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.