Sunday, 30 December 2007

Happy New Year from The Teacosy* Revolution

Here's wishing you all a very happy new year and wonderfully wholesome and healthy and love-filled 2008!

This image was taken by our friend Luca Roncoroni during two weeks of hotel suite construction at the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi, Northern Sweden at the end of 2005. Pictured are myself, Tara Badcock, and my good friend and fellow artist (ice/snow, textiles and performance art), Julia Adzuki, during our "Iced Tea" performance inside the ice house we constructed inside our Ice Hotel room! We are both wearing tea cosies I made in Paris and Sweden, with the most glamorous skirts we could rustle up for the occasion!

If you would like to see more images of my tea cosies (until the website is constructed), please visit my flickr site:

Warmest wishes, xxxxxxTara

Friday, 21 December 2007

A real life knitted tea cosy.....

This tea cosy I spotted in the kitchen of my dear friend Anoushka, a couple of weeks ago...its a real tea cosy, one of the 1930's style knitted numbers, only this one looks like a 1980's cosy, going by the particular combination of colours...tres, tres 1980's!

Saturday, 15 December 2007

"Teacosy Number 20; Bonny Wee Haggis Cosy", 2007.
I made this tea cosy in June this year and its a personal favourite, with the old piece of bagpipe I found in a junk shop stitched into the cosy!

The cosy has been inspired by three favourite comic things:

1) the underwater bagpipe taxi in one of the Goon Show episodes,

2) Monty Python's Flying Circus' sketch where the Blancmanges (who are alien invaders friom another planet), challenge Scotland to a Wimbledon tennis match, because Scotland is the only country that has [had?] never won Wimbledon and the Blancmanges knew they couldnt lose...and this was the reason they invaded earth..... anyway, the Scottish tennis player was all kitted out with Kilt, sporrin, floppy tartan hat and red hair and beard...

3) One of my all-time favourite dinner parties in Paris with my Anglo-Australian friends, the Moen siblings; John had brought a really good (?!) haggis from Inverness in Scotland and we cooked it up with parsnips and vegies in my tiny Chambre de Bonne in Paris, above my employer's apartment, 10 square metres and us three squished around my card table dining table making jokes about wild roaming haggis in our mock Scottish accents...hence the name, Bonny Wee Haggis.

This tea cosy is currently on display at Artifakt Gallery in Deloraine, Northern Tasmania and was purchased by a friend of mine who seems keen on my tea cosies...which is fantastic!!!

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Teacosy* Revolution Portrait: Wesleydale Gothic, December 2007

Teacosy* Revolution Portrait: Wesleydale Gothic, December 2007

Today my friend Monique and I 'enacted' a new Teacosy* Revolution Portrait, one which I have been itching to make for nearly a year! The inspiration for the image comes from old family photo postcards I have collected from Antique shops and second-hand bookshops, which mostly date from the late Victorian and Edwardian eras...lots of heavy black silk dresses and dour facial expressions as the subjects of the portraits strained to hold their poses in front of the slow and sensitive old tripod cameras with their glass negative plates. I love all that loaded imagery and those loaded metaphores, resplendent on a 2D surface.

The two tea cosies in the image are: 'Teacosy* Number 28; Black Widow Cosy', 2006-2007, & 'Teacosy* Number 3; Holy Trinity Cosy', 2007. Both cosies, collection: The Artist.
Photographer: Rainier Howe
Location: Wesleydale Farm Estate, Tasmania

Saturday, 1 December 2007

My Maroccan friend Zarhloul's tea cosy

I'm not sure if Zarhloul has made this tea cosy out of found baskets... I really love what he's done!
Thanks for the images Zarhloul!

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

My friend Mandy's Book Launch

This year I commissioned Melbourne based comic artist, Mandy Ord ,to draw a 'History of Tea Cosies' in comic book format for the Teacosy* Revolution Manifesto publication I'm still working on. She did a great job and this is her own book launch invite for anyone who can attend. Go Mandy!

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

While I have a break from Tea Cosies...

These are two of three "T Bags" I've made for a great new design shop in Launceston, Tasmania, called Cocoon (, and the owner, Suzanne Wiltshire, is a mad keen tea addict like I wanted to make these bags about tea, with a swashbuckling and die-hard approach! Hence the skulls (inspired by my Ravenswood Primary School teaparty, see previous posts below), and crossed teaspoons. I had a lot of fun making's a really good idea to make fun, silly stuff in the middle of all the 'serious' work one does, to stop oneself going crazy under all the pressure! Voila! I took the photos too, and have been having more fun customising them to look more moody and 'designy'. Ha haaaaarrr, Polly want a cup of tea??

