Thursday, June 25, 2009

Currently in love with Dames & Divas

On my wish list at the moment are...every pair of Dames & Diva shoes! They are devine, individual pieces of art that are hand-made using vintage silk kimono material. Excuse me while I now go and drool...

And they also have bags... I feel faint...

Another day at the office...

And what an office it was! We had a fantastic time at the Manly designers markets - who wouldn't with this stunning view! I met a lot of interesting people and was thrilled to have so many people interested in my jewellery - including Natalie and Katie from Style Spy - look out for their very stylish reviews of markets and fashion trends in Sydney at

Tanya from Zefyr at our stall

The markets also provided a great opportunity to check out other designers' wares (in fact, I was rarely at my own stall as I was out and about checking out the other stalls!). A great find was the fabulous Betty Fox label. The designer, Marnie, reinvents op shop jackets into stunning pieces by sewing on Japanese fabric. As soon as I heard about her stall I raced over and picked up this amazing jacket! I wanted to keep in touch with Marnie and thought I had her email address but don't - so Marnie, if by chance you are reading this - please email me!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Getting ready for the Manly markets

I've been madly getting stock ready for the Manly designers market on Saturday and Sunday. The markets are attached to the Manly food and wine festival so it should be lots of fun! My fingers have never hurt so much before from all the filing that I have been doing though (more than when I was learning the guitar even!), but everything is looking lovely - I had a demo run of the stall in my lounge room to make sure it was going to look ok. I'm sharing the stall with a good friend of mine, Tanya, who creates the most amazing gold jewellery - her label is Zefyr. Her jewellery practices are all eco friendly - she recycles discarded brass (which she then has gold plated) and vintage glass stones. It really is eco glam jewellery! I now have one of her rings (I usually only wear silver but am happy to convert to gold for her jewellery!) and will be purchasing some more on the weekend I'm sure - can't resist!!

This is one of Tanya's (Zefyr) rings (note the state of my hands - no finger nails to be seen - all filed off ac

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hubbies, sewing machines, bras and coffee...

I have been overwhelmed by the responses that I received for my giveaway - thank you very much to everyone who wrote in a comment! I have been thoroughly entertained hearing who/what is your best friend from hubby, sewing machines, bras, coffee (what would we do without it), pets, beds, through to right hands and spare time to name but a few! I'm also so pleased to hear about so many happy marriages (prince charming featured the most in the comments) and families (of both the human and furry kind)!

I said in my giveaway post that I would be pick my favourite comment as the winner - but after reading all of your comments (and poems!) I couldn't possibly pick one as I loved them all - so I decided to draw a name randomly...

Congratulations to Kim (Halcyon Green blog) - I will be sending your necklace out to you very soon!

I haven't had a chance to visit everyone's blog yet - but am looking forward to stopping by and saying hello to everyone who commented in this giveaway! Thanks again for participating and thank you to Sew, Mama, Sew! for organising the Giveaway Day!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Diamonds are a girl's best friend - May 27 Give away day!!

Diamonds are a girl's best friend...dogs are man's best friend...
What (or who) is your best friend and why? It might be your coffee maker or your fluffy slippers or a good book... My favourite comment will be chosen as the winner of my give away present (I promise I will not be biased as to the actual 'best friend' item). I am in Sydney, but am happy to ship anywhere in the world!

I do love sparkly things, hence the diamond creations that I will be giving away (pictured)! The diamonds are flat, made from silver metal clay (99% silver) and dangle from a sparkly pink ball chain. I made the necklace quite long (32 cm [12.5"] from clasp to diamonds; 64 cm [2
5"] total length), but am happy to shorten if desired. The largest diamond is 4.5cm wide and 3cm high.

I also have more items on Etsy - so please pop by and visit my store! This giveaway will be open until May 31. Thank you for visiting and good luck!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fancying felt

I've never really thought about it before, but I always seem to be drawn to all things felt! I love scouring op shops and found the fabulous grey felt bag below last week. When I bought it I had so many ideas of ways in which I could jazz it up (I was thinking of sewing some japanese fabric onto it), but when I got it home one of my silver cranes flew over and settled on it. I attached the crane with some cord to the side and now it comes everywhere with me. The crane is absolutely massive - it was the first one that I made in silver - with a wing span of 8cm (what was I thinking!).

