Thursday, 5 December 2013

Wild Things and Eco Dyeing


Last week, I packed up a picnic, picked up my mother and her friend from TAFE, and headed off to Mt Coot-tha Gardens to visit Sharyn Hall and Wendy Bailye's exhibition Wild Things. What a fantastic display! Beautifully colour themed, it was a sight to behold, and I didn't escape without a new book, Felt Passion, as well as some primo olive oil soap to try for felting. So much inspiration!!! It was also a chance to visit my fathers memorial seat, on my parents' 48th wedding anniversary. A bittersweet occasion. I love this photo of these two friends supporting each other, in many ways, as they have since they met at college 11 years ago, when Dad was still here......
I've spent some great time in the studio this week. After gathering some more plant material from Jacqueline's garden for a special dye project, I laid out 2 silk satin scarves with agapanthus flowers, geranium leaves and flowers, croton leaves, lily-pilly leaves and seed-pods, garlic flower, conifer, eucalyptus leaves, gaura flowers, rosemary, and some melaleuca leaves and pods. I also threw in some onion leaves in the wrap-up, as well as in the water. One scarf was wrapped in a copper pipe, and the other in a steel plate. I really tried hard this time to take note of what did what, taking photos of the layout, and paying attention as I unwrapped! Pam de Groot, you would be proud! A lot of material acted mainly as a resist, but this still adds a great dimension. I was really pleased that I actually got the image and the colour from the agapanthus flowers! Can't show you the results till next week, as it is a gift, and I don't want to ruin the surprise.
My next experiment in the studio was in wild felting - using fleece rather than combed top as I normally do. Inspire by a workshop by Vilte that I sadly did NOT attend, I wanted to create an almost sheepskin rug look. I was lucky to have a great variety of fleece to experiment with, but after a bit of a shamoz first attempt, I found that these latte coloured English Leicester locks worked a treat - and turned out a lovely creamy white!! I used resists in the second attempt to try and retain the hairy look, and am thrilled with the result. I have visions of using this with the truckloads of bridal off-cuts I now possess to create a very interesting WoW entry....!!! The other entry in leather work progresses well - I have actually done most of the main pieces, and am now dealing with the details.
The new addition Pegasus overlocker got a tickle and seal of approval from Barry from Sewmac this week - SO pleased! So really, StudioSvenja is complete! I am loving the time I have been spending wandering between the two studios. The freedom to play, everything there on hand - have I reached Nirvana?!!! As Barry said - you have arrived!!
Last night I took the boys to the graduate fashion exhibition at MSIT. I was most pleased to see that one of my favourite designs, using shibori, was awarded one of the Australia Japan Foundation Awards. 
I can't wait until it's my turn to see my work walk down the runway!!

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