Meet the Makers Part 1

In the lead up to Australian Design Centre’s Makers Market on Saturday 13 October, we get chatty with some of our crafty stall holders. They discuss their practice, their inspiration and what they love about the handmade process.

In Part 1 we talk to: Adam, co-founder of design studio Keniffey; ceramists Christina of Trade the Mark and Chrystie of Cobalt & Kin, jewellery makers and designers Melaney of Ant Haus Designs and Sophie of Scoops Design; textile and printmaker Georgie of littlecrow design, and fashion designer Jane of By the Sea.


Stay tuned for Part 2 of our interview with our ADC Maker Market stallholders, where we delve more in to discussions of community engagement and the evolving nature of the creative process.


What material do you like to work with the most and why? 
Adam, Keniffey: Skateboard decks are our material of choice. Love the colour and the nature/texture of Canadian Maple plywood. It’s always a wonderful surprise when redressing the timber and seeing what’s hidden behind the wear and tear of an old skateboard deck!

Christina, Trade the Mark: Clay for me is such a hands on, malleable material. Whether you’re creating a piece on the wheel or hand building a large organic form, the versatility of the medium is so wonderful. I also love the transformation that happens in the firing process – the permanence of clay after it has been touched by fire is pretty astounding.

Chrystie, Cobalt & Kin: I primarily use clay as I love the tactile quality of ceramics and the endless possibilities when combining clay, glaze and heat!

Melaney, Ant Haus Designs: In my jewellery practice I really enjoy working predominantly with Sterling Silver but also like to incorporate Yellow and Rose Gold to create a pop of colour. I continuously experiment with different finishes to create layers and interesting textures in my work. 


Sophie, Scoops Design: My favourite material is birch plywood  I love the colour, texture and the way it laser cuts.


What is your favourite part of the making process?

Adam, Keniffey: Sanding and finishing our wooden handle knives is always great. To see the colour pop as you apply the finish is always a delight.


Chrystie, Cobalt & Kin: Probably working on the wheel, when I have a ball of clay and an idea to be realised. I also love the clay when it is leather-hard and I can distort and mark the piece.

Christina, Trade the Mark: That’s really hard; I’m a mark maker, so I really love the process of painting on colour and etching a design into the surface. In saying that I really find creating the form, whether it’s on the wheel, slab or coil building really meditative. A lot of the time the form informs the decoration and surface treatment, so it’s a dual love of both processes for me.

Melaney, Ant Haus Designs: My favourite part of the jewellery making process is designing and creating pieces that are well thought out and give the wearer multiple ways in which to wear my designs. 


Sophie, Scoops Design: Designing new pieces is definitely my favourite part of the making process. I can lose hours playing with colour, pattern and shapes to create one-off pieces.

Georgie, littlecrow designs: While I enjoy the variety of processes involved in making something from end to end, I love the early stages of design development the most. This is where a vague idea or inspiration gets translated to line, texture, fabric and ink. The outcome is uncertain and requires patience, but is revealed as I work on it. To combine the design with beautiful fabrics and fibres is very fulfilling!


Jane, By the Sea Collection: Most of my input is the design process. I love to be inspired by new trends and make them more practical. Practicality can be found in most of my designs. I love to add extra bits (straps and slots) in the areas where most designers left off. 



What inspires your creations?
Adam, Keniffey: Giving an old object new life and the very nature of recycling something old and worn out, to make new again is what gives us our real kick.

Chrystie, Cobalt & Kin: The work and experiments I have already done push me in new directions. I have so many ideas that I need to balance going off on a new tangent with exploring a direction I've already begun.

Christina, Trade the Mark: So many things inspire me. Nature and all that she offers are a constant source of inspiration. Clay as a material is constantly pushing and motivating me to hone my skills. My LOVE for pattern started back when I was little. I’d notice the scales on fish when fishing with my dad, and I had to draw this in my notebook. I see pattern and texture everywhere, from manholes in the street to bromeliad leaves.

Melaney, Ant Haus Designs: Inspiration comes from many sources…nature, the urban landscape, retro furniture design, graphic design and architecture. Simple, thoughtful and timeless design is always key. I want the wearer to feel like they are wearing a piece of sculpture that has movement and is forever changing. My main ethos is less is more. Each of my designs is made for everyday wear and will last a lifetime. 

Sophie, Scoops Design: I am always amazed by the colour and forms found in nature. I have grown up being surrounded by architecture and design and this continues to be a huge source of inspiration. 

Georgie, littlecrow designs: My emotional connection to a place and its landscape, whether natural, cultural or architectural, inspires me. At the moment, I’m exploring the places I’ve enjoyed on holidays. It’s a relaxing time when I’m free to take in my surrounds and observe the life of the locals. Many of these beautiful spots along the Australian coast I’ve returned to again and again.



Meet the makers at the ADC Makers Market on Saturday 13 October, 10am – 4pm.

To see the full line up of makers and the festivities on the day, check out the Sydney Craft Week event page here. Also, mark yourself as 'Going' on the facebook event page for more information, updates and maker profiles.


Glenn Barkley ceramics. Photo by Leeroy T

Images:  Trade the Mark, ADC Makers Market, 2018. Photo: Rhiannon Hopley; Scoops Design, Retro studs and necklace, 2018, Photograher: Lee-Anne Cooper. Model: Verna Mc Clune; Kennifey knives, Photo: Courtesy of Kennifey; By the Sea, Aurora. Photo: Courtesy of By the Sea; Cobalt & Kin cups. Photo: Chrystie Longworth; littlecrow design coopers shoot range. Photo: Maree Homer. Art direction: King St Press; Ant Haus Designs, Yellow Gold Earrings, 2018. Photo: Courtesy Melaney McCleary