14 June 2023

Riverina Made: Michele Harvey's fluid art and handmade jewellery

| Oliver Jacques
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Michele Harvey next to paintings

Michele Harvey saw something she liked online and made it into a business. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

Who are you and what is your business? Michele Harvey, I’m from Broken Hill but have lived in Griffith for the past 18 years. I worked in juvenile justice, but I started Handmade by Michele after I retired two years ago.

I’ve now gone back and fill in at work two days a week, but I have time to do something called fluid art, in which you pour layers of thin, liquidy (sic) acrylic paint onto a canvas. I saw it online once and thought I’d give it a try. The paints that are leftover I dry out and use them to make jewellery. It’s really relaxing and a nice thing to do.

[Michele also volunteers with Big Brother Big Sister Australia, an organisation that helps support young people and their families through mentoring, with the aim of preventing further loss of young people to suicide].

What do you produce? I make and sell paintings, bracelets, clocks, earrings, key rings, necklaces, vases and all sorts of things.

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Where can we buy your products? I’ve now started to go to markets; I’m at the Griffith Central Markets, which are held on the third Saturday of every month between 9 am and 2 pm. On the King’s Birthday weekend I had a stall at the De Bortoli Wines Artisan Markets. I don’t have a website as yet.

What is something you sell that would make a great birthday gift? I think a bracelet would make a nice present, especially for someone who likes jewellery. For a child, I’d recommend my clock, which is decorated with llamas. A lot of young people are so used to digital, they can’t tell the time on clocks, so it’s a good way to teach them.

A clock made through 'fluid art'

Michele’s llama clock. Photo: Supplied.

If you could make anything in the world, what would you make? Probably a really large painting over a couple of canvases; I would join them on the floor and do them next to each other so you could put them on a big wall.

How would you promote the Riverina? I think it’s such a nice spot. The wines are great, but there are so many places to go for a walk and to go and have a look.

What’s your favourite coffee spot? My favourite place in the world would have to be at home, because we make a really good coffee. If I had to buy coffee to take away, I would go to Amanti in Griffith Central. They haven’t changed their coffee since they took over the business [Gary Toor, his brother Lala and Lala’s wife Mandy took over the cafe last year from longtime owners Tim and Elise McIntosh]. I also like Limone, they are also great for eating out.

READ ALSO Toor family to continue Amanti Di Caffe legacy

Coolest local thing you’ve ever bought? The wines are really nice; we like Berton Vineyards Wines and Yarran Wines.

Who is another local producer/business you admire? I would have to say Carolyn Williams, who does Indigenous art. I really like her paintings.

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