Since buying my bag, I have been on the look out for other felt items. I adore Shagpile's felt finches on Etsy - in fact, I met the Shagpile maker, Andria, at the Finders Keepers markets on the weekend! Her work is fantastic (am also in love with her neckwarmers). Check out her store here!

Felt finch by Shagpile

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sneak Peak

Here is a sneak peak at my latest collection - well the molds of them anyway! I'm taking the wax pieces in to be cast today - I can't wait to see what they look like in silver. I've made rings and necklace pendants with kimono and Japanese family crest designs. My favourite design though surprisingly is my Godzilla ring! Well, I guess it's not so surprising - I really like lizards. When we went to Taronga Zoo last year, my favourite animal was the komodo dragon. I've been bitten by a blue-tongue lizard - but it was not its fault, I was trying to feed it at the time and my finger must have looked more tasty than the mince! Suki also likes lizards, but not in a good, friendly way...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Suki - The Critic

Just wanted to show you a "behind the scenes" glimpse of my jewellery design process. An important member of the team is Suki, my ragdoll cat, who provides valuable critiques on my work.

This look means "yes, I like it and would like to see more"

This look means, "that is dismal, try again"

And this look means, "you've done enough work, now it's time to party!"
We both love a good margarita at the end of a long day....

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Scandinavian Reflections Exhibition

I've just been to the most extraordinary jewellery exhibition at Gaffa - my jaw literally dropped when I saw one piece (this has only happened to me on one other occasion when I saw my first Barbara Rihl bag but I digress) - it was made from hand crocheted silver wire (which I never thought I would like until now - I must get back to Brisbane soon so that I can get my Mum to show me how to crochet - again I digress) by Anne Pfeffer Gjengedal who is a jeweller from Norway. The piece consisted of a long strand like a vine, which ended with a gorgeous flower - it was presented in the gallery as a piece of installation art hanging from the ceiling and looked stunning! I've checked out Anne's website and found a photo of it to drool over - the photo can be viewed here - but it was much more sparkly in real-life!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pine Street Creative Arts Centre

A few weeks ago I went to a festival at the Pine Street Creative Arts Centre at Chippendale. There were art exhibitions, music stages and markets (Gaffa Gallery had a stall there and took along some of my jewellery - see pics). There were some fabulous things on display including stencil art - which I have a serious love of! I bought one piece for the astounding price of $3 - it was created on a piece of cardboard and had written on the back "This piece of crap was made: The Lorax" - it most certainly isn't crap and now has pride of place on my studio wall. Isn't she lovely?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Origami Cranes

Did I say before that I love everything Japanese?? Including origami cranes. I made so many origami cranes for my wedding - they were in all different colours and were scattered on the tables at the reception. I'm not sure what happened to them all at the end of the night - I hope they flew away to somewhere nice and exotic. Two sterling silver cranes have stayed with me though, albeit cruelly trapped on this necklace.

Monday, March 9, 2009


So with the GFC cramping my shopping style, I have decided to use all of the fabric that I have at the moment before buying any more. I know I am kidding myself, but it has started off well as I found an obi that was just beautiful underneath piles of material. I bought it years ago at the Valley markets in Brisbane. I've never really been game to unpick it or worse yet cut it, but I think not having purchased anything in a while muddled my brain and so I just hoed into it. Luckily it turned out well in the form of a bolero top, which I am in total love with now!

Friday, February 20, 2009


I'm learning how to sew at the moment with a designer called, Rudolf of Rudolf Couture. My Mum has always loved sewing and makes the most gorgeous quilts with a variety of techniques including hand applique and crazy patch. When I was little I would go with her to patchwork shops - I loved looking at all the fabrics and seeing what she would make from them, but never really tried sewing myself....that was until last year when I decided to do a traditional tailoring techniques class with Rudolf. The classes are held in a room of an old terrace house in Surry Hills, which is filled to the brim with vintage sewing machines - it is like stepping back in time. I can't count the number of times I have had to unpick my samples - but can now create pockets, zips and plackats like a professional (ok, well perhaps not...but I'm getting better!)