"Home Ec., Happy little home maker?" 2007

This artwork is for the CAST (Contemporary Art Services Tasmania), members exhibition next month. I used a found teacup and saucer and applied hand embroidered designs and imagery with glue (not very sophisticated though effective enough!), to depict a young woman chained to the sink and surrounded by dishes to be washed, on the interior of the cup; with the exterior of the cup displaying floral foliage and two cats perhaps in pursuit of the Australian Blue Wren bird?! My feminist statement by making this artwork: Inside every home is a woman fed up with cleaning, screaming to go to the Opera or travel the world...! (well, thats the kindergarten's basically an autobiographical artwork about feeling fed up with domestic calm and perceived female duties to the household!)

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Teacosy* Revolution Teaparty and Cosy making day at Ravenswood Primary, Tasmania...making the tea cosies

On November 1st, 2007, I held a Devonshire Teacosy Party at Ravenswood Primary School for grade 3/4 students, on the request of their teacher, my friend Rebecca Harrington, who has been a friend every since our grade 3 Deloraine Primary School days! I took along some cosies from my personal collection of antique and art cosies. Above is "Teacosy* Number 6, Sweden cosy", which I made at the end of 2005 when I was working on a suite at the Ice Hotel in Northern Sweden with fellow Tasmanian artist, Julia Adzuki. The stories involved in the making of each cosy are always entertaining to retell and they locate the cosies as cultural objects within a global environment and cultural aspect. This is the reason I keep making tea take them out of the kitchen cupboard and rescue them from the second-hand shop or landfill rubbish dumps and give them a new life. Tea cosies are also effective energy efficient heat storage devices which cut down on power consumption and the need to regularly boil a kettle. A good tea cosy will keep a pot of tea warm for up to four hours! In Korea they use rice bowl covers to do the same thing with bowls of rice. These covers look remarkably like tea cosies and are traditionally made of silk and cotton, silk being a wonderfully efficient and light heat-storing textile.
Explaining to the students what tea cosies are and what they do and showing them some of my tea cosy creations. This tea cosy now belongs to my partner, Rainier, who bought it at one of my exhibitions before we started seeing each's that for seduction?!
First I got the students to cut out the shape of their desired tea cosy with paper and put their name on their pattern piece, which I then laid out with the others on an old Waverly Woollen Mills (Tasmania) blanket and cut two sides. Then I set up each student with a needle and thread (which took quite a while, even with the help of their teacher and a parent and another helper...thanks so much guys!!), and we got them all to sew their cosies together and then they could choose to stitch or/and glue their decorations on to personalise their cosy. I've never seen so many happily occupied and enthusiastic kids, with the ones who knew already how to sew helping the ones who'd never stitched in their lives! It was so much fun!
One of the finished tea cosies, a folding cushion-like cosy without its ties stitched on and sporting some very fine glued decoration of a skull and lace face. The objective was to get a group of 28 schoolgirls to sew, decorate and take home a tea cosy they'd made, all in one day, with a teaparty to finish with. We did a rotation system where, whilst some students were sewing, a small group would go and make scones for the Devonshire Tea part of the tea party. I can safely say that when the need arises, I have the vocal abilities and authority of a Sergent Major in a skirt! The kids were all really great and very excited and enthusiastic, which was wonderful! They were so inspiring and appreciative, it really was a very rewarding experience and I'd like to keep doing these Teaparty and Tea cosy making events in schools.
Another tea cosy...the student spent a long time gluing beads and buttons and sparkles on to her cosy, which we had to put over a chair back to dry! There was glue everywhere, she had a great time!

Teacosy* Revolution Teaparty and Cosy making day at Ravenswood Primary, Tasmania...making the tea

Making tea for the 28 schoolgirls, the teacher and myself! This teapot is an ex-Shearing Shed mainstay by the looks of it's repairs and wear. One of those fabulous teapots that carries so many years of hard working experience with it, and makes a damn fine cup of tea!
Showing off the skirt I made for special occasions such as Teacosy* Revolution Teaparties. The embroidered text on my right hand backside (not a pregnant belly, just an awkward angle!), is in French, "Ouvrage de longue haleine", which translates as "A work of long duration; a tedious task". I love the play of beautifully embroidered text carrying such a message.
The tea cosy I'm holding on the teapot was made by a little old lady in Launceston (Tasmania), who sells her cosies through the local CWA (Country Women's Association), shop. I bought another one she'd made with an Australian Rules footballer kicking a goal embroidered on it, for a friend's baby boy last year too! A gift that keeps giving...The textile teacup and saucer in my hair was made by my mother, textile and freehand machine embroidery artist, Claire Badcock. I love it and wear it whenever possible.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

The Teacosy* Revolution prepares for an Australian Summer!

