Living thousands of kilometres away from your business partner, for most, would spell disaster; but for sisters Clare Scholes and Joy Stewart it only makes them work harder. With Clare based in Melbourne and Joy having recently moved to Singapore, together they own boutique Mondocherry.
Stocking a range of their own work — in the form of artworks and textiles — as well as the wares of local designers, it is their new birds of a feather series that deserves the most attention.
Made from feathers individually hand cut from watercolour paper and then carefully water coloured, the artworks are inspired by the rich, layered texture of tribal juju hats, as well as the intricate detailing of an individual feather
“We love happy art and wanted to create a series of pieces that have graphic impact from afar but have a story to tell up close,” explains Clare. “When creating a new feather artwork we are usually inspired by a particularly beautiful colour combination and then we are impatient to start painting and cutting and watch the artwork evolve. We find the intricate process of cutting the feathers quite meditative. Others do yoga, but we cut and paint a thousand tiny feathers!”
[contextly_sidebar id=”HuttRUvIgha6lwFKUhySzVDYgESNQwad”]Chatting endlessly on Skype and on the phone, for the sisters collaborating is something they have always done. “It is the easiest thing in the world to design together as we often, separately, come up with exactly the same idea,” says Joy. “We very rarely disagree about our designs and are grateful that we can usually critique each other’s work without the need to be super polite and tactful. People often ask us: “Who does what in an artwork?” and the simple answer is that we really work as one.”
Having worked with paper for a number of years, the birds of a feather series was simply an evolution, founded from sitting down together and trying new techniques and ideas. Also designing a range of cushions, throws and lampshades, all products go through the same rigorous collaboration process. “We find that new ideas can’t be forced and if we go in with the intention of coming up with something new it is usually a disaster,” explains Clare. “Our inspiration comes from experimenting and usually we have that aha moment when we know that something works.”
Deciding long ago to not follow trends or predict what people might buy, the duo make sure to only make and stock what they love, and they have some exciting plans underway. “We have so many ideas in the pipeline from furniture to bedding,” says Joy. “We also want to continue to support other artists and designers, especially local ones. In fact, much of our jewellery and homewares are actually created by artisans living and working within a few kilometres of our shop!”
Visit Mondocherry at 3 Claremont Ave, Malvern 3144 or shop online.