Melbourne’s newest creative collective – Full Drop Co. From left, Ella Schwartz, Sophie Curtain, Elise Cakebread, Yolanda Zarins, Lani Sommer, Megan McNeill.  Photo – Lucy Feagins.

Left – Printed textiles Full Drop Co. for a collaboration with Naomi Thompson / Thompson and Worth.  Right – printed notebooks by Full Drop Co.

Sophie’s desk – stacks of Full Drop Co. teatowels and notebooks on the desk. Photo – Lucy Feagins

We first heard about Full Drop Co. a couple of months back, when we interviewed the clever ladies behind Harvest Textiles in Brunswick.  When asked for Melbourne’s ‘best kept secret’, Lara, Jess and Emma responded with this golden tip off, saying ‘…the word is going to get out soon, these girls are going to take over the world!’.  Needless to say, we were more than a little intrigued, so we set out to find out about Full Drop Co, who are scheduled to host a residency at Harvest early next year.

As it turns out, Full Drop Co. is a group of six textile design students (Ella Schwartz, Sophie Curtain, Elise Cakebread, Yolanda Zarins, Lani Sommer and Megan McNeill), in their final year of study at RMIT.  The girls work independently on personal projects and uni assessments, but come together as a group for key projects, sharing knowlege and ideas to create a sweet, experimental range of print and pattern based products, which so far includes printed wrapping paper, a calendar, notebooks and teatowels.

‘We are great friends’ says Sophie. ‘Three of us are screen printers and three of us are knitters. We all love colour, print, pattern and texture. Working as a collective allows us to share our knowledge as well as ideas across our range of skills and disciplines’.

The group first got together last year when fundraising for their 2011 graduate show.  ’Using the print facilities at RMIT, we hand screen-printed a range of gift-wrap, and created a 2012 calendar, featuring our own pattern designs’ says Sophie.  The gang were super chuffed to score a stall at last year’s Harvest Xmas Market to sell these wares, which boosted their confidence, and opened up a bunch of new opportunities for these promising young designers.

Building on this momentum, last summer Full Drop Co. published Shape & Staple, a full colour zine featuring spot, stripe, floral and geometric pattern designs from each of the girls. (Shape & Staple is currently available at Parts & Crafts in Carlton).  The girls have also recently released a set of printed tea towels featuring original patterns from  Shape & Staple, now available at Dagmar Rousset and  Harvest Textiles.

‘Working as a collective is a great experience’ says Sophie.  ’The group came together so easily, and Full Drop Co. has become an amazing platform for us to share our ideas, and offer each other support, inspiration and confidence as we develop as designers’.

The Full Drop Co. girls have a LOT in the pipeline!  They’re currently focussed on completing their final year at uni and planning their upcoming graduate exhibition, to be held in December at No Vacancy Gallery.

In the new year, they’re super excited to move into a shared studio space in Collingwood, and to take on a residency at Harvest Workroom in February!

Can’t you just sense the imminent success / fame / notoriety that will surely ensure for these clever, super motivated girls over the next few years…?!  Sigh.  So young, so much talent and energy and incredible drive!  Watch this space.

Melbourne’s newest creative collective - Full Drop Co. Photo – Lucy Feagins