a day in the making
pattern & patch is a creative project born on a bedroom floor near manly, australia.
the dream: bring a bit of playfulness to everyday objects with fresh patterns, and bring a bit of nature inside with green garden patches. make it by hand, and make it with heart, by making the most of materials I have — whether it’s giving a new lease on life to a pre-loved teapot, or turning a handful of clay into something precious.
as much as is possible, everything you see here has been made (or recreated) by hand, with sustainably sourced materials. read on for more on how each product is made.
All pattern & patch ceramics pieces are handbuilt. The clay is cut, rolled and shaped by hand, without a wheel. I use two different kinds of clay, but tablewear is generally made from Keane's Special K clay, which has a gritty, earthy texture. you’ll notice the grainy speckles in the clay, and the organic texture on your hands.
My pieces are fired by the wonderful people at Brookvale Ceramic Studio in Sydney, Australia. Different pieces are fired to different temperatures; plates are stoneware fired and foodsafe. Everything is sealed with glossy finish, which keeps it looking sparkly & new; while the undersides are left unglazed, which gives them a rougher, organic texture.
As with tableware, I use two kinds of clay to produce jewelery. Some is made from Special K clay, which has the more organic, speckled finish -- and some is made with paper clay porcelain, which is a smoother and whiter clay. Pattern & Patch ring dishes are low-fired, which keeps the clay a gorgeous translucent white -- but it's best to err on the side of avoiding liquids with these dishes. If they get a little dusty, just wipe them clean.
Some earrings have stainless steel drop-earring wires, and others have .925 sterling silver.
I know a parent isn't meant to have favourites... but I really can't get enough of these little nuggets.
The patterned magnets are such a fun addition to a plain fridge. The magnets are glazed on one side only, and on the reverse side they're affixed with small neodymium magnets. These are super strong magnets, and even the small ones can easy hold thick card or a number of letters to your fridge. Be gentle with them -- the magnet is so strong that snapping them together a number of times may damage the ceramic or the glue; they're quite small, so keep them away from pets or little kids; and they're not recommended around people who have a pacemaker fitted.
The brooches have stainless steel affixings.
All Pattern & Patch prints are made on a Risograph — with big thanks to the good people of the Rizzeria, in Zetland.
Risograph prints are a little unusual, and have more idiosyncrasies than a normal digital print. Risograph printing is a bit like screen-printing, which means the distribution of ink is different with every print. Look up close and you’ll see some details that you mightn’t if the print was made on regular printer — perhaps some speckled edges where the printer converted the pattern into a screen, some patches where colour is brighter or darker where the ink was thicker. No two prints are the same, but overall, the effect is of a print that's a little antiqued. Check out all the photos on the product listing to get a good sense of what to expect.
All prints are designed digitally, and printed on 260gsm envirocare paper, in limited runs of 30 at a time.
The art of making 'kokedamas' is a Japanese tradition, sometimes displayed as hanging string gardens.
My kokedamas are made with tough succulent plants and wrapped entirely in string, which makes them good low-mess, low-fuss houseplants. Sometimes it can take a little while to find the right nook in your house for a succulent. Generally, they love the sunlight and not too much water. If you're looking for somewhere inside, find somewhere with a good dose of sunlight. If you're putting yours outside, I'd suggest hanging them from a fence or a rail (if they sit on the ground they can get a little soggy on the base, which -- over time -- breaks down the string).
To water your kokedama, half-fill a bowl of water and sit the kokedama in it to soak up all the water, straight to its roots. Underneath the string is moss, which will soak up all the delicious water and keep the plant hydrated.
They'll need more or less water depending on the season. Speaking from Sydney: during the winter, you shouldn't need to water them more than once a month.