Monday, May 13, 2013

Sponsor Highlight | Udder


Happy Monday out there!! I would like to kick start the week with welcoming a new sponsor and a big inspiration source of mine, Udder!

'Udder' is created by artist/designer Fliss Dodd. Gaining recognition on the local scene for making sculptural and functional ceramics, it was not until the birth of her first child that Fliss turned her hand to making soft toys when she felt frustrated with the saturated synthetic kids’ toy market.

She yearned to be able to give her child a ‘handmade friend’ made with love from fabric not plastic.
Years on and now 3 children inspiring the brand even more, 'Udder' has slowly grown with the introduction of 'small' collections of Children's Clothing, accessories and still the usual suspects, the 'handmade friends'. Without compromising the integrity of the business and the high quality finish, Fliss together with her husband and business partner Hal have established a close relationship with a small scale boutique manufacturer in Bali to create beautiful and unique seasonal collections.

Each piece from the collections are made by hand from start to finish with fabrics printed utilizing traditional Indonesian antique techniques - processes such as Batik, Tie and Dye, Silk Screens with a manual brushing and airbrush as well as wood block print. These techniques mean the finished fabric is unique and original, a quality which in a world of mass automated production is becoming rare and a quality which 'Udder' strives to maintain. Importantly at the same time, these garment artists are preserving their unique value crafts and a revival of this art is conceived through new applications, utilizing the fabric for a contemporary need.

Q&A with creator/artist Fliss Dodd of 'Udder':

Can you tell us a little about how Udder started? What is your inspiration, and how did you come up with the name?
 
Udder started many years ago when I was studying Ceramics at Uni. I was making sculptural and functional ceramic pieces, and I wanted to have an alias or mark instead of my name. The udder became that alias for a number of reasons - it was quirky, fun and a link to the work i was making (abstract sculptural cows). It was also to me a vessel and a giver of life…in my mind i was giving life to the pieces i was making.

I kept the name Udder for years and after the birth of my first child (11 years ago) I was frustrated with all the plastic and synthetic toys on the market, so I started to sew soft toys (from vintage and recycled fabrics) for him. The name 'Udder' continued and felt even more significant to use after becoming a mother. Even to now where i have stepped into children's  fashion, Udder as a name has always seemed the perfect fit. 

For me, inspiration comes from so many different things so its hard to know where to start!
Fabrics - generally an idea for a collection will come from pieces of fabric that i see in our production house. 
People
- I am inspired by so many different designers, artists, stylists etc.  
Ethical design and production - how can this not be inspiring??? 
My children - they play a very important role when designing the next collections - hearing their ideas on what they would or wouldn't wear, and also overhearing their conversations and imaginative ideas when playing together.  I like the way they think, they are bold and straight down the line.

What makes Udder different from other kids fashion labels?
 
I remember asking myself this question when i was actually launching Udder's first collection and we were trying to see where we fitted in. It took me back to my days at art school and a mentor of mine saying that i had a very distinctive style - and i suppose that's carried through. I wanted to create kids clothes in my own personal style - designing what I love in simple pieces and choosing and creating fabrics which are unique and 'a little bit different'. 
I really think the fabrics we use and the traditional Indonesian printing techniques whilst keeping it all made ethically in a small production house make us have that difference too.

If you could describe 'Udder' in three words, what would they be?

Hip - yet happy
Savvy - yet subtle
Edgy- yet elegant
 

5 comments:

  1. Very unique style and fabric seems lovely. The bandit bird is must for my son's birthday.

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    1. Hi Nadja - that bandit penguin is so great! Would be a wonderful present! And I agree, love udder's style too!

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  2. Looks nice :)!

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    1. Juuli, I love the fact that they focus on the fabric and carries on the old traditional Indonesian printing techniques :)

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  3. I totally agree with Fliss Dodd. Once you become a mother you notice things that you would previously turn a blind eye to - with reference to comments on toys being made with plastic / synthetic. Definitely unique and different the udder vintage looking toys.

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