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Meet the Makers: Marrickville

2204 Magazine interviews three creative designers working their magic in Marrickville.

Xanadu Designs Christina Sceats.

Christina, owner of Xanadu Designs, is an artist who creates wearable one-of-a-kind

Jewellery. She began as a Jewellery designer in the early 2000s after studying at the Enmore Design Centre. Although she left the industry for a while, building a career in the performing arts and teaching, Christina came back to creating again. The move back to creating was inspired when she was invited to a party and wanted to wear a pair of huge, colourful, lightweight earrings but found the market was lacking.

This led Christina to start experimenting with leather. It soon became her favourite medium

and it’s easy to see why. It is lightweight, durable and holds its shape. The earthy quality of

the leather and its sustainably and knowing it will eventually return to the Earth all made it

an appealing medium to the Jewellery Artist.

Christina is a versatile artist who takes sustainability very seriously in her creations. She

experiments with different leathers that are uniquely Australia, such as Kangaroo and Cane

Toad leather and Eel skin. Christina is inspired by colour and wants her clients to feel

confident and fabulous wearing her unique one-of-a-kind colourful designs. In particular,

the last three years have been a time where Christina has really pushed the boundaries on

what can be done with leather using paints and finishes to bring about extra colour, while

keeping her products uniquely Australian and Earth Friendly.

Upcycled Bags Designed by Kate

Kate Shanahan believes that the world would be a dull place without creativity and that by creating art we create a space to hear people's stories and to understand ourselves more.

The Artist first developed a love of creating when she was a costume and set designer for the theatre. It was here that Kate learnt to upcycle and save things from landfill and in the process create wonderful and captivating pieces for the stage.

Her time in the theatre inspired Kate to create Upcycled Bags, where she uses a variety of mediums. Her favourite being leather as it is hard-wearing, it can be painted on and will allow her bags to last and grow old gracefully.

Each bag Kate creates is truly unique and built from upcycled, sustainable materials. They are designed to be beautiful as well as functional. Each object she creates is a wearable piece of art that has a story woven into it from the past of the objects it is made from.

Helen Rose Nehill

While creating art and using her hands, Helen is in her element. She loves to use her rich imagination to dream up imaginary worlds and create wonderful characters. Helen Rose Nehill is an artist and Illustrator who studied Design and Illustration at the Design Centre in Enmore. Over the years, Helen has studied at various art schools and completed courses to further develop and refine her skills.

Helen’s favourite medium to use is ink and dip pen and using watercolour and gouache to include pops of colour. It is not just a process for Helen, it is a fully immersive, sensory experience bringing her into the present moment.

When Helen uses ink, she loves everything about the process, from the way the ink glistens on the paper before it dries, to the scratchiness of the nib as she draws. It is truly a meditative experience.

Helen supports the process that art has in the act of healing and mental health. Not only does it nurture her soul as she creates, but the artist firmly believes that it is important for the mental and social health of a community. Creating things with our hands and being present in the moment heals ourselves and each other.


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