FK chats to Deirdre of beautiful pattern inspired textiles label Third Bird, based in Goulburn, NSW.
Tell us a bit about Third Bird and what products we can expect to discover?
Third Bird is a small independent textile label which features bold colourful patterns that translate across mediums to include a range of hand decorated ceramics, hand printed home-wares and accessories. All my designs are screen printed by hand in Goulburn NSW in a studio I share with my partner who is an upholsterer. Together we have begun up-cycling beautiful one off vintage chairs, combining my designs and our mutual love for garage sales.
What was the motivation behind starting your label?
When I graduated from ANU in 2009 where I studied Textiles, I was overwhelmed by the response I got from my honours exhibition and decided that creating my own label was something I really wanted to do. While I was studying I created a blog, which was primarily an online visual diary to document my process at the time and have continued it since. I named the blog Third Bird which symbolised an obsession I had with hot pink bird silhouettes and a conversation I had with my Grandmother and mother over a realisation that there was a bird theme in all our artworks. Being the third generation female artist in my family, the third chic then became Third Bird. It seemed only natural to continue this name with my label.
Which other textiles labels do you love? And what inspires you?
Oh, gosh. There are so many! I am constantly visiting blogs and flicking through Instagram and Pinterest and falling in love with new labels on a daily basis. There are the classics though, like Lucienne Day and early Marimekko who will always have a special place in my heart. I’ve always been drawn to the simple, playful organic motifs, patterns and inspiring colours that came from the post-war era. My inspiration is drawn from my everyday surroundings, whether it’s from nature, urban landscapes or objects I collect and arrange in my studio. The most popular design in my range is a pattern of hand drawn motifs from vintage jelly moulds and the colours for my recent collection of tea towels are inspired by the colours of vintage canisters that I found at a garage sale. I am currently working on a new design, which is inspired from photos I have taken of old gates from walks around Goulburn.
What is your workspace like? and what is your creative process?
I feel very fortunate to have the workspace that I have now and having space is something I really love about settling back into country town life. The studio I am currently in is the size of the house I was living in in my previous city life. My partner built my print table by hand out of scrap metal lying around his upholstery shed and the table alone has changed the way I work. I have fallen back in love with hand cutting stencils and randomly printing pattern, a process I really enjoyed when I was at Art School. Our studio is full of treasures we have collected and objects that inspire me. I can happily spend hours designing and printing away. Eddy will often wander in and squirrel away a piece of fabric I have just printed and half an hour later it will come back upholstered on a chair that has been sitting around the studio. It’s magical!
What challenges have you faced starting your own label, and what are some things you love about it?
Time and space was always the biggest issue for me starting my label. My creative life sat on a shelf for a good part of three years when I became a full-time teacher. This year I have finally found the work/life balance I have always craved and feel fortunate to have the best of both worlds. I feel as if I’m establishing myself all over again, however it is really exciting to know that all the ideas and new designs I have in my head can become a reality in the near future.
What can we expect to see from Third Bird current range?
Because it’s the time of year we all need to rug up there are lots of new colours in my super soft Jersey Scarf range. Gorgeous hand decorated ceramic mugs and matching 100% linen tea towels which are perfect for warm cups of tea and hot chocolates whilst relaxing on one of our hand printed cushions!