FK chats to Abbey and Katherine from Melbourne based label Golden Ink Collaborative. Golden Ink made its Finders Keepers debut at the recent Melbourne Markets.
Tell us about your collaboration – Golden Ink.
As artists we have always admired each other’s work style and aesthetic. We had discussed collaborating for a few years, and finally early this year we booked an exhibition at Hand Held Gallery in Melbourne. This gave us a deadline to make the work, and we enjoyed passing pieces back and forth, and the visual that came from the combination of our skills. By sharing the process each of us could add new inspiration to the work that the may not have been realised. This was and still is an exciting and spontaneous way to work. Through making art works together we cemented the aesthetic for our wearable range, and went ahead to form golden ink collaborative.
What are your backgrounds and how did you meet?
We both have strong backgrounds in Visual arts and studied together at RMIT University. In 2007 Abby completed her Masters of Fine Arts, and Bachelor in Printmaking in 2005. Katherine completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Gold and Silversmithing in 2007. We kept in touch through uni, often visiting each other’s studios and thus began the bond of our artistic base for Golden Ink. Living in the same suburb, only a few streets apart also makes catching up and collaborating easier!
What draws you to working with ceramics?
For a long time we worked with different materials, trying to figure out how we could successfully put Abby’s prints/ illustrative work into a jewellery/wearable format. Katherine had been using ceramics in her silversmithing work, and after a few failed experiments with resin (and allergies!), we found a common medium in porcelain. Abby is able to paint a really fine line, or get great watercolour effect by mixing and applying ceramic stains to green ware. We both like the way clay is so versatile, (especially southern ice porcelain) and can be made into anything. It is still amazing and exciting opening the kiln after a firing, to see the transformation from dusty looking fragile pieces that have been laboured over, into glossy strong wearable and utilitarian objects in original works of art. We also realise we still have heaps to learn about the world of ceramics through all our trial and errors to date. At the beginning losing 95% of our work due to the many variants and technicalities behind ceramics!
What’s the most exciting part about running your own business?
The most exciting thing is being creative and doing what you love doing on a daily basis. Watching people’s response to the work has been amazing and very rewarding. Admittedly this far it has been all work, work, work, and trying to fit it in as an extra around our busy schedules. We have still enjoyed this hectic lifestyle and look forward to growing the business and creating full time.
Give us three awesome things you love to do in Melbourne.
We love to visit; art galleries/jewellery galleries, especially Craft Victoria, Pieces of eight, NGV, Gallery Funaki, Australian Galleries (works on paper/ printmaking). The city has some great little places to shop and eat, as does Fitzroy and all the little arcades and lane ways sprawled out through the CBD. Check out the Nicholas Building, a beautiful old building full of amazing artist studios, galleries (Blindside) and specialist shops (Alice Euphemia, Lenko, Maria George, buttonmania) right in the city.
How do you think the brand will grow in the future?
We would love to see Golden Ink products in gallery shops around Australia, and start an online store. Golden Ink will hopefully expand to a wider audience, and continue to create one off hand made pieces. There could be possible difficulties in choosing to do everything ourselves as the label grows. We do however strongly believe in producing work that is supported and inspired by our arts backgrounds in keeping with our concept.