Living up in the hinterland of Byron Bay over the past two years has given me time to sit and permeate with ideas and thoughts. It has lead to movements of progression and also stagnation, the ying and yang of life.
Everything is whole, every action has a reaction, spending so much time away from city life has drawn me back in a big way to get an injection of inner city hustle, drive, focus and excitement.
Returning to Melbourne where we spent so much time learning who were are, discovering what we want life to be and exploring our options is where I first had the idea and belief of Weightedlines.
Hiking in the temperate climate where seasons change and nature takes on rebirth season after season, seeing these drastic changes and having a richer appreciation of nature and her beauty have formed strong memories.
This trip back down south had a special purpose, to reconnect with a fellow craftsman. Made by Morgen was the creation of Nicholas McDonald, we met over the espresso machine in Abbotsford where I served him coffee, chatted about music and geeked out on Timber and construction. We spoke so long ago about our ideas for the future and where each of us wanted to be, what we wanted to be creating and those conversations still stuck with me.
Nick decided to throw all his chips in and left his profession on the search for meaning and satisfaction through his love and passion for timber and furniture design.
Since then he has moved his workshop into a beautiful space in Brunswick East where he is building a small empire of hand made incredible furniture pieces. He has turned his dreams into his reality with hard work and determination and for that I couldn't be more proud of him and his accomplishments.
Nick has always been incredibly supportive of my printing work and has encouraged me to pursue my goals.
I proposed an exchange of crafts, I wanted to say thank you for his support by donating one of my prints for his new work space, the idea was to build the frame together in Melbourne and document the process.
Within a few brief phone calls the materials I would need were in place and ready for collection, seeing Neil Wallace Printmaking supplies and OMNUS framing in their new warehouse only a few blocks from where I had lived was a welcoming surprise, it was nice to visit and talk about future plans and upcoming trips.
I asked a Friend to help shoot the process, it is not always easy asking friends for help, so this was a great opportunity to break and change patterns of behaviour and allow others to help support what I do. Ben's latest project is showcasing Melbourne's music scene, filming local artist in their natural habitat, documenting their day to day process where most of their creativity takes place. It is a nobel venture cataloguing a piece of Melbourne musics history, go check it out.
Arriving at Nick's space after a couple of days in the city, visiting friends and reminiscing while we walk familiar streets, we sat down and discussed each others movements over the last two years.
We unrolled several prints and looked over them to see which one spoke most to the space and to Nick. The lineage and personification of "Family Portrait" grabbed Nick's attention, this print involves a small section of land near Queenstown New Zealand where a number of scattered trees were cut down. Their scattered placement showed that they were not planted mechanically or with human involvement but in their natural state of reproduction. They are all descendants of one an other yet they all have their own subtle story to tell.
Nick explained the changes he had made to the space so he could utilise the space most effectively. pulling down a mezzanine floor to create more space. The joist were old seasoned Oregon timbers and we decided to machine them into a workable framing profile. For me this strengthened the bond this print has with this space and Nick's ability to pour emotion into his pieces of furniture.
Nick showed me some great tips and finishing details for the frame, using Japanese timber nails to strengthen the joins and to leave a contrast detail on the frame. I had never seen these before and straight away I could see all the possibilities.
Now it was time for me to mount and fit the work. I am still new to this process and with each mounting I learn more and more, this time was using slightly different materials which lead to difficulties and frustrations. we worked into the night trying different options to see if it would help. By nine o'clock I decided to call it a night and to regroup and find some other materials that I could work with. We packed up, ducked around the corner for a quick beverage at Uncle joe's and spoke about tomorrows plan.
With new materials we met back up and finished the job. We worked out placement and hung it up on the wall. we spoke about the history or the work, the belief behind the work and what this opportunity represents to both of us.
It was a pleasure to get back down to Melbourne and work on this together. To reconnect with friends and the city itself.
We are Heading off to the land of the rising sun where I will be exploring the country side and visiting Tradition Washi paper mills in the south west. Be sure to keep watch for new and exciting prints.
Nick from Made by Morgen for offering this opportunity.
Ben Frazer from Shaky Hands for last minute shooting and support always.
Omnus Framing and Neil Wallace Supplies for a wealth of information and guidance regardless of how busy you are.
And always my partner Charley for helping in every possible way imaginable.