A long way from Pomonal to Pip

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Made by hand: Kate Bouman first explored art as a child, but has only recently returned to her love of making and creating things by hand.

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #DC943C;”] K [/dropcap]ate Bouman has taken the long way round, but she has finally come back to creating the delicate art she first began to explore as a child.

Growing up in Pomonal, a speck of a town between Halls Gap and Ararat, Kate loved to draw realistic pictures of the people and things around her and, at the age of 12, displayed her paintings in the Pomonal art show.

There were no major prizes to be won, but the high praise she received for her work encouraged Kate to keep going and, after finishing secondary school, she applied to study art in Bendigo and Ballarat.

Unbelievably, an administrative mistake meant that Kate was assessed as a Year 11, rather than a Year 12 student, and was rejected by both universities, so she applied to study childcare at TAFE instead.

“Childcare wasn’t really for me, so I ended up getting into horticulture (her parents owned a nursery in Pomonal)…by this stage I had come to believe that to make it as an artist you had to be either completely mad or dead, so horticulture seemed like the best option,” she said with a laugh.

wrapping the presents

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #DC943C;”] K [/dropcap]ate, 25, is now an orchid grower with Warrnambool Orchids, but this year she has also returned to her first love of creating beautiful things by hand and, in September, started a market stall as Pip & Lily Boutique crafts.

The care, patience and precision required for growing orchids is reflected in Kate’s creative work, which includes hand-drawn and painted cards, hand-painted jewellery, hand-made dolls, felt work and hand-drawn designs on clothing.

“I wanted my main point of difference to be the hand-made element, in that everything I do is hand drawn or designed,” she said.

oh howley night

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #DC943C;”] K [/dropcap]ate’s collection of hand-drawn cards, including a range designed for Christmas, pay homage to classic children’s books such as the Beatrix Potter collection, Noddy and Winnie the Pooh, and she is unashamed to admit that she owns more children’s books than adult books.

“I love the characters, the little animals, and the incredible illustrations,” she said.

A love of small animals also explains, in part, the choice of name: Pip & Lily.

“When I was a kid, I always wanted two zebra finches that I was going to call Pip & Lily, but then I came to realise that keeping birds in cages was not such a good thing, so I have kept the names, but I never got the birds,” Kate explained, laughing.

“And I also tried about 10 other names, but they were all taken, so Pip & Lily it is.”

christmas pudding

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #DC943C;”] A [/dropcap]lthough Kate has only been selling at local markets since September, she has been delighted with how well her work has been received.

“I make things for the love of it and as a creative outlet, rather than as a money making thing, but it has actually gone a lot better than I expected, which is wonderful.”

[box type=”bio”] Pip & Lily Boutique crafts will be at the Made by Me Market, Saturday November 30, 9am-4pm, Pavilion function room, Warrnambool breakwater. You can find also Pip & Lily on Facebook. [/box]

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