Crafty producers: Benny Mitchell, Rachel Grose and Alex Bayley are the creators housed in the Lost One’s Makers Studio. Photos: RUBY STALEY

Meet the makers

October 18, 2020 BY

A SPACE dedicated to creative production, Camp Street’s The Lost Ones Makers Studio is once again welcoming people through to watch producers work and purchase their goods.

Each of the makers pay a monthly fee to the studio owners for their spot in the studio which supports and houses local talent and bespoke designers to create a wide range of specialty goods.

With the aim of celebrating trained and emerging creatives, the Makers Studio provides a space for the public to view producers in action, buy their wares and even pick up a new skill.

 

Alex Bayley, Bayleaf Handmade Goods

The newest addition to the Makers Studio is Alex Bayley who designs and creates circular fashion pieces for the brand, Bayleaf Handmade Goods.

What is commonly known as slow fashion, Bayley said each of their garments are sustainably, ethically and locally made.

“At the moment, I make mostly linen garments while I just start getting some stuff together and the business off the ground,” they said.

“I get the fabrics from wholesalers … and I only use mills that are certified for various ecological standards.”

One of the core features of Bayley’s designs is the way they are inspired by historical styles, not just in the way they look but in the way, they are constructed.

Rather than using commercial patterns to create the pieces, Bayley said they make their own patterns and using traditional techniques.

“The patterning is all mostly geometric and based on measurements, which is super simple,” they said.

“I got my start in historical re-enactment, in that time they didn’t use commercial patterns and the knowledge was just passed down from one to another.

“The main reason is that it’s very low waste, I cut out three garments out of one piece of fabric and I can fit the scraps into the palm of my hand.”

Although still relatively new to this space having set up in August, Bayley said they’ve really enjoyed being a part of the studio.

“It’s great being in this space, I started out just at home, the only thing sane through the pandemic was making stuff,” they said.

“These guys are small businesspeople who sell their products online and I’m starting to do that and ask for advice from them on that.

“Having somewhere to go, where I know I’m doing this and nothing else is always good, so sick of the sight of my own house.”

 

Benny Mitchell, Heaps Good Leather

Maker of all things leather, Benny Mitchell creates hand crafted bags, wallets, belts and other goods that are made to last a

Benny Mitchell creates hand crafted leather goods including bags, wallets and belts.

lifetime.

Self-taught, Mitchell said he likes the bespoke aspect of handmade goods where not everyone has the same things and each piece is a little bit different from the next.

“Although I’ve been doing it for about two years, I’ve always had an affinity for leather and thought it was a great medium and wanted to do something crafty to make a bit of money on the side,” he said.

“We live in such a throwaway society now where it’s not good enough and I’d rather make someone a wallet that will last them ten years.”

Having worked from the space since January, Mitchell said he loves being a part of a creative hub and having the opportunity to collaborate with other makers.

“It’s nice to have a dedicated space and brilliant to have Alex and Rach to bounce stuff off each other and if we have problems, it’s nice to have a fresh pair of eyes sometimes,” he said.

“While I do a core range of designs, at the moment, I’m putting together some pieces incorporating some of Rach’s set stones to create on-off bags and they’re turning out great.”

Although the pandemic stopped people being able to come into the Makers Studio for a couple of months, Mitchell said his online orders have been steady and kept him creating throughout that time.

“There’s lots of orders still, people are cashed up because they couldn’t go on their holidays,” he said.

“Right now, it is nice to have somewhere to go to and get out of your house and create, especially now that everyone is stuck at home it can get pretty miserable.”

 

Rachel Grose, RG Silver Jewellery

With metal and stones as her chosen medium, maker Rachel Grose crafts one-off jewellery pieces for her brand RG Silver Jewellery.

Harbouring a love for jewellery making since she was a teenager, Grose said she’s been tinkering and honing her craft ever since.

“This was the first year I’ve gone full time at it, I love it and I love getting up and going to work,” she said.

“I make jewellery, I use recycled sterling silver and trying to source more stones from Australia so I’m using some really interesting garnets, jaspers and beautiful stones at the moment.

“Everything is one of a kind, it’s a lot of hand sawing and its pretty time consuming.”

While she still had access to the studio over lockdown, Grose said she took the pandemic as opportunity to slow things down a little and adjust her business.

“It’s been interesting over the lockdown period because I relaxed a bit and tried to do a bit more design work, tried to find a new signature style,” she said.

“I was teaching a lot of classes, then everything got cancelled, so we’ve just been coming in here and working in this beautiful space.

“Everything has gone online for me, I have a website and I’ve been releasing little collections online.”

Although working alongside over creatives isn’t essential to Grose’s work, she said she really appreciates the atmosphere of the studio.

“It’s good having this space too because when I was at home, I couldn’t really turn it off, I would always have one foot in the studio and now I can relax when I leave,” she said.

“I love having other makers in here it’s been great, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to do the collaborations we are doing without this space.

“I also just love to have people coming in again, I’ve really missed those interactions.”