MEET OUR MAKERS

Built on Enthusiasm

Ryan Mischkulnig

I’ve had a fascination with the the possibilities held by discarded things since I was a kid.  In primary school I would pick up bikes from the hard rubbish and rebuild them into one-off creations.  This evolved through highschool, to the point where I opened a market stall selling upcycled creations and hand painted vintage clothing.  I studied design and engineering at university, but have always found more joy and excitement in unlocking the potential in an old item, rather than designing a new one from scratch.  While I work across a range of mediums, including furniture and bicycles, my signature product is my bluetooth speakers.  Melding new technology with old, I am proud to be able to produce bluetooth speakers with all of the functionality of brand new ones, which are, by weight, over 90% repurposed.

 

I love being able to celebrate the adventure that a piece has been on during its life, while doing whatever is necessary to ensure that it fits within a customers 21st century lifestyle.

Patturn Studio

Rachel

Moving to Geelong with my husband and young family back in 2009, I left behind a career working in TV production. It gave me a chance to start anew, dabbling in hand-made creative pursuits while cultivating a separate graphic design business supporting corporates.

My hand-made dabbling soon turned into Patturn Studio, a project which has blown me away with the delight and support I’ve received from the general public over the last decade. Particularly my free Youtube tutorials – last time I looked my “DIY music shade” tutorial was over 19,000 views. Amazing for such a niche topic! 

Ever since I was little, I’ve had a fascination for things from the past. From vintage clothing to old buildings, music to furniture, if it’s rusty, crumbling or needs to be dusted off – I’m probably drawn to it. I’m also a firm believer that things need to be made “like they used to”, crafted to be continually repaired or upgraded and live on forever. Not simply created for a short life span and sent off to be dumped.

So with that in mind I like to “make-over” old lampshades where possible, but a lot of the time I’m using a new shade and adding authentic vintage material to it. Could be maps, sewing patterns, architecture plans, sheet music – the paper possibilities are endless. It’s almost like a reverse upgrade, adding old to the new to make a more desirable object.

I like to think that my hand-made lampshade designs go beyond what’s “trending” from one season to the next. I’d rather create lighting pieces which make a connection with people. That simple idea of light shining through lacquered paper covered shades has the potential to bring unique enhancement to an interior space for years to come.

Resinate Designs

Tracey Talko

I am the creator behind Resinate Designs, and have been handcrafting jewellery since 2004.  Specialising in images encased in resin, I use such items as vintage spoons in my jewellery to create unique and distinctive upcycled necklaces.  I work on Resinate Designs full time and live in Melbourne with my husband and three kids.

I’ve always loved crafting yet somehow stumbled down quite a non-creative career pathway, doing Science at university and then working in research for almost 10 years.  After having my first child, I wanted my career to take a different course; I wanted to rekindle my love of arts and crafts.  I started making beaded jewellery to sell at local markets and I also completed a silversmithing course, but I was really keen to try something different.  I can’t remember exactly why I thought of resin, as it wasn’t widely used back then (15 years ago or so), but I do remember wanting to use everyday objects in jewellery, and thought resin might successfully encase them.  So I began experimenting.  I firstly used old postcards, stamps and coins embedded in the resin, then moved to objects that held the resin itself – like the vintage spoons.  I love giving used objects a new life, and a different life to what they were originally intended.  I especially love firstly finding (I’m a self-confessed op-shopaholic) and then crafting the vintage spoons; they are so full of character and have such fine detail that you just don’t see in modern items.  I also enjoy the surprise factor of my spoon jewellery.  Customers often don’t realise the pendants are made from old spoons until they examine the piece closely.  In a world of fast-fashion and mass production, it is rewarding to create pieces that are unusual and one-of-a-kind.

OMG SeaGlass Designs

Kirsty

Ocean. Made. Glass. – OMG

I was born and raised in Tasmania, never being far from the beach. I started beach combing when I was just 5 years old, on our family holidays to the beach.

After moving to Melbourne in 2012 I found and fell in love with sea glass. It’s an addiction. When my collection of sea glass got to the point of not being able to store it anywhere, I decided to share my love of sea glass and now I create pieces of art and jewellery for others to admire and wear. 

My product means I get to work from home, as well as at the beach. I’m a mum of 2 boys so I wanted to be able to spend time with my children whilst still being creative. I get to spend time with my boys not just at the beach collecting but at home when I’m making too.

Sea glass is glass (aka rubbish) that has found its way into the ocean and been naturally transformed into beautiful little gems. All of my sea glass and beach treasures are found by me locally, not bought.  I absolutely love that my product is not mass produced but created by nature.  This means each piece of sea glass is different and uniquely the persons that buys my pieces.

