Our Hatchling of the month for March is none other than... *drum roll* the super-duper lovely Madeleine Sargent of Made by Mosey!
Madeleine, who is participating at this month's 'kids edition' of Craft Hatch at the State Library of Victoria, is a Melbourne-based artist whose signature products include patchwork quilts crafted from handkerchiefs and fluffy cloud/butterfly/sailboat mobiles. We first met Madeleine when we invited her to do the last Craft Hatch market at the State Library back in October 2010 and were blown away by how lovely and amazing she is! Of course we had to have her back and it gives us great pleasure to announce that Made by Mosey will be back again this Saturday, 12 March.
A selection of mobiles (priced at $65 each) is currently available for purchase on the online shop, and if you'd like to check them out in person make sure you visit the market this Saturday from 10am to 4pm at Experimedia in the State Library!
For now though, here is an interview and peek at Madeleine's work space. See you on Saturday!
Please tell us more about your background in interior design and photography (which would explain the lovely photography on your website!)
I studied photography at the Queensland College of Art, then RMIT and then further studies at RMIT in Interior Decoration and Design. It wasn't in succession and there were a number of stops and starts... overseas travel, repeating certain subjects (curse you Photographic Chemical Processes 101!) a decent sized stint as a visual merchandiser, a baby and general late night university mischief. It wasn't a smooth journey at all but I did it and enjoyed it and felt that it led me to eventually reach a point where I realised that my heart lay in textiles and sewing. I still have a strong love for photography but I use my blog for that.
I must clarify though that my husband Andy [Sargent] is responsible for most of my product shots. Yes I style them and have a very clear idea of what they should look like, but credit where credit's due. He is ace! And ever so patient...
What encouraged you to launch your label ‘Made by Mosey’ and what were your priorities for it in the beginning? And also, is there a story behind the name ‘Mosey’?
I've always loved sewing and being crafty. My grandmother is a bit of a craft queen and I spent a lot of time as a child working on projects with her. I suppose if I'm honest though it wasn't until I was hit hard with post-natal depression after the birth of my son (8 years ago) that I really started to sew up a storm. Sewing was very much part of my recovery. I was able to work on something that was truly my own, experiment and challenge myself and the repetition (needle in, needle out...) was very soothing. Being a new mother obviously influenced what I sewed and created. Turns out the things I made for Otto, friends and family really liked and I started making mobiles as gifts and then people started saying "you should really sell these" and at that point I thought why not?
I spent a long time revising and refining my product and then thanks to wonderfully generous blog world it all grew fairly organically from there. The internet has been so crucial in helping to spread the word.
My priority in the beginning, as it is now, continues to be fitting it in around my children. They are still young and time spent with them trumps all.
As for the name Mosey, it's just something that I liked the sound and meaning of. To mosey along is to just go along at a slow pace, stroll, amble, take the time to smell the roses... all things I wish I did more often but admittedly don't always do. Damn that holy grail of work/life balance!
[CLOG: I spy with my little eye some cute tags by Handmade Romance...]
What skills/approaches/attitudes did you find to be invaluable when launching your label?
I credit support from family and friends, nothing like a little encouragement to give you the confidence needed to get your stuff out there. I also have an insatiable desire to learn, I always have. New skills, sewing techniques, ways of manipulating fabric etc...
What else? Be prepared to work bloody hard! I am still in the stage of the business where I do everything. From collecting the twigs (I lie actually. This gets outsourced to the children whilst we're at the park!), obviously sewing everything, packaging then right down to stamping and sticky-taping up the box the mobile goes in. There is nothing I don't touch and I am often up late at night toiling away. If you love what you do (which I very much do) it pushes you to keep going. And if there is love in your work it will show and hopefully resonate with someone else.
Oh and you definitely need an Andy! My tech skills are non-existent and even something as simple as a press request for an image sends me into a spin. Must work on that...
Please tell us more about the materials you use in your work... I imagine your work space must be a textiles treasure trove!
I can not express how much I love fabric. Old, new, handkerchiefs whatever! I have been collecting it all on and off for years now and it's nice to finally use and share it. I work from home in our living/dining room so I have to be super organised otherwise the house gets filled with my 'stuff'. Currently plastic tubs, op-shopped baskets and cardboard boxes house everything. It's not ideal and I often dream of a space/studio where I can spread out. Fortunately this is something we are working on at the moment.
The fabric is sourced from everywhere. Online, ebay, patchwork fabric specialty shops, op-shops, vintage stores, Spotlight, Lincraft... No stone is left unturned.
What gets you in the mood to create?
I find inspiration everywhere, all of what you mentioned above helps me get in the mood.
Most recently, with the hot air balloons I have been working on I spent a lot of time hunched over books borrowed from the local library and some sweet old children's picture books I bought from an op-shop.
New product alert! These beautiful mobiles will be debuting at the market on Saturday.
What’s the most satisfying thing about your creative practice?
Being able to work at my own pace, being my own boss and not feeling the slightest bit guilty about the huge amount of time I spend fossicking around in second hand stores looking for inspiration, fabric etc. It's all for work!
...and the least?
When the twigs don't balance! Bah! Drives me crazy.
What would your dream collaboration entail?
Seeing as though the amazing and prolific Florence Broadhurst is no longer with us, I'd have to say my husband. He is just really, really clever and creative and we often dream about doing something together. Maybe I could bring to life one of his illustrations through embroidery or patchwork or we could design a textile print together...
And finally, if you could travel back in time by 5 years and give yourself some advice, what would it be?
Stop doubting yourself. Go for it. Oh and don't spend a minute more feeling anxious, nervous and shy about having to promote your work in person. There is this new thing called blogging and boy is it going to blow your mind... [CLOG: hmm that's really good advice!]