Janine Middlemost of MIDDLEMOST
What do you make?: Clothing, jewellery, cards, accessories, collage art work.
Your favourite materials?: Vintage and up-cycled fabrics. Found objects.
What inspires you to create or where do your ideas come from? (tell us a little about your creative process):
At 9.15am everyday, after my 4 children are off to school, I turn on the music and make make make. I love working with vintage and retro fabrics, the quality is so much better. I usually start with the fabric, the size and weight determine what I can make with it. I will often cut out a bulk lot of items and then move on to jewellery making. I love the idea of things being one offs, so with that in mind I create my own hand stitched packaging for my jewellery, each one with it's own little story, like a mini collage art work. I will spend hours at night time cutting images from old books, or covering tiny buttons in my favourite fabric scraps.
How are eco-friendly practices incorporated in your work?:
I buy all of my fabrics and books from op shops, garage sales or flea markets. I use as much re-cycled products as possible.
What have you studied?:
I studied Fashion Design at East Sydney Technical College a life time ago. I have also sharpened my sewing skills at TAFE more recently. I also have a nearly complete degree as a registered nurse, although I had to put that on the back burner as I couldn't manage it with four children.
Are you a full-time or part-time maker?: I am a full-time maker.
If you’re self taught, how does this affect your practice?: Most of my jewellery making is self taught, if I get stuck I ask one of my talented maker friends for advice.
Why do you create?: I love it! It's the best job in the world.
What does DIY and the handmade movement mean to you?:
I think the saying "Make Do and Mend" says it all. Our society is far too consumerist, people need to look at what they already have instead of what they think they need. I create goods made from almost 100% recycled materials, and am very proud of that. My goods and packaging are also hand made solely by me. I will always purchase the hand made and sweat free option.
Local/Australian makers you are excited about (please include web links if possible)?:
Julie Gibbons makes wonderful things using repurposed and up cycled fabrics.
Kurt Saggers AKA The Cats Pyjamas turns vintage tweed jackets into wonderful hats.
Betty Jo designs. making gorgeous jewellery, clocks and other wonderful things out of repurposed vintage and retro linoleum, doilies, buttons and other found objects.
You can find a range of Middlemost items at Cultiver or visit Janine's Facebook page here