Posts Tagged ‘new zealand’
Whittaker’s Passion for Chocolate
By J. H. Whittaker & Sons Ltd · Reviewed by Andy Heyward
The very instant I picked up this book I wanted to eat it. The book is so sumptuous looking I was tempted to lick the pages. The rich chocolatey brown and sepia tones, coupled with the golden inlay and type, made me feel like Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory carefully peeling back the cover to show a hint of gold below. Holding and reading this book is a treat in itself, let alone actually making the recipes.
Whittaker’s Passion for Chocolate boldly declares in its introduction that it has been over 100 years in the making. It begins with the family history, starting in England in 1890 and moving through the generations of family involvement to the present day – the company having operated in New Zealand since 1896. There is the story of chocolate and handy tips on choosing and melting chocolate, but what I really want to do is get stuck into the recipes.
The book features recipes from some of New Zealand’s finest chefs as well as selected submissions from its extensive Facebook fan base, including a tried and true fudge recipe by our very own Ana Lydiate, also known as Ami Ana.
Choosing what to make is difficult as it all looks so good. The generous and beautifully photographed recipes make it so much harder. If you have any type of chocolate addiction this book will make you salivate uncontrollably and, a bit like a Labrador dog watching you eat a chop, drool will slide out of the side of your mouth as you turn each page.
As it was my mother’s birthday, I decided to invite her to dinner and make a couple of recipes out of the book. I came across a recipe by chef Marc Soper which I decided to make as a main. I had great pleasure in announcing that I was creating lamb rump with rosemary-infused Whittaker’s Dark Ghana sauce, served with carrot and mango julienne, green beans, turnips and olive and grape salsa.
Not having a lamb rump on hand I substituted it for a leg of lamb and set to making this dish – it turned out delicious (and not too difficult) with many compliments from my family, the kids especially smitten with putting chocolate sauce on their meat. For pudding I chose to make an equally tasty chocolate and raspberry brownie by submitter Jo Knowles. Served with whipped cream and fresh coffee, this went down well and earned good-son points for me.
More than just a recipe book that gets put on the shelf, Whittaker’s Passion for Chocolate sits equally well on the coffee table and will lure the wary into a path of chocolate desire, containing enough history and facts to make a casual and informative read and enough recipes – ranging from marbled chocolate meringues and cinnamon cardamom blondies to white chocolate and macadamia cheesecake – to satisfy the hungriest of chocolate lovers.
Watch out chocolate-induced coma – here I come.
Andy Heyward is Director of Possibilities at Fat Spatula. A graphic artist, he also paints as a creative release from his other serious and stressful positions of being President of the Haumoana Lemon Marketing Board and founding member of the Haumoana Men’s Knitting Club.
I still remember the thrill of being allowed to look through my mother’s wardrobe of home-sewn clothes when I was a little girl. Being allowed to touch the fabrics and try on the odd piece was a formative experience in retro dress-ups, I think. As a fashionable young woman, my mother had sewn most of her own outfits: party frocks with fitted bodices and flared, flirty skirts, neat little shift dresses, and tailored, timeless Chanel-style suits.
Home Sewn begins with a brief historical overview that places these homemade treasures in their Kiwi context, making the point that in New Zealand (until, arguably, the last quarter of the twentieth century) if stylish, individual clothes were desired, most women had to make them for themselves.
It goes on to capture the stories of ten contemporary New Zealand fashion designers and highlight the beginnings of their careers. Each designer offers a design from their collection as a pattern included in the book.
While some of the designers featured in this book (and the accompanying exhibition) found their passion for sewing at high-school or design college, many first learned their skills at home – from mothers or grandmothers, making dolls’ clothes or outfits for themselves, friends or siblings. Their backgrounds illustrate this point again and again, presenting stories of home-grown talents that will no doubt resonate with many in the Felt community.
For me this book underlines my feeling that a passion for innovative, quality clothing design and construction can be born and nurtured in many places other than a tertiary course, though these courses certainly have their valued place. It also makes the welcome suggestion that there is room in the New Zealand fashion scene for these varied origins – and the interesting and innovative approaches to fabric they tend to foster.
The patterns provided by the ten featured designers are offered as inspiration for readers to express their own “creative individuality,” rather than as templates, which is perhaps the reason they’re only drawn in the 10–12 size range. Because of this, I couldn’t recommend this as a book for the beginner – while some good tips are offered on construction and finish, there is no guide to fitting or resizing (despite the rather context-less inclusion of a basic diagram on taking measurements) and the compact pages of pattern instructions assume a basic skill set. However, that said, it is actually quite refreshing to find a dressmaking book that is pitched at more experienced seamsters.
