Scratching at the surface with goofycups

We dig in a little with Sueann and Rory of goofycups and learn how they grease their groove, work their wands and how community has helped them flourish. 🍄🔮🐸

 

Illustrations by goofycups 

Scratching at the surface with goofycups

Introducing goofycups

Hello! goofycups is run with love by us, Rory & Sueann. Both of us are from Gadigal Country, Sydney. We moved to Naarm, Melbourne together in 2018 to study.

Sueann: I am an art history and curatorial student, my research interest is in Contemporary Asian Art and its exhibition making, and the intersection of globalisation and cultural practices. Community means a lot to me, and it is also what keeps me in Melbourne.

Rory: I am currently finishing my honours year of fine arts, my work is mainly about gaps, walking, and DIY construction. Place and material is central to my work and I try to go on a walk every day.

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I had the pleasure of purchasing my first Goofy Cup at an Art fair in 2018 - how did goofy begin and how has it grown from there?

Rory: I learnt how to do glass engraving in uni for an elective class in 2018. I picked it up really quickly and enjoyed engraving my own silly designs on small op-shop glasses. I taught Sueann how to engrave at home in our kitchen sink, and both of us began to do them as Christmas and birthday gifts for friends and family. In that year, we were lucky to be stocked at Doomsday Coffee Shop in Fitzroy, thanks to Jye Barclay and Connor Bugelli, and later in 2019 we had the chance to be part of the Art Fair where I met Luke! Crazy to think, Sueann and I had only been in Melbourne for 1 year at that point. It is meaningful to know that both of you have one of our earliest goofycups, which has kindled and brought life to this very collaboration.

Sueann: Community has been fundamental to our small business. It wasn’t until August 2020, in the height of COVID lockdown, when we realised that we could make goofycups into a sustainable project. We both lost our jobs working casually in retail and hospitality, as full-time fine art students, and really needed an income. We felt uninspired and defeated by our circumstances. At that point, I had a small Instagram with 30 followers that we made in 2018 for close friends and family, and I began to post all the small gifts that we were doing up for friends. goofycups was the light at the end of the tunnel and provided us with so much joy and hope in the midst of uncertainty and panic.

In the last year, we have met so many incredible souls that have supported and loved goofy. Many have witnessed our growth in skill, as we become better at articulating our designs on glass. The Melbourne community has truly shown us how generous and loving they are to the arts.

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Like the druids, how you create your works is a tightly kept secret. Is there anything that you can share with us about the process?

Glass has a unique sensibility and materiality, unlike other materials like metal, it can’t be re-melted or recasted readily. Glass is quite an unforgiving material, starting from an intimidating molten form to an ambient state of both fragility and durability, then returning to sand…it can be an unpredictable material to work with. And that's why we love working with it.

Every goofy piece is hand engraved and or designed by either one of us. Our process is pretty similar to when you go to the dentist and need to get a filling, it involves a powered hand tool that shaves off the surface of the enamel. We like the comparison to a druid because our tool is shaped and works just like a wand. It has taken a lot of time, and trial and error with different products and techniques to get the clean lines, engraving depth and consistency that now characterise our work. But at the same time, we never want to lose the hand done effect.

Glass engraving is quite an intimate process, we hold the vessels close to our bodies as we draw every line carefully to create each design. We try to instil the same goofy, curious and whimsical energy that we feel about life, into our work.

Shop the Goofy Preserves Collection

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