Monday, 1 September 2008

Emma Greenwood

As promised, here is Clog's very-exclusive with the not-at-all-reclusive leather and textile maker, Emma Greenwood. What a way to kick off the week! Also, don't forget to check out Emma's blog for more tales about her Open Bench Residency.

What was it like working in Gallery 3?

It has been great! I work at home by myself, so it has been lovely to have visitors, comments on the space and my work. I have also enjoying hanging out with Craft Vic staff, hearing Nella laugh, having a long browse in the shop and watching Joe walk past looking important and distinguished in his scarf. I’ve even managed to sneak out and have a long lunch next door at Cumulus.

What were you hoping to make during your residency?

My list was long but I have had to reassess it due to all the fabulous conversations I’ve had. I have comleted a pattern for my son’s new shoes. Today I’m assembling the uppers. Yesterday I managed to last a pair of shoes (when you wrap the upper over the last with special pliers, stiffeners, glue and a bit of swearing). I have a few patterns on the go, plus some belts and a bit of crochet.

Tell us about the space you’ve created in Gallery 3…

I bought a lot, I am a more-is-more kind of person. I like to be inspired by images, materials and most importantly by colour. I’ve covered a couple of walls in images and favourite thing. I have a bookshelf full of visual reference books – fashion, footwear, jewellery, patterns, crochet – and rolls of leather, heaps of tools, some finished work, tea cups and pistachio nuts.

I’ve set up two desks which is a luxury. I can jump between projects, oh and I have a bit of room for dancing.

Did you have any interesting conversations?

Many great chats, most visitors are practitioners themselves and we talk about studios, courses studied, where to get materials, great galleries and shops. A lot of conversations have been about balancing creativity with motherhood, an issue close to my heart. And Pene Durston brought me chocolate treats from Haighs!

…or overhear any sneaky talk?

I do get to hear people adoring and/or critiquing the In The Making show, mums telling their kids not to touch, pigeons roosting in the windows and the people downstairs banging their broomsticks on the ceiling in protest at my hammering.

What’s the first thing people tend to ask you about your practice?

“Is red your favourite colour?”
“Where do you sell your work?”
“Did you really make those?”

Mostly the questions have been about where I learnt the craft of shoemaking and how long does it take to make a pair of shoes.

Last but not least, any tasty (maybe even secret!) facts about you?

· I am ambidextrous – a bit of left and right-handedness which comes in handy when using tools and knives.
· I got stuck out on the fire escape stairs yesterday when I was using my stinky glue and the door closed – I had to walk around the block and come back through the front door!
· I don’t like brown.
· I used to be a bike courier.
· I am a compulsive list maker.

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