Gemma Patford is a Melbourne maker. Working from her Brunswick studio, Gemma creates her popular rope baskets and experiments with other hand made goods.
With a background in pattern making, garment construction, fashion, textile art and styling, Gemma has collaborated with some of the industry’s finest creatives including The Design Files, Anthropologie, Etsy, Koskela, Sight Unseen, Apartment Therapy and many more.
Gemma Patford for her first time at Melbourne AW18 Finders Keepers this 13-15 July
How did you come to be a seller at Finders Keepers?
I have always been such a huge fan of Finders Keepers.
Its such a humbling festival! All my local creative heros under the one roof. I’ll be so star struck at the event! Thank you Finders Keepers for letting me participate!
My Journey so far… Well I suppose I have always had very itchy fingers, creating and shaping things from what I had on hand. My rope creations really manifested playing around with everyday items. I had rope, I had paint and I had a sewing machine, and within a few moments, I had my first very wonky, floppy rope vessel.
Over the years I have sewn hundreds of kilometers of rope, burned through a few machines and broken a bazillion needles. The rope vessels have grown into a little fiber empire which lead to me writing my first book Roped In: Creative Craft Projects Made with Rope (and Other Awesome Things). Releasing this book has really allowed me to push my art in new directions and play with other mediums. I can’t wait to proudly display it at the Melbourne AW18 Finders Keepers this year!
Talk us through a typical day in the life of Gemma Patford.
A typical day starts off with my beautiful robust gregarious 3 year old alarm going off anywhere from 6am onwards. I throw a bottle of milk into the microwave and slowly come to terms that my day has started. My daughter will usually say something cruel slash sweet and then we start the early morning grind of showering, dressing, negotiating and getting everyone out of the house.
While I spend most of my time on GemmaPatford.com, it is not my only role. I do have a professional career which I love and it takes the pressure off my creative career. I recently moved my studio home which has seen me increase my creative outputs a million percent. My studio is now in the garage. We are in process of beautifying the space. My brother is installing sky lights and we are replacing the gross brown garage door with lovely French bifold doors.
Who inspires you and your creative process?
I experiment hard! Each series is really designed by trial and error. At a base level, I really create for me and my taste. Very ego driven I know – HA! I look at each item and think ‘Would I love this in my house?’ ‘Would I be proud to gift this to a friend?’. If the answer is no, then I pivot my design and start again.
Show casing new treasures at big markets is another fantastic way to determine in your personal style is in the zeitgeist. As a maker you always want to create for yourself, however its always nice to see if your style works with the crowds.
Tell us about your inspiration for creativity?
I am a heavy user of mood boards, colour sampling and photography. If I see something beautiful in nature, Ill take a snap and add it to my personal mood board.
I am excited to rub shoulders with Shuh. at Finders Keepers this year. I adore her style and we have been working along side each other for many years now.
This year at Finders Keepers my stall is next to Pirdy. I looooove her items. I have already reached out to her and can’t wait to watch her stall while she goes to the toilet! Laura Blythman, Emily Green too. There are just too many creative to name! Finders Keepers does a wonderful job of curating such a super star line up!
What has been your proudest moment to date?
Perhaps my book! Yes, def my book! I had literally just given birth and I started working on my book. Writing, styling and creating a book while navigating the torrid oceans of being a young mother was a-lot! But it’s out (the book) and I love it (the book and the baby).