HopeVale Earrings

HopeVale Earrings

Last year we shared a limited run of earrings, and now we have more! These latest earrings are from our recent collaboration with HopeVale! 

Our earring project was designed in 2018 through a collaboration with local NT designers Elliat Rich and James Young of Elbow Workshop in Alice Springs.

Completed HopeVale earrings

Laura explaining the business model behind the earring project to HopeVale Artists

The background

Last year we asked Elbow Workshop to come up with an accessory idea that could be a 'blank canvas' for various emerging Aboriginal artists across Australia. We wanted to create a product that: 

  • could be created (end to end) during a two hour workshop
  • artists could receive a payment for upfront (before the item is sold)
  • that we were confident would sell well and could cover the costs of all the inputs
  • that could be delivered as an 'enterprise learning' package / project to educate both artists and consumers about the costs of designing and creating a product!

We created a full kit which included a breakdown of all of the materials and their associated costs, a ‘how to’ manual for creating the earrings, and the packaging for the earrings so they could be presented for sale in a compelling way.

Elbow Workshop excelled on the brief, coming up with a product that looks fabulous and can be created by artists with a wide range of skills!

Grace Rosendale working on earrings in HopeVale, Far North QLD

The Pilot

The very first pilot of this project was delivered by Millie Shorter in Katherine with two local organisations - Katherine Doorways Hub and the Katherine Women’s Crisis Centre - across two days in August 2018. There were about 25 people involved across both locations. Elbow Workshop then headed to Iltja Ntjarra (Many Hands Art Centre) in Alice Springs to create some earrings with artists there!

Since creating and selling (online and at popups) the first run of earrings, we have made slight adjustments to the design (thanks to everyone who bought + supported the first batch, and provided feedback!) - slightly smaller perspex/acrylic surface area (lighter on the lobes), and less complicated earring hooks!

Figuring out how the earrings stick together! HopeVale Arts Centre

Enterprise learning

We co-designed the earring project so that it could serve as an accessible introduction to product development and creative enterprise. We created a simple resource that broke down the costs of the paint, perspex pieces, earring hooks, designer fees, the fee the artists would be paid, and the fee that Magpie Goose would take to sell the products and run the workshops (resource copied below).

Daisy Hamlet painted her famous dogs on the earrings!! 

HopeVale earrings

It was a total joy to see everyone at the HopeVale arts centre get involved in the earring project. In between breaks of shooting the 'lookbook' and website photos, all the young people got involved. They had great fun coming up with different designs, and seeing how the colours blended. The old ladies always love a new activity, and they also got straight into it - talking, laughing, and encouraging each other. 

Gertie and Daisy working on earrings in HopeVale
Young people getting into it!
Young Naz working alongside his grandma
Wanda Gibson signing off on completed earrings 
Looking forward

We are planning to incorporate the delivery of the earring 'workshop package' alongside future Magpie Goose Fashion Futures programs and textile design workshops. We are also working to establish relationships with community centres / art centres who have the capacity to facilitate the earring project on an ongoing basis!

Check out all the earrings here - every design is a one off, so get in quick! 

- MG 


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samia goudie July 15 2020

Be great to do clothing on bigger sizes and height a lot of ud Aboriginal women are bigger too and would like these clothes

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