Information on Rudolf's classes can be found at

This is Rudolf, Sam, Julie and I at the Tessuti Awards, Sydney 2008.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Marley Markets Madness

I first met M at the Marley Markets in Newtown. I was wearing a necklace made from shredded calico, from which dangled three of my origami cranes. This is the conversation that we had: She said, "I like your necklace, where did you get it from?". I said, "I made it". She said, "Do you sell them? I'd like to stock them in my shop". I said, "ok". I was so thrilled and stunned at the same time that I forgot to ask her name and where the shop was and had to then go back and find out the details. So now I have some necklaces in M's shop called The Back Room. It is at Petersham and is called the Back Room because you have to go through a florist/cafe (which used to be an 1890's butcher's shopfront) to get to the shop. Once inside, there are fabulous, edgy, eclectic collections of clothes and accessories from a range of Australian and New Zealand designers - a fashionista's treasure trove!

Sweating it out at Rozelle Markets

The weather forecast said that Sunday was going to be a scorcher in Sydney, but that did nothing to deter my friend, Sam, and I from setting up a stall at Rozelle markets. Satsuki Design made its debut amongst old books, clothes and handbags - perhaps not a glamorous start - but a fun one!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Notes on the New Range

Still desperate to work with sterling silver, I came across a technique that has been around for thousands of years and one that the ancient Egyptians used to create Tutankhamun's death mask - the lost wax casting method. The method involves carving designs out of hard wax or pouring soft wax into moulds with the pieces then sent off for casting into sterling silver - there are so many possibilities with this process and it suits me very much, particularly now given my deep-seated fear of blow torches. My new range is a combination of hard wax carvings and soft wax moulds.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Safety first

My jewellery has transformed itself over and over again since I first started making "one earring" earrings. From beads, I discovered silver metal clay. I always had a desire to work with silver and even went to a silversmith's course - the course totally freaked me out though... mainly because of the teacher, who was the daggiest person I have ever met (teaching in tracky daks is not a good look)...but besides being daggy, which was horrific, she who would throw silver pieces into hydrochloric acid and spill it everywhere and then would wave her arms around holding a blow torch. So, silver metal clay seemed to me to be a much safer option - you could mould it like clay and then fire it on your own stove - no acid, no blow torch, fringe and fingers intact.

It was a lot of fun working with the silver clay - but you had to work quickly before the piece dried (which was quite problematic with our hot, humid days). Here are some of the pieces that I made. I stocked some of these pieces in (m)art at Artisan and Dogstar.

Pledging allegiance

So now I live in Dogstar, no Maiocchi, no Artisan...time to find some new stores to pledge allegiance to. In comes, Yoshi Jones and Atayar at Newtown, Mushu, Kyotap and Beautiful on the Inside at Surry Hills and every single shop in the Strand arcade in the City! The galleries at Gaffa and Object gallery are also fact, there's too many places to mention. It is a shopper's and designer's mecca.

p.s. I still get my fixes of dogstar, maiocchi and artisan when I go back to visit family and friends in Brisbane - this stops the withdrawal symptoms...

The devotion is deep

I grew up in Brisbane and, although probably not recognised as much as it should, Brisbane has a really great art and fashion scene. Three of my all time favourite stores in Brisbane are: Dogstar, Maiocchi, and (m)art at Artisan. I think my love of anything Japanese started the first time I bought a pair of trousers from Dogstar in 2000. Dogstar is a Brisbane label, designed by Masayo Yasuki. The clothes are edgy, deconstructed, asymmetrical works of art. I can still remember my first purchase - it was almost life changing (well definitely wardrobe changing), as from that moment on I have always worn Dogstar. I even had my wedding dress designed and made by Dogstar (the devotion is deep). Brisbane also has Maiocchi, which is another gorgeous store full of the most beautiful dresses and skirts with Japanese prints that are to die for! There's also Artisan - a gallery space and art, craft and design shop, which has the most unique jewellery, bags and everything arty from designers all over Australia. Oh why did I leave Brisbane??

Crazy crazy stage

I started making beaded jewellery for myself quite a few years ago. My pieces have always been quite unusual and different, including asymmetrical and mismatched earrings and the like! I took this a bit too far at one stage, going through a one earring phase, where I made extra long earrings for one ear, with a stud in the other. The problem is I still kinda like this look...

Turning Japanese

Welcome to my satsuki design blog. I love creating jewellery with a Japanese influence - whether it be making casts of buttons with Japanese scenes and designs, using Japanese kimono fabric, or incorporating origami patterns.
I live in Sydney, Australia and sadly, have never been to Japan...but think I must have been a Geisha in a past life.