As a part of #CBSturns3 we are currently interviewing Colour Box Studio members, featuring their hard work and dedication to their craft and art. This week we talked to Melbourne based weaver, crocheter and crafter Catherine Hallam about her inspirations and style as well as social media and online platforms for art.

To learn more about how you can become a member, please go to our Colour Box Studio Membership page.

How did you get into weaving, crocheting and crafting?

Catherine Hallam - picture taken from www.saintcardigan.com

Catherine Hallam – picture taken from www.saintcardigan.com

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved making things. My first serious craft love affair was with needle felting, and I took up crochet after seeing all of Pip Lincoln’s fun projects on her blog Meet Me At Mike’s. Between felting and crochet I became a bit addicted to wool and yarn, so when I did a weaving workshop with Maryanne Moodie it was pretty easy to get hooked on that too. I think I’ve been attracted to these particular crafts as they really allow you to play and develop your own style.

What do you look for or consider when purchasing your equipment or pick which yarns to choose? Is it the texture, colour etc?
I’m 100% motivated by colour! I’m guilty of having bought some cheap and nasty yarns just because I loved the colour. Recently I’ve been starting to pare back my yarn stash with a view to stocking it up with some nicer quality yarns. I’ve been seeing a lot of people dyeing their own yarns of late, and I recently picked up some natural-dyed yarns at a market while travelling, so it’s always nice to know where the materials have come from, rather than whatever’s available at Spotlight, but let’s face it, buying yarn can quickly turn into an expensive exercise! Essentially, colour is the way to my heart.

You also create jewellery out of polymer clay. How did that start?
It actually started when I took a workshop at Colour Box Studio with the Aacute Jewellery team! I immediately fell in love with polymer clay, as it’s such a versatile material, and you can just play with colour and effects to your heart’s content. As a bit of a clothing addict, the idea of being able to custom make accessories to go with my outfits is also a lot of fun.

Nautical necklace - Photographed by Catherine Hallam, 2015

Nautical necklace – Photographed by Catherine Hallam, 2015

Your work includes a lot of shapes, forms and is more abstract. How would you describe your style?
I’m not quite sure how I’d describe my style! I like to surround myself with things that I find pretty and pleasing to look at, and evoke some sense of calm or joy, so I think that’s what I’m trying to achieve with the use of pastels or bright, fun colours, and balanced shapes in my weavings in particular. I’ve been a little more ‘out there’ with my polymer clay necklaces, as I like the idea of being able to take a piece of wearable colour with you to brighten things up wherever you may be.

Colour is very present in your work. What attracts you to certain colour combinations or style? Have you always been attracted to soft/muted, pastel and neon colours?
I’m completely colour obsessed. I find wearing, working with, or surrounding myself with certain colours really makes me happy. For example I’ve been in love with mint and teal tones for the last few years. I just find it a really comforting, calming colour, so I guess I usually choose my colours based on my emotional response to them. I think I have always been drawn to pastels. Maybe that means I’m always looking for a bit of calm in my life! I do like a pop of bright colour here and there, but it’s unlikely I’m going to start producing a lot of work in black or fire engine red anytime soon!

What do you love/ find rewarding about your current work? Is there a particular project that you’ve enjoyed?
Making, and in particularly weaving, is quite meditative for me. I love the chance to switch off from everything else and just focus on the simple act of weaving the yarn under and over. It’s always rewarding when something you’ve put hours of work into turn out well. For instance, my current favourite weaving the my Lulu weaving, as it turned out even better than I originally visualised it, and I really enjoyed playing with those colours. I’d like to do a series of Lulu weaving using the same colour combination and varying the shapes.

Lulu - Photographed by Catherine Hallam, 2015

Lulu – Photographed by Catherine Hallam, 2015

On your blog, you have a section dedicated to creative crushes, why do you think it’s important to recognize your inspirations?
There’s a great quote from the book ‘Steal Like an Artist’ by Austin Kleon – ‘You don’t want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes.’ This really resonates with me. I find inspiration not just from other weavers or people who do similar work to mine, but in all sorts of makers and creatives, i.e. illustrators, jewellery makers, because something of the unique way they see the world is present in their work. I think recognising those inspirations helps me to understand what kind of creative I want to be, and strengthens my own unique perspective, so I can bring that to my work.

How does blogging help you out in your creative work?
Blogging helps me to feel connected to other makers and creatives, as it’s a great platform to share about creative processes and experiences. I’ve met some awesome people via blogging lately! It also allows me to reflect on my own work and processes, and creativity in general as I have to gather my thoughts in order to write about these things clearly.

Alice - Photographed by Catherine Hallam, 2015

Alice – Photographed by Catherine Hallam, 2015

Your blog isn’t just about your work but it also documents where you find inspiration, thoughts and your shop
I find creativity to be a really fascinating thing in general, so I didn’t want to limit myself to just writing about my own work, or weaving or crochet, etc. I wanted to be able to talk about a whole range of things that inspire me, be it other makers, music, books, etc. I find that experiencing great art makes me want to better my own work, even if that art isn’t at all related to what I do. For instance I might see a movie or read a book that really excites me and often my first reaction is to want get stuck into my own creative work. I think it’s just inspiring seeing creative, passionate people who are great at what they do. It makes me want to be better too!

Miranda necklace - Photographed by Catherine Hallam, 2015

Miranda necklace – Photographed by Catherine Hallam, 2015

We can find you on most social media platforms and your blog, do you think it’s necessary for artists to be found online to be relevant?
I’m not sure if its necessary, but I think in this day and age, it would certainly be a hindrance not to be. Social media is a tricky beast, but for all it’s downsides, I think it’s an amazing way to connect with other creatives and people who might be fans of your work. I’m constantly stumbling upon incredible artists via Instagram, and it’s always wonderful to see online communities forming via social media that wouldn’t necessarily be able to exist otherwise.

We can also find you on Etsy, where people can buy your work. Would you recommend for other creatives to put their online shop on Easy? Why? and why have you chosen for your work to be listed on there?
Etsy is my go-to when I’m trying to find really unique gifts or pieces that I’ve been unable to find elsewhere, and I love being able to support makers and small businesses. I only recently opened my Etsy store, but I felt it would be a good place to start, at it’s a well known platform. I know I’ve personally discovered some amazing artists just through browsing Etsy, so I’m hoping Etsy can help me get my work out there too.

Woven Slumbers - Photographed by Catherine Hallam, 2015

Woven Slumbers – Photographed by Catherine Hallam, 2015

Where can we find out more about you online? 
You can find my blog here: www.saintcardigan.com
Instagram here: https://instagram.com/misscathelizabeth/
And Etsy here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SaintCardigan

To have the chance to be a featured artist in our creative programming, you can become a Colour Box Studio member. Check out the perks and benefits of being a member and help us celebrate our third birthday!

 

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