Bricks & Mortar: Ivy & Lil Studio Tour

By Diane Leyman

This month’s bricks and mortar column brings us to the leafy south-east Melbourne studio of printmaker Jenny Pemberton-Webb. Jenny runs her Ivy & Lil homewares label part-time from her gorgeous little 1940s-era light-filled studio, which sits unassumingly at the bottom of the garden behind her house. Jenny and her husband Mark moved into their property around 13 years ago, and Mark set about renovating the studio space a few years later. At first, Jenny wasn’t quite sure what creative pursuit to focus on, and dabbled with painting, collage and sculpture while enjoying her new space. But a six-month trip around Australia in a camper trailer, away from work and the distractions of home, led Jenny to realise that what she really wanted to focus on was printmaking, something that she had majored in while studying, and so Ivy & Lil was born when she returned home in December 2006.

Named after Jenny and Mark’s favourite grandmothers, who were both highly creative, resourceful and masters of handmade items for the home, Ivy & Lil offers a unique range of tea towels, wall plaques and cushions. All of Jenny’s designs are printed by hand in her studio using paper stencils, non-toxic inks and 100% linen fabrics, and Jenny is committed to using local Australian products and suppliers wherever possible.

The inspiration for Jenny’s first collection, Hit the Road, came from her travels and incorporates imagery commonly associated with road trips such as signs, directional arrows and caravans. In fact, Jenny’s caravan print is the most popular in her collection and she is currently working on some new caravan designs (which I got a sneak preview of, and can assure you look great!). Jenny is also currently experimenting with fabulous neon inks and working on new lines of greeting cards and wall plaques incorporating road maps.

If you’d like to see more of Jenny’s work, check out the Ivy & Lil website. Jenny also sells her wares on MadeIt and Blue Caravan, and will have a stall at the Rose Street Markets on May 20. She’s a lovely person, so make sure to stop by and say hello!

Diane Leyman is an editor and writer with seven years of experience working in non-fiction, illustrated trade book publishing. She has a passion for all things design, and writes a design blog called Notes to a Further Excuse. She also likes taking photographs, crafting, drinking coffee and obsessing over mid-century homewares.