Backpack Peddlin’ Shop: Playing shop with a mobile device to sell small artworks and haberdashery.
My boat research has taken me some lovely places, and I’ve met (through time, books and imagination) some very interesting people. One lady portal is Dorothy Worchester.
In 1943, Dorothy Worchester travelled across China with her “old sailor” Chinese Maritime Customs officer husband George. He was a total boat nut and documented in drawings and words the gorgeous local boats and all kinds of fishing craft (when they weren’y escaping from bandits). Dorothy drew the people she saw including the Haberdashery Peddler.
Dorothy sadly died a little while later in a Japanese concentration camp when the 2nd world war caught up with them. But her observational and artistic works were included in a book written by George: The Floating population in China.
So here we are today, with Dorothy’s beautiful drawing of a Haberdashery Peddler, and an artist (me) slightly obsessed with old China and their floating craft. I am a maker and artist also obsessed with sewing really useful things and of finding ways to patch together a living doing those 2 things.
Enter the Backpack Shop, crunching all these ideals and obsessions together. A shop in a backpack complete with haberdashery supplies (tape measure, nippers, thread cards, 36 colours of hand dyed woolen skeins for darning and a mushroom darner (by Usethings)). It contains laser cut, handmade ply brooches that connected to my exhibition at the Wide Open Road Art windows and copies of my partner Chris Guest’s illustrated “Floating Horizon” book.
The backpack shop is constructed and has had its first outing at a very rainy artists market. It contains a packaging area and has signage spruking the contents. In a future iteration I have plans for a sewing kit for sale. It is currently housed in a canvas covered fruit box (as prototypes frequently are) with backpack straps and zips. Prices for the objects range between $1 – $33. Normally I would aim to be at the Castlemaine artist market “roving” around from after breakfast at about 11am until before-I-get-cranky at about 1pm .