Just because nobody understands you, doesn’t mean that you’re an artist.  But having a studio must help; every artist has one of those, right?

My favourite place to be is right here in my workspace.  Rather than show you the full horror that would have any psychiatrist reaching for the hoarding section of their diagnostic manual, I shall start with a few highlights….

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These button drawers come from old treadle sewing machines. One of the many organisational tasks that has been started is button sorting, and these drawers are the proud owners of tidy rows of acid-free board onto which are sewn some of my favourite buttons in a melange of groupings such as colour, (vague) era, material, prettiness, size and kitchness (note the fluffy dice).
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Glass buttons. Probably mostly Czech. Also some studio glass with gold leaf.
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Every grrl needs a plastic grass frame and large jars of vintage sequins.
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Wonderful gilded glass, velvet-lined thimble display box.
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Dear Air NZ, thank you for throwing out your old leftover first class pepper shakers so we hoarders could collect them…
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A drawer of ribbons and braids.
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Yes, I have a mania for old drawers, boxes, useful stuff and rubbish…..
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Some things just cry out to be presented to the world in a new format; I can show you what it is all about!!
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Antique sequins; the best! Most rare and fabulous of all – gelatin sequins (a whole new reason to avoid the rain) which don’t survive well.
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Modern applique pincushion; beautiful fragile found skull waiting for a home in my work.
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Drawer of vintage linen threads; oh delicious!! Above it an inspiring collection of old bottles, Beecham’s pills, antique pins, chatelaine needlecase and wooden box from a late mentor.
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A contemplation corner with library and tambour beading table, currently overrun.
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The box of antique beads that have been awaiting a sort for a year or two now….
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Jars of mother-of-pearl and vintage-plastic buttons.
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Mmm, old buckles in a wooden box; bliss!
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Antique bead collection. They haven’t been made this tiny for over 100 years. The smallest can be lined up 30 to an inch. The French called them ‘sable’ meaning sand.
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A wonderful old Clark’s promotional thread display box. Used by me to sort spools of silk thread.
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Anglo-Indian cabinet; a dream for the hoarder of little things!
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Sometimes we are not as practical as we like to think. This wonderful African hardwood shop cabinet is about 2 x 4 x .75 metres. So why did I think it would fit easily in a station-wagon???! Wonderful pull-out shelves perfect for fabric arranging…
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The Japanese cylinder bead wall is formed from a wonderful wooden case that was once used to organise the bookings for a local taxi company; thank-you computers for forcing the case to find a new home!
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Follow the blue rhinestone hoard?
So, I have a lot of stuff that I think is fabulous.  As a child, I collected shells – but only the littlest, strings of seeds from my mother’s homeland of Fiji, and basically little found objects of any sort.  I would store assemblages of these treasures in miniature jars with no fixed intention for their future.

Now, my collected materials are all just that – like an array of paints waiting for me to need each one.  The materials speak to me in their own way, and sometimes do drive the outcome of a work, but more often the concept of a work is clear, and I bring to it the assembled objects that to me convey that meaning.  Does it matter?  I don’t know; it just IS.



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