Thursday, October 28, 2010

and here they are! finished at last!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

At Home With Ellen Giggenbach

At Home With Ellen Giggenbach

Issue 38 Oct/Nov 2010
Tucked away in Eastbourne, Wellington is an artist with an eye for colour and a home bursting with heart and personality. 

Words Lucinda Diack    Photography Kate MacPherson

Overflowing with personality, colour, texture, patterns and a never ending collection of things which inspire, the Sutherland-Giggenbach family draw you in. “We are a very happy and full-on house,” shares Ellen with a smile, “it’s a fun place to be when we are all here.”

While at night the living and master bedroom of the home appear as they should, during the day while sons Austin (14) and Louis (10) are at school and husband Paul is at work, the two rooms are turned into Ellen’s ‘studio’.  Creating hand cut and assembled works of art, from coloured paper, Ellen produces one-off pieces for companies around the world. Whether for a range of gift cards, a wall decal, large scale art works or more recently home and giftware, each and every piece is created by hand in the family living room. “I used to buy all the paper I worked with, but I found the colours too limiting, so now I simply paint A4 sheets to the tone I want and go from there. Each work is like a puzzle. Often I have no idea how it is going to turn out, but it is about getting the individual bits to work together.” By cutting out shapes from the coloured paper and layering them together, Ellen produces intricate one off images designed to catch the eye.

“My inspiration for each range of work comes from what I surround myself with. From pretty china to old record covers. I love collecting and my latest thing is old board games.” Whether inspired by mid-century design or European folk art, every piece produced is bound by Ellen’s beautiful capability to play and layer colour. “Each is a montage of shape and colour which I play around. I know it’s finished when I no longer want to move anything around! Then I glue it down.”

“I work standing up so I can look down at the work and get a birds eye view as to whether the work is coming together or not. So paper and cut out shapes are spread from one end of the living room to the other! Then it is all packed away in time for the boys' arrival home from school and then it is their turn to transform the living room into lego land.” Even with the stunning shapes and colours of Ellen’s work packed away her artistic eye is present. Drawers and small tables can be found around the home, which have been upcycled by Ellen with stencilled icons to act as storage units for her collections. “I grew up with craft, my father made furniture and my mother taught us how to sew and was always giving us little projects to do, so it only seems natural to create things with my own mark on them for the house.” And Ellen has certainly made her mark on the house.

While no two rooms are painted in the same colour, the house is perfectly composed and each room complements the one before. “When we first moved in together I think Paul wondered what he had got himself into; all the ‘clutter’ and colour. Yet when we renovated he surprised me by selecting canary yellow for the kitchen bench!”

For this bustling young family, home is certainly where the heart is, and home would be nothing without mum’s natural talent for composition and placement.

You can follow Ellen's work online at

ABOVE The master bedroom also plays home to Ellen's desk and sketching workplace. The paper lampshade was made by Ellen for a stall at the local Eastbourne market. From china tea sets to wooden figurines and old record covers Ellen collects and is inspired by things from every realm of life.         

Sunday, October 24, 2010

i seem to be having a few problems posting at the moment, as soon as i type under a picture it turns into a link !
anyway, these latest designs are for a series of greeting cards, i have yet to add captions as on the wedding design, there will be 4 more to add to the range with a christmas theme.
print and pattern  recently published a post featutring my latest designs for lagom,
they look nice with matching envelopes.
bowie has also included me in her next print and pattern book which is due out next year, what an honour. 
also for all new zealanders, you can now have my wall decals by going onto this gorgeous site
 it's official! we are finally taking the plunge and selling our tiny cottage.
we have our eye on a new house just down the road so fingers crossed it all comes together. it's been quite a juggle in the last couple of weeks working on new designs and cleaning up the house ready for open homes.
i tried to post some more recent work but cant seem to, i'll try again later!
to see our little house , i've attached a link below.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

i have delivered my 3 pieces of art work today, i'm quite please with the frames, now i just have to hope that they sell!

Friday, October 15, 2010

as you can see from these, developing my designs is quite a messy process!
whilst my work may look clean and precise, my work area often isn't!
believe it or not at the end of my working day, i have to clean it all up, why? because i work on the dining room table. this will change soon however because we are looking to buy a bigger house with a studio, yipee! i cant wait....

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

hi there! i know it's been ages since my last post.
i'll have lots to post now that i am back at work after the school holidays. i'm so pleased to say i have more wonderful projects lined up with than ever. the best news is that my art work has been selling well and these 2 pieces of work are for an up and coming exhibition, what do you think?! i will frame them all in white to give them a lovely fresh feel,
each piece is 38cmx 50cm before framing, approximately 55cmx 70cm framed.
they will sell for NZ $500 unframed, $750 framed.
should you be interested in commissioning a piece, simply send me an email with your wishes and we can go from there!

Monday, October 4, 2010

i'm so sorry about the recent lack of posts, it's the school holidays and i have been busy keeping my lads out of mischif as well as keeping them and their friends entertained.

Sadly both our darling chooks; dolly and marshmallow  died on friday. the backyard is not the same without them. we believe that being free range left them open to all sorts of bad bugs that their bodies couldn't fight of, i suspect that over breeding didn't help. at least they went together, they would have missed each other too much.

i am working on some new designs (when i have a moment) this is the first one of a series, i will post them as soon as they are completed!