chintz + cheetah

Rose Cumming (1887-1968) was a Sydney-born textile designer and interior decorator who made her career in New York. Stranded there (while en route to Paris) in 1917 because of transport issues related to WWI, by 1921 Rose had a decorating business alongside a shop that sold antiques and fabrics. She designed and printed her own textiles, and was a particular fan of chintz. Her flamboyance and avant garde ideas attracted celebrity clients, including Marlene Dietrich. She famously hated lamps, instead using blackRead more

material world

Textile terminology has evolved from myriad sources but often the etymology involves the name of a place or town. Muslin comes from Mussolo, the Italian for Mosul, Iraq, where mussolina/muslin was produced. In other parts of Asia it was known as ‘daka’, named for Dhaka, Bangladesh (where it’s thought the fabric originated). I always wondered about the story behind Liberty’s Tana Lawn fabric – it’s named for Lake Tana in Ethiopia where the cotton for the fabric was grown, while lawn isRead more

Aloha Shirt

“In the winter, I live in fleece, but come summer, Hawaiian shirts and silk. It always depends on the temperature and the weather… Since our cold conditions in the NW U.S. are not usually severe, I’m able to stick to one fabric or style for weeks at a time – not the same item, of course!” – Greg BearRead more

Wool Scarf

“This scarf was hand-woven in Durban, South Africa, and my Mum brought it back for me – she was visiting there. I’ve had it for 15 years. It’s made of wool and it’s become softer with use. It’s not necessarily something I would’ve chosen for myself but that doesn’t matter. It’s also really warm. “I just love it, and it has travelled with me to Japan; I always take it with me when I’m travelling. There’s something so normal aboutRead more

Flannie

“This is the flannel shirt – in Tasmania, we say flannie – that I am wearing at the moment, and so it is my favourite one. Flannies are slightly warmer than regular shirts, which speaks powerfully to my island’s climate, but they are also the most comfortable thing on earth, the closest thing to loose and fuzzy skin, which is better than it sounds. They also provide allusions to certain undercurrents in Tasmanian – my friend Pete Hay would sayRead more

Blue Jeans

“In Big Magic Elizabeth Gilbert talks about how she gets dressed to go to work – at her desk in her home – and some days she doesn’t feel like writing, so she puts perfume and make-up on, to seduce her creativity into appearing. It’s such an interesting idea. “When I’m in the middle of a book and I know I’ve got a full day of writing ahead and I need to immerse myself in that day of writing IRead more

Greg Bear

Greg Bear is the author of more than thirty books, spanning thrillers, science fiction, and fantasy, including Blood Music, Eon, The Forge of God, Darwin’s Radio, and City at the End of Time. His most recent book is Take Back the Sky  (Orbit, 2016), the last volume in his War Dogs Trilogy. Greg’s books have won numerous international prizes, been translated into twenty-two languages, and have sold millions of copies worldwide. He has served as a consultant for NASA, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Department of State, the International Food Protection Association,Read more

Jo Atherton

All the materials used in Jo Atherton’s work have been found on the tideline. In her weaving and printing, she is inspired by the stories these orphaned objects have to tell. Her work highlights the diversity of plastic items washing ashore and how the ubiquity of this material characterises the geological age of human influence – the Anthropocene. Jo has exhibited her work at a number of national and international venues including the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, London Luton AirportRead more

zeitgeist – guest post by Jo Atherton

One word I continually find myself returning to is zeitgeist, a German word meaning spirit of the age. I think this is such an elegant way of expressing so many ideas, encompassed in two syllables. It sits nicely alongside my practice where I am attempting to capture the zeitgeist by intercepting the tideline. Literally, ‘time-spirit’, from zeit, ‘time’ and geist, ‘spirit’. The words for time and tide are from the same PIE source.   (Image: Flotsam Collection, courtesy of JoRead more

Ben Walter

Ben Walter is a writer of lyrical fiction and poetry who has been widely published in Australian journals, including Meanjin, Island, The Lifted Brow and Griffith Review. He has twice been shortlisted in the Tasmanian Premier’s Literary Prizes, and was the recent guest editor of Overland’s special anti-/dis-/un-Australian fiction issue. What fear was Where no farmers had ploughed the trees or settled seeds to graze the soil, where the folded arms of scrub bar gullies, where the wide buttongrass plains swelter under peaks of oldRead more

Emily Midorikawa for Margate Bookie x Pieced Work

Emily Midorikawa is the co-author of A Secret Sisterhood, a book about the literary friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontё, George Eliot and Virginia Woolf, to be published in 2017 by Aurum Press (UK) and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (USA). With her co-author, Emma Claire Sweeney, she runs the female literary friendship blog, Something Rhymed. Emily teaches writing at City University London and New York University: London. She was the winner of the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize in 2015.   “ClatterRead more

Laura Powell for Margate Bookie x Pieced Work

Laura Powell is a commissioning editor at the Daily Telegraph and was previously a features writer at the Daily Mail. Her journalism has appeared in The Guardian, Mail on Sunday, Evening Standard and women’s magazines. Her debut novel, The Unforgotten, was released in March 2016. She is the recipeint of a New Writer’s Bursary from Literature Wales and was named as one of Amazon’s Rising Stars. Laura was born in Wales and lives in London. “Twp – If you callRead more

Emma Claire Sweeney for Margate Bookie x Pieced Work

Emma Claire Sweeney is a writer who has won Arts Council, Royal Literary Fund and Escalator Awards, and been shortlisted for several others, including the Asham, Wasafiri and Fish. Emma writes literary features and pieces on disability for publications including the Guardian, the Independent on Sunday and The Times. She teaches creative writing at New York University and co-runs SomethingRhymed.com – a website on female literary friendship. Owl Song at Dawn, a novel inspired by her autistic sister, will be published by Legend Press in July 2016. A Secret Sisterhood: The HiddenRead more

William Shaw for Margate Bookie x Pieced Work

The Sunday Mirror has called William Shaw’s new standalone novel The Birdwatcher, ‘A brilliantly constructed thriller, utterly compulsive’. His Breen and Tozer series, set in the 60s, was hailed as ‘an elegy for an entire alienated generation,’ by The New York Times. Before becoming a crime writer, William Shaw was an award-winning music journalist and the author of several non-fiction books, including Westsiders: Stories of the Boys in the Hood, about a year spent with the young men of South CentralRead more