This is 'Teacosy* Number 14; 1930'3 Kitchen Cupboard Cosy', I made recently for an exhibition at Craft Queensland's 'Store' for their Christmas show called "CHERISH 2007" (web link details to follow after the image of the 'Indian Summer cosy'). This tea cosy draws on my childhood memories of visiting elderly people whose kitchens seemed suspended in the 1930's, with their colour scheme of yellow and green. Perhaps this is typically Australian/Tasmanian memory. What colour do you associate with a 1930's kitchen?! You can reply directly to my email: please no spam, etc!

The two images above are of 'Teacosy* Number 7; Indian Summer cosy', also on show at Craft Queensland's 'Store', in their Christmas show "CHERISH 2007", The cosies are made from hand embroidered silks layerd with found metallic lace, woven viscose lampas and beads. I sought to convey the feeling of a sultry Indian summer with all the hot colours of Indian Saris. The Teacosy* Revolution goes tropical for summer 2007-2008 (southern hemisphere!).

Finally, a new posting after many computer issues and blogger being 'out of sorts' for a few days there. After posting the last entry I have received these images of a young woman called Miss Gingerfluff, sent in by her sister, Mrs Brockford. Miss Gingerfluff wears a traditional tea cosy head dress typical of Central Northern Tasmanian communities, and since she is engaged to be married, she wears two tea strainers belonging to her own mother's family, and to that of her future husband's family. She is a staunchly proud young woman which is evident in the pride she takes in her dress and pristine condition of her cosy and strainers. This indicates she is from a fairly conservative and reasonably affluent local family and is marrying into a similar social niveau.

If you have any images or information on tea cosy dress practices from your part of the world, I would love to feature them on this blogspot (they are fictional and rather silly constructs, though I love the idea of creating a fictional/real heritage for tea cosies which sees them participating in various cultural/social roles! Invent anything you like!)

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

This week I will mostly be.....imagining what a Tasmanian Inland Rural Tribe's 'traditional national costume' might look like.

"This example dates from between 1890 to 1930 and we can see the predominance of red as a colour representing festivities, fertility and the advent of spring within the community. This particular costume was worn during the Lamington Tea Ritual, a highlight on the Tasmanian rural calendar of the Northern-Midlands communities. The costume features a traditional tea cosy headdress with brass wire tea strainer, which indicates the wearer's marital status, in this instance the wearer is unmarried. The tea strainer this young woman wears, I am told, originates from France, and would have been passed down through the woman's female line as a treasured heirloom. Also indicating wealth and status within the community, the tea cosy-tea strainer headdresses are either inherited and/or altered or newly made using traditional patterning and stitching techniques. This young woman had made her tea cosy headdress according to the traditions of her female line and had added individual touches with the use of multi-coloured decorative embroidery stitches. Examples of these tea cosy headdresses are highly collectible and sere to denote cultural occupation areas and collective immigrant communities throughout Tasmania's 'Europeanised' history."

Monday, 3 September 2007

Teacosy* High Fashion Parade

Susannah Curtis is magnificent in red velvet dress and 'Teacosy* Number 4; Modena Cosy', 2006, both by Tara Badcock.
Photographed by Alan Moyle (, at Calstock Private Hotel in
Deloraine ( This image form part of the Teacosy* Revolution Manifesto publication which awaits publication, hopefully set for summer 2007.
Publication dates will be posted on this site, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Every week I will be uploading images from my tea cosy collection and any Teaparty Performances that will be happening over the coming months.

This tea cosy was found in my favourite antique shop in Hobart, Tasmania about 9 years ago. It's a crazy patchwork cosy filled with fabric scraps...the ultimate 'mend and make do' object! I love it, it's so worn and tea stained and still manages to maintain a cheerful personality...if a tea cosy can be said to have a personality?!!

The other side of the cosy. I suppose I ought to mend parts of it...I just like it the way it is!

