FK talks to Madeleine Beatty about her Melbourne based label, Madz Has Runaway
Introduce us to your lovely label.
My name is Madeleine Beatty and about 5 years ago I started my label Madz Has Runaway. It all began when I was living with a good friend of mine who had an amazing vintage fabric collection. Some of the fabrics she had collected were so beautiful and sweet, they gave me goosebumps and left me breathless – I was in love! It started my fabric obsession and I have been incorporating fabrics into my work ever since. For many years I made resin jewellery, but I’ve just recently launched my latest jewellery range which is made with timber and carefully inlaid with fabric, as well as my first ever stationery designs, so I’m feeling really pleased about these new projects. I like to design pieces which are a bit sweet and whimsical, but at the same time are wearable and chic.
What is your creative background and how did you get into designing & creating?
When school finished, I studied Creative Arts with a major in Visual Arts, which lead to a few painting exhibitions which was really exciting and something that I’d love to do again sometime. I also started working as working as a prop maker and set painter, picking up a few practical crafty tricks. My fabric collection was growing out of control around this time and I needed to work out a way to prune it back, so Madz Has Runaway was born! I started making bags, and then shortly after started making the resin jewellery with interesting combinations of vintage and Japanese fabrics. These days, I’m busily working on my new timber and fabric jewellery designs and enjoying getting back into drawing and painting with my debut greeting card collection.
What do you look for in your fabrics & materials?
I love using fabrics that no-one else has a use for anymore – little scraps or remnants are all welcome in my studio and I’ll do my best to find a home for them! Small patterns and prints work well for my small jewellery pieces. I often buy vintage dresses too, and because I’m not a tall lady I always have to take up the hem – that extra fabric often gets used in the jewellery – which means I have found the best excuse to keep adding to the dress collection! While I was working on my cards, I researched which type of paper would be the most environmentally friendly and settled on on 100% post consumer waste card.
What other products are you currently developing?
Over the past 2 years I completed some studies in textile design and screenprinting, which got me thinking about what else I could work on. I’d love to design some tea-towels and other homewares down the track. I also want to keep developing the Madz Has Runaway stationery range – it’s such a treat to receive nice mail so I like to think that a Madz Has Runaway card is brightening someone’s letterbox somewhere.
What inspires you in Melbourne?
Melbourne is pretty nice and I feel pretty lucky to live here. A little inspiring thing can be found anywhere but some of my favourite haunts and treats include: Camberwell market, the portuguese tarts at Each Peach in East Brunswick, old-school milk bars, The Botanical Gardens, Melbourne Zoo (especially the koalas), Fairfield boathouse and the art and history at Heide Art Gallery.
You just debuted the label at Melbourne’s Finders Keepers, what was your experience like?
Well, it was quite a big weekend! It was nice to catch up with lots of other stall holders who were there and meet a few others whose work I’d always admired. I was excited and anxious because it was the first market with my new range on show. Happily, it was well received, and then I could relax and have a nice time. The people who visited were friendly, and it was beautiful weather, so I think happy days were had by all.