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Lara Davies of Harvest Textiles

Lara Davies
Harvest Textiles
Drawer, Textile Designer , Teacher. 

What is your professional or training background?
My professional training is in Fine Art, I started my studies in Perth at an art school that has a textiles department which is fantastic.

I then moved to Melbourne to study Fashion at RMIT but decided I hated pattern drafting so moved into the Drawing Department at RMIT instead.

It was a pretty blissful being able to indulge in drawing full time for three years. But my work has always been linked to textiles in some way.I then studied a few units of Textiles at RMIT TAFE to fill in the gaps for printing skills I knew I would need along the way.

What do you make, create or do?
I run a textiles business with two other women Jess Wright and Emma Byrnes. We make a range of hand screen printed products such as kids clothing, baby blankets ,soft toy making kits, homewares and fabric by the meter. All our products feature our own yardage designs and prints.

We also teach a lot of textile workshops which I love doing, its great getting to know all thestudent that come through our doors. They are a really diverse bunch from berry farmers to graphic designers to high school students. I find it refreshing to always be meeting new people and new approaches to design and colour.

What other creative areas would you like to explore as a side-project to your current work, or move into full-time?
I would really love to have another art exhibition one day when I get time, I’d love to do some works on paper again and indulge in the world of “one offs” as a change from product designing.

I would also love to work with natural dyes, I have a few plans for this in 2011.

What skills do you have that help you run your business, or what skills would you like to develop?
My knowledge of drawing, design and ways of generating ideas really helps with our products and the teaching.

Also I spent time working at Melbourne Artist Supplies and that has really helped my knowledge of materials and how to source them. Its really an amazing education working in any kind of supply shop, it makes you value materials in a totally different way.

I would like to develop my knowledge of computer programs that can aide my work. 

List five people, businesses or websites/blogs that keep you motivated and inspired, and why?
I am really drawn to artists/makers who really stay true to their aesthetic. Sorry I did 6!

I think that all these people are brilliant and a little bit obsessive at the same time, which I love.

Dawn Tan , I have recently had a lot to do with this lady as she has been teaching kids and adults classes at our Workroom. I really love her colours and compositions. And most of all she just has such a kooky sense of humour and again a super hard working chick!She has only just graduated and I cant wait to follow her career, as its just getting started…

Beci Orpin, she is just so prolific and hard working. And she seems to perfectly capture the Melbourne essence so intelligently and consistently.

Jackson Slattery. A beautiful friend who is also a bit of an art star , he is super talented and its been wonderful watching his rise to fame. His work is beautiful if you ever get a chance to check it out in the flesh do, but I’m sure you will be hearing his name lots in the future.

Fiona Hall. I just love her and how she has dedicated her life to her art. I love her series of gouche paintings on bank notes, she combines concepts and beautiful craftsmanship so perfectly.

Niels Oeltjen, he uses pattern is a really beautiful way and explores heaps of different areas ranging from painting on walls, to products to typography. All my work has always been related to patterns and he uses them in such a loose and interesting way.

Also how he approaches letters as forms really interests me, I’m a complete novice at fonts and working with a graphic designer makes me appreciate what a difficult job it is!

Ink & Spindle  – These ladies have a special place in my heart, they are really inspiring on many levels. They were kind enough to sub let Harvest and I a space to start the business and just the fact that they are doing what they love so successfully is inspiring to me and a lot of people.

They also taught me that you do not have to take on everything. Just be really good at whatever it is you are doing. I respect that they chose to create amazing fabric and then let other people do the making.

Contact Lara via lara/at/

Posted by: Tess McCabe
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