Repurposing something that was once used in a totally different application is a great way of, not only picking up rubbish off the beach but, sharing how beautiful one’s rubbish can be.

Mangata Jewellery

Karina Leddin

I am the designer and maker of Mångata Jewellery. I maintain a sustainable practice through my use of recycled precious metals ensuring a regenerative approach to my craft.

Mangata Jewellery allows me to create in a way that doesn’t have a negative impact on the environment by ensuring all materials are sustainably sourced.

To me, Mangata Jewellery represents rejuvenation, transformation and rebirth.

Precious metal has an infinite life cycle with the ability to be melted down again and again and made into something completely new.

Trevor Neal Furniture

Trevor Neal

I’m a furniture maker/artisan based on the Mornington Peninsula.

I began creating recycled timber furniture some years ago armed with just a few basic tools, a bunch of disused pallets and the dream of living a simple life through my own hand.

I still remember the feeling of creating and selling my very first pallet piece. I was on my way and liking the freedom that came with it.

Since then, my work has continued to evolve and today I really enjoy crafting unique, functional, one-off pieces with a story to tell.

I’m environmentally concerned and like the idea of giving things another chance at life. There’s something beautiful about timber that has already lived and I look for the opportunity to expose that where I can. It’s why I prefer to work with recycled timbers.

All that said, nothing is left to chance, including quality in construction and design.

Tootsie Handmade

Karen

I’m a child of the 70s, so I learned to sew as a child, and to appreciate the skills and love needed to create clothing and other everyday items. I also grew up in a household where things were reused and repaired, and nothing much was wasted. This philosophy has carried over into my life and my little business.

My creative focus is to use vintage and reclaimed fabrics to design and create homewares and accessories. The older I get, the more I find myself drawn to the fabrics from my childhood, particularly the bright and bold designs from the 60s and 70s. There’s a real nostalgia in finding fabric I recognise from this time. But it’s not just fabric pieces I’m using, I repurpose tea towels, curtains and table linens as well. I like to think that I’m rescuing these fabrics from languishing on op-shop shelves and at the bottom of the linen cupboard, and giving them a new chance to be appreciated and used in a new way. I find sewing to be quite therapeutic. I really enjoy the process of pattern matching, and creating unique, one-off pieces that are useful and look fabulous.

Sustainable Stubbies

Ruth Allen

I’m a glass blower by trade. I’ve been blowing glass for more than 25 years.

In 2013 I started working with reclaimed glass rescued from restaurants and bars, and began working with this collected glass to turn them into something useful, something beautiful, and something you want to live with. This is when Sustainable Stubbies and Sustainable Light was created to share how old glass can be given new life in a beautiful and functional way.

With every bottle I get, I look at the shapes, the colour, the embossing the thickness and I design appropriately. Each bottle goes through a lengthy process of cleaning, cutting and sandblasting and a hot process. The scope of what is possible with bottles in transforming them through the heating process is infinite.

My business stands for a small step towards creating awareness, creating conversation, and being proactive towards sustainability.

Bubbles Bears and Other Wares

Laura Black

I live with my family in the leafy outer NE suburbs of Melbourne. Crafting in various forms has long been a passion of mine.

There is something innately therapeutic in the handmade process, even more so when bringing new life to materials that would otherwise have been on their way to landfill. 

Many people equate ‘up-cycled’ or ‘repurposed’ with ‘inferior quality’, but creating each item myself means that I know each and every process and material used in my products, which means in turn that I can have absolute confidence that I am offering a high quality product to rival anything made from ‘brand new’.

Ookie Originals

Louise Perry

As a little girl my sister and I learnt to sew , and we loved buying fabric and hand sewing rag dolls and dolls clothes. I was given a treadle sewing machine when I was about eight and the rest is history. I have always had a love of well made things. I’ve never like buying things that will need to be thrown away later, so I have many family pieces. I sewed for my children when they were young. I have op shop my whole life and have always been drawn to fabric. It’s a lovely satisfying feeling to see littlies running around in gorgeous old linens that would otherwise never see the light of day. Creating is good for my soul.

Ashbury Lane

Pamela Fletcher

I have been sewing since I was 14 years old. I am a mother to 4 and a grandmother of 2.  Making old things into new has been my whole life, and I have been involved in every kind of craft from A to Z along the way, from making and dressing Antique dolls to restoring furniture.

I am a member of Geelong Embroiderers Guild and have been involved in a number of their exhibitions.  I have decided to use some of my collection of fabrics and wool blankets to create something new and sustainable.
 
I love putting the colours and designs together and seeing the end result bring happiness to others.