Nothing says Ipswich like a cushion ... or tea towel

STAMP OF HISTORY: Jen Mouritz is hand screen-printing Ipswich suburb names onto tea towels and cushions.
STAMP OF HISTORY: Jen Mouritz is hand screen-printing Ipswich suburb names onto tea towels and cushions. Claudia Baxter

YOU may not have heard of it yet but the Suburbs Project could soon find its way into your kitchen and lounge room.

The project is the creation of craftswoman Jen Mouritz, who takes tea towels, cushions and plain white t-shirts and screen prints Ipswich suburb names onto these everyday items.

An Ipswich resident for just three years, Ms Mouritz says Ipswich's different suburbs were revealed to her through the new friendships she made with local crafters.

After researching the histories of each suburb, Ms Mouritz settled on distinctive fonts that characterised each area's personality.

"The suburb of Leichhardt has a German history behind it and it has a European feel to the text," she said.

"That's similar to the suburb of Blackstone which has a Welsh history, so I chose a font that's specific to the history of those suburbs."

The linens currently featured on the production line are well established suburbs including Gailes, Tivoli, Booval and Silkstone.

There are plans to print up new suburbs like Brassall Heights and smaller suburbs like Muirlea.

To date, Ipswich has proven to be the most popular suburb among shoppers and Ms Mouritz has received requests for Raceview, Sadlier's Crossing, Woodend and Goodna designs.

Sourcing inspiration from Ipswich's sometimes unglamorous reputation and migrant history, Ms Mouritz opted to use recycled fabrics for part of her range.

"I'm focusing on checkered or plaid material that I feel represents a bit of the European history of Ipswich and it also plays on the idea of the checkered flannelette shirts that Ipswich is sometimes known for," she said.

"Choosing the checkered material is a bit of a spin on history and a bit of fun."

The fonts used to represent each suburb has promoted plenty of conversation, with some One Mile residents finding the humour in the graffiti style while others have made their own suggestions.

Understanding the pride people feel for their home suburbs, Ms Mouritz welcomes feedback.

"Each suburb font has its own space for revision if people want to contribute their thoughts to the project. Most people like seeing the names printed and I think there's something quirky that they relate to or they see the sense of fun," she said.

The Suburbs Project products can be purchased at Cultiver at the Top of Town.



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