Creative Women in Focus

Last Saturday I went to support my friend Nicole Mallalieu (Nikki) as she presented a talk in a series entitled Creative Women in Focus.

Nikki from You Sew Girl presenting at Duldig Studio

Nikki from You Sew Girl presenting at Duldig Studio

The talk was held at the Duldig Studio, it was near my home but I had never visited nor heard of this Studio.

I’m so pleased I attended. Nikki’s talk was very interesting talking about her creative path from childhood dress making, progressing to leatherwork, hatmaking and of course her highly successful pattern making and sewing books and classes.

Her story fitted in nicely with the venue. A family space that celebrated creativity.

The Duldig Studio is the family home of Karl Duldig and Slawa Duldig and their family. I was incredibly fortunate to meet the daughter of this family, Eva, and she gave us an intimate tour of the studio.

Whilst it is a small venue, it is of course a 1950s family home, the creativity is simply bursting from the seams!

The home/studio is filled with ceramic masks and sculptures, bronze figures, paintings, drawings and beautiful furnishings.

duldig studio.jpg

The story of the Duldig family and their journey from Austria in 1938 (fleeing the Nazi invasion - Anschluss) is remarkable, with many of the pieces on display including light fittings and furnishings being the same pieces that graced their home in Vienna.

The family story and the artwork combined make it a fascinating space. I was absolutely thrilled to see this wealth of creativity and I can’t wait to go back for another visit.

There are other talks and events upcoming, including a book club run by Fiona Clarke on the first Thursday of each month.

Such a diversity of arts. Furniture, sculpture, painting, ceramics.

Rest in Wool

Recently whilst searching for some unrelated product, the internet led me to a very interesting topic of Woolen Coffins. Apologies if this seems mournful to you.

I don't know if I am way behind the crowd on this, but it was certainly new to me!

It seems that about 8 years ago a company by the name of Hainsworth, in Yorkshire UK created lovely tactile coffins made from felted wool. These attractive coffins have a softness that wood and brass don't have.

The adult sizes use the fleece of 3 sheep and obviously less for the smaller pet versions they create.

They have been very popular and promoted in New Zealand as well through Natural Living and are available in Australia through  Serendipity

You can see images here:

I've also come across these other wool and knitting inspired coffins.

A company called Expression Coffins can turn your regular coffin into a tribute to your passions with  an image skin, of yarn and knitting. It seems you can have any number of worldly passions printed on your coffin.. Cappuccino coffee, surfing,  even camouflage.

The ultimate UFO...

The ultimate UFO...

Another wool themed resting place I found was this Woven Cloud. Made from wool and willow. There was a successful Kickstarter campaign for a UK product named Rest In Fleece , but the link to the website is no longer working. The cloud does look very tribal and quite ethereal.

Woven cloud made from Wool and Willow

Woven cloud made from Wool and Willow

Then I came across this absolutely beautiful coffin, known as a Leaf Cocoon. Stunningly handcrafted by Yuli Somme. You can watch the You Tube video here of her carving wood and sewing the cocoon then finally felting beautiful leaves on the outer blanket.

What gorgeous craft work. I can imagine how comforting this would be to someone looking for a final resting place for their loved one.


Anyway apologies again to anyone this may have upset, once I saw the woolen coffins I became intrigued. Certainly something to think about for both individuals and businesses involved in wool.