Saturday, 25 August 2007

This is a tea cosy I made recently for the girls at Love & Clutter in Hobart, Tasmania, to thanks them for selling my textile stuff so well over the past year! ( I photographed this cosy in the dining room of our new home, a largish farmhouse in the north of Tasmania, with its sprawling views of sheep and general farm life and mountains, etc, it's a damn fine location and is proving fruitful and inspirational as the new Teacosy* Revolution Headquarters.......first this dining room, then THE WORLD!!! (To tea-room-infinity and beyond!!) More Revolution updates to come...if there is anyone reading this blog?? Please leave me a comment sometime so I know I'm not talking to just myself!!!

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Wandering along Taroona Beach, pondering the idea of travel and how it affects one's understanding of one's own creative processes and how important technical skills are in realising one's an artistic sense....lovely sky that day!!

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Idle stitchings...

Im recovering after post-exhibition melt-down and trying to get excited about making again...there is a pile of work that has to be made very soon, not to mention a new batch of tea cosies (with some really structured/architectural beauties in there...very much the Domestic Shrine concept! Images will be posted when I've finished them) last night I made Gus a cover...a Dog Cosy!! He loves it...waits for me to put it on him when it gets a bit cold!! Its very funny...

Monday, 23 July 2007

A Teacosy* Revolution showing

Sticky silver text in the gallery window!
A view of the street-facing window of the gallery with silver text on the wall and window, advertising the show and the scheduled tea parties which attracted quite a few people who shared their tea cosy stories, memories & thoughts for the future glorious of tea cosies in general Thats my brother, Ramon, wearing Teacosy* Number 24; Shearing Shed Cosy at The Falls (music) Festival at Marion Bay south of Hobart, earlier this year...we have no idea who the young women are...they just ran up to him for the photo and ran off again straight away!! Ta girls!!

View of the facing wall with Teacosy* Number 16; The Constant Gardener, again, showing more Teacosy* Revolution Portraits and applied text in silver from the Teacosy* Revolution Manifesto.

The delightfully green, 'Teacosy* Number 28; The Hill of Tara' cosy, made in honour of The Hill of Tara in Ireland, west of Dublin (I think), which lies on a planned route of a new highway and is scheduled to be bulldozed..."it's not so much a hill, more a lump of dirt", one of my Irish friends told me in reply to my concerned questioning of the planned event! Hope I make it to the hill before it does get flattened into becomming highway foundations?!!

View with Teacosy* Number 13; Roma Cosy & Teacosy* Number 29; Cologne Christmas Cosy in front of a line up of Teacosy* Revolution Portraits by Tasmanian photographer Alan Moyle ( The tea cosies aren't arranged very well in this shot as they'd just been handled by enthusiastic visitors...which is great, and understandable...though too much touching can be harmful to (exhibition) textiles! A tenuous situation...solved by providing gloves for people to handle cosies at will!

View through Teacosy* Number 16; The Constant Gardener, to three other coises.

Four teacosies* displayed on shelving to emulate old railway carriages & waiting rooms in turn of the 20th Century Railway Stations, mixed with a look of an industrial tea room.

Teacosy* Number 27; The Black Widow, Teacosy* Number 16; The Constant Gardener, & Teacosy* Number 28; The Hill of Tara Cosy, on display.

A view of the exhibition without people in it.

Reading from The Teacosy* Revolution Manifesto...Im hoping a Melbourne publisher is going to take it on...they seem interested, and then it will be printed and available before Christmas!!

Lucy enjoying a cuppa before she gets ready to go to France...

Joce pours tea for the parched exhibition goers!

Rainier, Tim and Carolyn taking tea before the Anthem singing.

Another view of visitors enjoying the exhibition (taken by Rainier or Shawn?!)

A view of the exhibition opening, which coincided with The Melbourne Scarf Festival hosted by Craft Victoria. Everyone got into the spirit of the Revolution and sang the Revolutionary Cosy Anthem written by fellow Australian, singer songwriter Jocelyn Moen...seen here wearing her personal tea cosy I made her in Paris!

This is the invitation for The Teacosy* Revolution exhibition I had in Melbourne at the end of last month. I'm posting more images from the opening and from the space when there were no visitors viewing the work. I just want to say a huge thanks to the wonderful staff at Craft Victoria for their assistance and enthusiasm, and also to everyone who came to see the show...which is what makes an exhibition!
A virtual cup of tea (and cake of your choice) to you all and may we meet again! Happy Afternoon Tea times!!