BIND | FOLD
Victoria Pemberton is another example of a fabulously creative Australian woman producing beautiful and unique homewares under her label Bind|Fold. Real thought goes into each and every piece she creates from tablecloths, bed linen, tea towels and furoshiki (wrapping cloths) that are not only functional but also beautiful and made in an environmentally sustainable way using traditional Japanese shibori dyeing techniques.
1. What is your background and what path led you to the world of textiles and dyeing? I’ve always really loved art, so after high school I studied photography at SCA and graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts. I didn’t pursue a career as a photographer or as an artist really, and it wasn’t until I met my husband that I started itching to do something visually creative again. I taught myself to sew, and eventually this led to me wanting to try out textile design. I became interested in natural dyes not just because they come from naturally occurring sources, but also because they’re more difficult to work with. They can’t be quantified the same way, and the minutest thing can change the outcome at any stage of their life cycle. So they are always an unknown quantity. The mystery of this really fascinates me.
2. Where did the name Bind|Fold come from? Bind | Fold is named for the process of shibori. Shibori literally means to wring, compress, bind and to fold your cloth in a variety of ways to create patterns. So it’s a little play on my process.
3. Environmental sustainability seems to be a feature of the ethos of your company. Can you give us some insight into why this is so important to you? When I started Bind|Fold I knew that I wanted to work in the most sustainable way that I could. So for my process that means using natural dyes and mordants in small quantities that are not harmful to me, or the earth. It seems to me that as a business owner that uses the resources of the planet that I should be considerate of how I impact the earth.
4. Where do you get the inspiration for your new designs and ranges from? I’m inspired by traditional Japanese shibori and also the work process itself. Different techniques can be modified quite quickly with only slight changes and there really seems to me to be an infinite number of resulting patterns. So one thing leads to another!
5. Do fashion trends factor into your creative process? Not at all. Well, I don’t believe so. I’ve always had a great love for simple, classic design. I’m a firm believer in less in more. I don’t research what else is going on around me in textiles, or what current colour trends etc seem to be. So I design for myself. I design for what I love. If what I create isn’t loved that’s ok. I loved it for a while and then I move on.
6. What is it about Shibori dyeing techniques that you love? Everything! I love the process, the act of preparing my work for dyeing, then working the dye vat, even washing your work is critical. It sounds quite tense, but it’s fun!
7. What’s in the pipeline for Bind l Fold? I’ll be taking part in a pop up called Domestic Frontier later in the year that I’m really looking forward to. It’s with a lovely group of creatives, whose work I admire, and they’re a bunch of nice people to boot!
8. What do you do in your down time to relax? I love to run, and to knit. Taking my son and the dog to the park or the beach on a weekday is always great because we’re usually the only people there! For family activities we love a good picnic, or country day trip especially if a visit to the local brewery is involved!
9. How would you describe your personal style? I wear a lot of flannel, wool and denim. So probably “farm girl”.
10. What other artists or creatives do you admire? There are so many wonderful creative people around, I always find this question very daunting because I want to mention everyone. For pottery I love Bridget Bodenham just so so much. For photography I dream of one day owning my very own Bill Henson, that would be pretty incredible. For indigo I dearly love Hiroyuki Shindo, for general craftyness I love Felicia Semple of The Craft Sessions, for down to earth food I love Grown and Gathered and Julia Ostro and for knit wear designs I love Carrie Bostick Hoge.