so much, waiting for me at home, who is hoping for milk and wanting to yank on my hair with her little hands.
I don’t always get everything done, but I always leave feeling happy, knowing things are under control and moving forward. My small team are incredible and so supportive, I love them.
Then it’s back in Margot with a head full of ideas, my heart racing and the music up loud.
Hope you enjoyed seeing what these days look like at the studio.
If you liked this, you can see more of the studio with the Studio Tour from a couple of years ago when I first moved in.
And remember, if you would like to know when the new print releases are launching you can sign up to the mailing list.