Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Workbox Introduction: Grrl+Dog




Our search to uncover textile artists who are passionate about their work and can generate that excitement in others takes us far & wide. It therefore it gives us great pleasure to introduce you to the workbox of the vivacious Grrl+dog. (Cue ticker-tape drop!)
Based in Sydney, Australia, Denise Litchfield is the creator behind Grrl+dog. A vibrant world where guerilla textile tactics and forgotten fabrics are given a new lease of life in all manner of colourful ways. This is a woman who cannot throw material away without trying to breathe new life into it first. Grrl+dog (her street name) creates objects of curious quirkiness using traditional textile techniques in untraditional ways (try saying that with a Fruit Pastille in your mouth!)
In her own words, 
"She runs with scissors, sews outside the lines and barks with her own voice"

A creative force to be reckoned with, her endeavours are cheered on by her inseparable ghost dog (Kelpie) and new boy on the block, Bruce, looking handsome on the right...
 
However, there's a twist to our introduction this week. Grrl+dog is currently travelling through Europe enjoying creative dalliances with the likes of Julie Arkell (at Les Soeurs Anglaises) and Heike Gerbig in Berlin, so, in the absence of her regular workbox, she has kindly allowed us access to her travelling Busy Boxes instead!

In the UK we may not be immediately familiar with the term Busy Box but as soon as you see the photo's below you'll grasp what it's all about and may pipe up that you, too, have your own version of such an item! A bag, box, vessel of some kind filled with a small project for on-the-go.
Grrl+dog has referred to hers as an 'umbilicous' to her workroom back home or, as a means to keeping your fingers busy, 
'The Luddite answer to iPhone twiddling'.
( Left, Guerilla knit progress on the heritage listed urinal, Darlinghurst, Sydney 2009)

Covered in French print paper, Grrl+dog's Busy Boxes are small & carefully edited for the day or journey ahead. Only essential items are allowed and they have to earn their keep...


In the box above are a plethora of small, silver treasures with their own stories to tell; needles belonging to Grrl+dog's Mother-in-law; a silver thimble belonging to a friend's mother who, despite having three daughters, had nobody to pass on her sewing notions to.
Trusted tools for the journey... 
 
Above, a teeny vintage caramel tin found recently in a market. It accompanies the papered boxes  housing bits of haberdashery and with a lid which doubles as a work surface...
When in France...French knot of course!

 

Grrl+dog has even managed to squeeze in a teeny bag of scraps and make bunting from the textile treasure she has picked up on her recent travels (how impressive is that!)

 Delivered in her own unique style, it has been a treat to follow Grrl+dog's European adventure over the last few months. If you'd like to find out what she's up to next, and how Bruce is doing without Mumdog at home, nip over to her blog HERE
You might also like to take a wander through her website HERE.

All photo's in this post belong to Grrl+dog (diamond girl!) who has kindly allowed us to use them. When we approached Denise to take part in this series she liked the idea so much that she was inspired to write her own post on the subject too! You can read her beautifully put interpretation HERE

  

5 comments:

grrl + dog said...

wow,
I am completely chuffed to read these words - always a surprise to discovers how another percieves you.

Thank you for mentioning Bruce and Baxter the ghost dog. He has accompanied me in Europe in the way only ghost dogs can.

SOOOO thrilled and I'm not even out of bed yet.

Murgatroyd said...

Hahahaha! You are most welcome. Murgatroyd is tickled that you are reading the blog in your PJ's x

AnniD said...

Really enjoying your series....I think I'm suffering from work box envy now...can't wait to see next week's.

OddSox aka Thesockgarden said...

Well, I've just had a really enjoyable half hour looking at your post and the Grrl+Dog blog. What gorgeously imaginative work - love it. Thanks x

Murgatroyd said...

Glad you're enjoying the series folks. More makers to come - keep your eyes peeled!

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