Apr 7, 2011

Creator Profile - Manx Minx

This month's first crafter profile is about the lady behind the wonderful creations of Manx Minx.  Read on to learn more about this talented eco-conscious lady!

Tell us a little about yourself
Manx Minx is art & craft created from salvaged textiles.  I first started the Manx Minx workshop in 2002 with the creation of the ‘Prehistoric Fish’ toy, quickly followed by the ‘Auntie’ handbag range.  Over the years I’ve created a kaleidoscopic range of toys & handbags that are eco-designed as much of the fabric used has been salvaged from showroom upholstery sample books, remnants, & discontinued end-of-line fabrics.  I’m not just interested in the shape, colour & texture of producing a unique product, but also the environment after generations of a throwaway mass-production based culture.  As I’ve always worked full or part-time, it meant working part time on my craft but now I’m a WAHP I’m trying to dedicate more time to creating.  However my 1yr old Heath keeps me busy!

What do you create?
There’s a few things I dabble in:

Handmade Toys:  individually crafted toys made from salvaged upholstery samples. 

Bags & accessories:  inspired by naive romanticism early 20th century style, with a bohemian twist.  Sewn from salvaged upholstery material & new trims, each one is different from the next. 

Jewellery:  designs incorporate stones & crystals, salvaged Perspex, & found objects.

Previous stock lines have included boutique cushions and clothing.  These items were sold on consignment at various shops and also market stalls at 4ZZZ Market Days, Adventjah festivals, and market locations around Brisbane .

How long have you been making things?
I’ve been making things for as long as I can remember.  

Originally I started as an exhibiting artist, having studied Visual Arts at QUT.  I worked mainly with stocking material, wire & hard plastic,  & exhibited at places like Soapbox, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Source 22, & various nightclub events in the Valley.  

My work took a turn when I was employed at Reverse Garbage as part of the CJP initiative.  I was one a few artists employed to make items from salvaged materials to sell in the (then new) gift shop.  Previously I hadn’t experimented with upholstery material having worked predominantly in weaving, dying fabrics, welding, ceramics, the usual dressmaker fabrics, & even leather/sheepskin off cuts.

One of the strangest things I’ve made was for one of my chickens:  Szechuan Chicken was her name & she always used to lose all her feathers in the middle of winter, so we’d have this scrawny, poor little shivering chicken running around our yard.  So I got some polar fleece & fashioned a chicken poncho for her to wear.  She lived til about 8 yrs old (that’s ancient for a chicken) so it must’ve helped!

Where do you get your inspiration? 
From the fabric textures and colours.  The impetus is consistent: a love of pattern, colour and texture to form quirky characters that talk through shape and form.   I try to utilise as much reclaimed and salvaged material in my products, as one thing we don’t need is more land fill!  I’m very environmentally conscious & try to do what little I can: whether it be the materials I use; supporting local businesses and artists; utilising eco-friendly products in the renovations of my house; the choices of my diet (I’ve been vegetarian since ’93); and the native plants in my yard grown to attract and feed birds.

How can people contact you?

People can find Manx Minx online at etsy and made it.  Every now and then I’m at various markets around Brisbane, stay updated via my facebook page and blog.

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