Whangarei Art Museum
17 December 2012 – 17 February 2013
Dunedin Art Gallery
9 March – 7 April 2013
The Dowse Art Museum
10 August – 24 November 2013
Jo Drysdall has a variety of alter-egos, running the gamut from librarian to corsetiere, fabric artist to horticulturalist. When not facing identity crises she enjoys ogling books on textile art and vegetables.
DUDO Design is a collaboration between Duke and Don. The duo met whilst both were majoring in design at Elam School of Fine Arts and, two years after graduating, they founded their own art and design studio in Auckland. Their surroundings and shared interest in New Zealand culture are brightly reflected in their growing range of vibrant and often quirky designs.
What do you make?
We make art blocks, art prints and greeting cards. We recently added t-shirts to our current collection, and they will be available in our Felt shop very soon. We are continuously creating more new designs and crafts as we learn and grow.
How did you get into your craft?
Duke: It all really began with childhood doodling on my workbook pages, which later on lead to my study of Fine Art degree at Elam, where I was given the opportunity to explore various media and art forms. I was fascinated and influenced by Takashi Murakami‘s work in my early years at Elam, and I started to experiment with his ‘Superflat’ theory in my work.
Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
Yes, I studied Bachelor of Fine Arts at University of Auckland.
Your favourite materials, tools and processes? We love paper, all sorts of paper.
What inspires you?
Nature. Great typography. Stunning work from websites and blogs created by witty, clever and creative people, even sometimes a line from song lyric or a funny quote.
Is there a philosophy behind your work?
For us, it is about having fun creating and making.
Describe your workspace: Messy yet functional. (more…)
Crafty Girls’ Road Trip
By Ann Packer · Reviewed by Anne Mortimer
In 2004, my copy of Ann Packer’s Crafty Girls’ Road Trip was well thumbed and had its own permanent place on my dashboard as I travelled the length and breadth of the country. It encouraged many a small diversion and certainly helped me to spend my way around New Zealand, single handedly boosting the economy. The guide proved to be indispensable – wherever we went, the guide went too, as my craft oracle (or crutch). Inevitably as time went on, some shops disappeared, but I never lost faith in the guide. It was a happy day that I read that a completely new and updated version had been published and an even happier day when I received a copy to review.
The new guidebook is a much more substantial proposition. For one thing it’s a darn sight heavier than the previous version, which I think is due to the beefier weight of paper, a slightly larger format and more pages to include more entries as well as ten simple, quick and easy craft projects to tempt you. The basic premise of the guide remains the same: a hearty offering of craft places throughout the country, laid out region by region. The selections include craft shops, studios, op shops, retro and antique shops as well as tried and tested places to stop for a break to fortify your mind and body before you embark upon further treasure seeking.
Ann does comment about some places having gone and shares with the reader what finds she made at various places including “I had a fantastic day finding blankets and other quiltable stuff last time around, but not this time”. Certainly so much of the enjoyment gained from a crafty road trip is the possibility of finding some fantastic treasures so it does all come down to being at the right place at the right time.
If I have any criticism, it is that some of my favourite places from the previous guide that are still alive and well were missing. This may have been due to space limitations, or to keep some of the gems a little bit secret. It was heartening to see that Christchurch had a good number of entries, with important information on where places have relocated to. Due to space and time constraints crafty girls seeking more information on vintage, op shop and markets would do well to visit Diana Clark’s website fromtheuniverse.org
The Crafty Girls’ Road Trip offers a snapshot of craft places throughout the country as a starting point for all of us crafty girls to add to. Take it on your own road trip but don’t forget to try it out at home too, you’ll never know what you might discover on your own doorstep or through your browser thanks to the handy dandy resource guide that’s helpfully included at the end. Time to plan a crafty girls’ road trip – who’s with me?
Anne Mortimer is a sometime mum and sometime administrator. She also makes handcrafted felt items and will occasionally sell these. Anne has worked for museums, galleries and libraries in the UK and settled in New Zealand three years ago.
It’s back and it’s better than ever! The Kiwi Diary 2012 is a carefully curated window into Aotearoa’s cultural soul. Containing all the functional bits you need in a diary (like a year planner and address book) and spacious enough to write about each day, this 250 page, A5, spiral-bound treasure is full of your favourite features alongside brand spanking new talent.
Every page journeys through the collective New Zealand mind: with every page adorned with art, stories, environmental tips, recipes, music, quotes, jokes and mindfood, the inspiration cycle keeps flowing! This is Kiwi culture by the road less travelled – it epitomises Aotearoa style, plugging you into inspiration, entertainment and info on the good things in life, along with plenty of space for you to diarise the awesomeness of 2012.
Felt is very proud to be a sponsor of The Kiwi Diary and support this awesome celebration of Kiwi culture, history and talent. It’s a perfect gift for friends, family, colleagues and Kiwis all over the world – order yours now!