Thursday 18 September 2014

Pony Black Co - Featured Designer and Maker

With just three weeks to go until our gorgeous Spring Barn Market, it's a great time to delve into some of the stories behind the incredible designers, makers and artisans who bring their beautiful wares to the Barn Market.

Pony Black Co has captured the attention of many a visitor to the Barn Market and Rachel Dean is the talent behind this highly successful label. Pony Black Co is an independent studio situated in "deep, dark Tasmania". There is a quirky, humorous and evocative element to all her work that reveals itself in designs, motifs, details and bold and colourful accessories. I can't help but be drawn to the beauty and intrigue of her designs and had to find out more about the mysterious Rachel Dean and Pony Black Co.

Can you tell us a little bit about how your travels and experiences of living in Tasmania influenced Pony Black (and lead to its creation)?
I moved to Tasmania about four years ago while on long service leave from my employment in Melbourne.  After about three weeks, I started playing with the idea of starting up a small business. I've always liked fashion design and construction, so I gave it a go.  That's what I love about Tasmania- she provides you with the opportunity and the freedom to follow your passions. Travel is something that I love doing too (I'm working on off-setting my carbon footprint!) and now with Pony Black I have guilt free fabric acquisition experience -it's for Pony Black after all!

Your preference is to work with natural fibres, albeit luxurious ones, what comes first, the design or the fabric?
Usually the fabric comes first - I just love scouring fabric shops and markets around the world and at home. Each country expresses itself differently, ranging from gorgeous batiks from Bali, fabulous kimono fabric from Japan and exquisite silks from Cambodia and Thailand. Instead of buying souvenirs, I buy fabric.  I have a stash of beautiful fabrics at the moment - lets see what happens!

What has challenged you most about Pony Black Co since its inception?
Working by myself- I spend a lot of time in my studio by alone.  My community consists of artists and musicians and even though we all have a mainly solitary working experience, we do try and mark the working week with Friday night drinks and dinner. So it's all good really.

If you could say one thing to each person who stops by your stall, what would it be?
Buy local - not only do you get a fabulous product that is lovingly crafted and exquisitely made, you get to support your community and local economy.  You often have the opportunity to talk directly to the maker too.  Its amazing how many fabulous and talented artisans Tasmania has!

What can we expect in the future at the Barn Market from Pony Black Co?
I picked up some gold leather while I was in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago, so expect accessories using fabulous gold leather!  A bit Royal don't you think?

You can meet Rachel at the Christmas Barn Market, November 21st and 22nd and see more of her fabulous work.
Website: Pony Black Co