Out There Design, Francessca and Vick

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Local creatives Francessca and Vick share with Focus the journey behind their ever evolving venture, “Out There Design”…

Your business has grown and expanded since you began in 2006 – can you tell us about each division?

The last ten years have been a fabulous creative journey for both of us. Each new division of the business has developed from a new interest one of us has had and the urge to explore the possibilities.

Our main business, Out there Design and Mosaic, is still flourishing after many years of creating unique mosaic art installations, paintings and etchings for clients locally and nationally, with a few pieces now residing overseas. We have also had some great opportunities working with Sydney based Interior Design Susan Koedam, from Koedam Design.

Out There jewellery was inspired by a lamp work glass workshop with Skye from Arthouse Industries, here in Port Macquarie.

Whilst my jewellery is not created using lamp work techniques, I use a combination of glass slumping and inlaid work to create an extensive range of “wearable art” jewellery, using Moretti glass, Murano Millefiori, glass beads and metal findings.

Along with our own creative indulgences, we have had the enormous pleasure of teaching mosaic weekend workshops as an introductory course for beginners and new skills extension for those who have had some experience.

This year we have also introduced a Thursday morning mosaic class, which has been a huge success. It is such a rewarding experience watching my seven lovely novice mosaic enthusiasts develop their mosaic technical skills and confidence in their creativity. But more importantly, I feel the women love their precious and rare, “me time”, amongst a group of enthusiastic, happy souls, sharing stories and laughter … lots of laughter!

We have also been approached by a few local businesses to commence creative tour packages to visit our Beechwood Art Studio. The packages will include short mosaic and jewellery courses, viewing the gallery, with a morning tea and lunch option. We look forward to this kicking off with Eclectic Tasty Art Tours in the next few months.

A few years ago, Vick discovered the joy of woodworking and using a variety of “new tools” and has since been fine-tuning her skills.  “Out There Earth Books” was her first venture into creative up cycling, and she has recently introduced our newest addition “Out There Bottle Gardens”.

Your most recent venture, Francessca, is “Out There Creative Kids”; tell us about that in some more detail.

I am finally bringing my two great passions together, art and teaching kids.

“Out There Creative Kids” is being launched this school holidays, where I will be holding creative art workshops for children from 6 – 14 years in both Wauchope October 6th and Port Macquarie October 4th.

These classes aim to inspire creativity and exploration of art materials and art techniques, using an amazing array of natural and recycled materials, with paints, oil pastels, inks, paper and clay to create unique 2D and 3D artworks.

These workshops are the introduction to the 2017 opening of Creative Kids Art Classes for children of all ages, in the soon to be completed art studio being set up at “Out There Creative Space” in Wauchope.

There will be classes for parents to share some creative time with their preschoolers, educational creative art classes through the day for children who are home schooled, and afternoon classes for school age students.

You’ve worked with children and youth for a long time throughout your career. What do you enjoy most about educating them in the arts?

Kids have always inspired me to be a better version of myself. They keep me young at heart, challenged and amused on a daily basis. Over the past 30 years I have come to really value the important role we play as mentors, not just to educate these young minds, but to help them realise their potential and to inspire them to have courage to step out of their comfort zone and follow their dreams.

How can parents find out more?

The website is currently being updated to include upcoming events and the children’s classes. So at this stage, just email me at chessca@gmail.com or call me on 0402 856 582.

Vick, you have just started a new venture too – can you tell us about that?

The idea for “Out There Bottle Gardens” originally came from a number of special spirit and wine bottles we had put aside with our many other collectable, “tossable” treasures. I was playing with my latest tool – a glass cutter, and could see the possibilities to combine this skill with our miniature succulents and ferns to bring something new to the area and our range of handmade creations.

Is it difficult to pick up these new skills? And how long do they take to master?

Everything is hard until you learn how to do it. It has taken lots of practice, loads of patience, perseverance and many cracked bottles. However, the determination has paid off, and now the ratio of success over failure is finally weighing on my side … with Band-Aids no longer a high priority!

How does this new collection fit in with your other works?

This has been a very successful addition to our collection of hand made pieces. We are always bouncing ideas off each other and really enjoy learning new skills and developing ideas. Sometimes we have so many balls in the air, neither of us is really sure who is juggling what, but it keeps our life fun and full of creative adventure.

Where can we shop or see your arts?

We are currently setting up a gallery at home, which will be open by appointment before Christmas, and a new Etsy shop is planned for the New Year. But for now, you will almost always find us at The Artist Markets in the Vines at Cassegrain Winey on the fourth Sunday each month.

We will also be attending the Makers’ Market at The Tastings in the Hastings on Sunday October 30th and then at the Christmas Markets in the forecourt of The Glasshouse, December 8th, 15th and 22nd.

Thanks Francessca and Vick.

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