Friday, May 4, 2012

Profile: Jo Olive of Olive and the Volcano

Name: Jo Olive
Stall Name: Olive and the Volcano
What are you selling at Sew & Tell? Handmade books and Paper Goods.

Q. What is your craft / creative outlet of choice?
A. I’m a complete paper, print and book nerd. Any spare second is taken up tearing and folding paper, waxing threads and getting inky. Taking photos is another obsession and collecting materials is all consuming.

Q. Who is your craft idol?
A. I have craft crushes on two amazing bookmakers at the moment, Jim Croft and Shanna Leino. Jim is a purist and mills the timber for his books, makes the paper, makes the brass fastenings and grows flax for his linen threads. Shanna just makes brilliant books with chunky bindings, gorgeous papers and unusual materials.

Q. Who taught you to craft?
A. No standout crafters in my childhood I’m afraid but my mum was pretty good at encouraging me to draw “outside” the lines and to buck the system when it came to colour. I’ve had formal training in printmaking and fine art but have been largely self-taught when it comes to making books.

Q. Who or what inspires you to be creative?
A. I’m so inspired by so many people and things. Of course the creative outpourings of my kids, the other artists I surround myself with and the environment I live in. Just today I’ve been inspired by king parrots, morning shadows, fallen leaves and frosty paddocks.

Q. Which talent would you most like to have?
A. I’d loved to be able to play the guitar and sing like a siren, then I could put all of my words to song.

Q. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A. Simple pleasures and everyday moments of joy, like the prefect cup of tea, a small smile, a print gone right, a note from a friend.

Q. What is your greatest fear?
A. I try super hard not to fear too much in life, it is as it is! But I do have this anxiety about running out of time to do all of the wonderful things I have planned and subsequently end up doing way too much!

Q. What is your current state of mind?
A. Inspired, brimming with ideas and being mindful of instilling some calmness and peace in there.

Q. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
A. I still think giving birth three times is pretty amazing but I believe that having the courage to follow my heart and pursue the business of “making” rather than “teaching” has been massive for me.

Q. What is your most treasured possession?
A It’s a toss up between my wedding ring and our beautiful new Heidelberg windmill letterpress – all 1.5 tonnes of it.

Q. Where is your ideal place to live?
A. I don’t think I ‘ll ever get New York out of my head. I would drag my whole family over there in an instant. 

Q. Favourite holiday destination?
A. I always end up in Melbourne! But Stradbroke Island is a brilliant ocean escape close to home.

Q. If money were no object, where would you take off to?
A. It would be a massive trip but I’ve heard Croatia is amazing, Spain comes next and I’d really like to spend some quality time skulking around Paris.

Q. Can you tell us about your best vintage find?
A. I’ll always be in love with my big deep lab sinks, and I adore my old school world map. But I’m smitten with the modern lines of our 1960’s sofa and can’t wait to dress it up in new upholstery.

Q. What is your favorite thing to cook for your friends?
A. Slow cooked lamb shanks in red wine, it’s like a big bear-hug of a meal.

Q. What is your motto?
A. I am all that I need to be 

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