Friday, July 16, 2010

the making of

a guild. a beneficial assembly.

a cluster of components centred around a core element to provide support to that element.

a guild is designed. composed with intent.

my earliest recollection of the concept is of an old horticulturalist, kevin heinze, speaking at my primary school about the ‘guild league’. the guild league published posters of local native flora and fauna. i poured over them as a small one. still do as a bigger one. kevin heinze led us through our local neighbourhood, pointing out this bush and that tree, which produced this flower and that shelter, which was fodder for that bird and this butterfly. he was my first crush.

more recently, the concept arose again for me in the context of a permaculture design course i completed last year. how and why an apple tree will produce more fruit if its neighbours include a grevillia, some comfrey, a little alyssium and a passionfruit vine. of all the topics covered in the pdc – and there are many – the guild concept was the one that resonated with me the most. each plant and its placement is thoroughly considered in the context of all other plants in the space. there is no waste. yield is increased. the soil is conditioned. pests are deterred naturally. weeds are suppressed without pulling. climbing plants use other plants as support. small birds and insects are sheltered. it is a complex system but so sublime in its simplicity. simple. happy. and it looks beautiful. truly beautiful.

guildmaker is an attempt to take this concept and apply it to my making. i am a maker of simple pieces for small folk using quality new and vintage fabric made from natural fibres. each piece stands alone, but is part of a whole. this dress is complimented by that wristlet and that hat brings it altogether. each piece is enduring - only quality fabric and techniques around here. your piece has a generous hem and an easily accessible waistband to grow as your small one does. no precious pieces around here. they are designed to wear. and to be just a little bit delightful.

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