What ho, numbat! OWL was lucky enough to catch up with Simon MacEwan, aka Lost in the Woods, a man extremely talented with a plastic saw (by which I mean a saw to cut plastic, rather than made of plastic – that would just be comical). Lost in the Woods jewellery is made in Melbourne but available both online and in shops around Australia, and is my current object of desire. Yes, I am deeply smitten with Lost in the Woods, and got to wonderin’ where Simon came up with his designs. He told me a story to explain from whence the ideas come:
“On the top of a mountain not too far from here there lives a monkey with a typewriter. The monkey is writing an encyclopedia of all the unfinished novels in the world. Every morning the monkey writes a new entry, but as he makes breakfast a crow swoops down and steals the paper from the typewriter. The crow makes its nest in the park near my house; every morning as I ride to the studio I see the crow carrying a new sheet of paper for its nest. Unfortunately it is always too far away for me to read, so that can’t be where my ideas come from.
“Usually I just shake my lazy brain until something falls out.”
[We note his correct use of a semi-colon and we are impressed.]
But how did it all start? How did Lost in the Woods come to be?
“I’ve always tended to make tiny intricate things. When I was studying sculpture I had friends who were studying gold- and silversmithing. They always had such great tools and made little beautiful things as opposed to the big clumsy things we were making in sculpture. My jewellery making really began when I was cutting some perspex one day and I cut out a little silver rabbit. Looking at it, I thought that it would make a great badge and I started from there. Over the last few years I have been learning more and more devious ways to stick bits of plastic (and other stuff) together.
“I don’t think of myself as a proper jeweller, I don’t have all those metalsmithing skills that one learns at jeweller school. All of my things start out as little drawings and I still think of them in those sorts of terms: little pictures that you can wear around with you.”
Simon is a man with his finger on the racing pulse of Melbourne, so we entrust him with our caffeine addiction and ask him where to get a good coffee in Melbourne:
“My favourite coffee places, depending on where I am, are Newtown Social Club in Fitzroy, Palomino in Northcote, A Minor Place in Brunswick and Pushka in the city. I don’t get south of the river very often.”
[OWL note: we head south of the river so rarely that we now have to organise excursions to make it over there, like going to Scienceworks or something.]
Okay, we’re read enough, we love Lost in the Woods and in hearty capitalist spirit we need it and want it now. Where can we get our hot little hands on some of these delectable goods?
“My work can be found in a number of shops around Australia, including Alice Euphemia in Melbourne, Collect @ Object in Sydney, the National Gallery of Australia shop in Canberra, and the Queensland Art Gallery shop in Brisbane.”
[OWL note: and online at Ambiguous Horse.]
And what’s something that we need to know about Lost in the Woods that we don’t already know?
“1. All the things I make are cut out by hand by my sister and I on a little saw in my studio.
“2. I have just developed an enthusiasm for making hot whiskey toddies and I also make a fine pumpkin soup, so perhaps everyone should come around for soup and whiskey. Not today though, I’m out of whiskey.”
Even better photos of Lost in the Woods jewellery can be found on Simon’s Flickr page.
:: Arwen ::