Saturday, 25 April 2015

Hervey Bay Workshop

Only recently returned from ConTEXTart, and with the WOW shoot only just behind me, on Wednesday I drove up to Hervey Bay, about a four hour drive - due to some roadworks and dodgy drivers! Around half way I got quite sleepy, but then I re-discovered the stash of music on the car stereo system, (I had Matt's Chrysler as Storm the Kombi is not at all well) and so began the Svenja-Karaoke entrance to Maryborough! It was almost 1:30 by the time I drove into the Spinners and Weavers venue, to meet 2 of the participants and off-load my gear. I was then quite excited to drive on to find my digs on the Esplanade, before getting back into the car and familiarising myself with the area. As dusk fell, about 2 million Rainbow Lorikeets descended on the area, shrieking their heads off. (It seems they don't actually sleep, and seem to go all throughout the night at a low level before cranking back up at dawn! Along with the rubbish trucks!!)
Thursday dawned looking absolutely splendiferous, and I set off for a walk along the Esplanade - first stop - coffee! I was not disappointed with the brew at Bayaroma, also served with fun and vitality - noice!! I loved the way the tiny waves peeled along the beach in a hypnotic rhythm, and just look at these mesmerising patterns created by the receding tide! It was hard to drag myself to work, but I knew I had 10 eager felters to attend to! When I arrived at 9 they were eagerly rummaging through my samples - no surprise there! I teasingly named them a bunch of ferals, and began to set up, but it wasn't long before we simply had to begin! As usual, it was an interesting mix of people working in
different colours and materials, and, by the end of the day, at different paces. This is where I really start dancing around - trying to keep my eyes on a variety of stages from laying out to wetting out and rolling!! At about 4:30 we wrapped it up, and I returned to base, absolutely exhausted!! I managed to sneak in a quick beer in the dunes as the sun set, but unfortunately was soon set upon by bities, so returned to base! There I spent the evening dealing with filling in customs forms for my shipment of good currently held up and awaiting approval - grrr!
Friday dawned just slightly less magnificent than Thursday, and I eased myself into the day, again
with the assistance of Bayaroma. Unfortunately they were very busy, and my eyeballs were nearly out on stalks by the time I received my caffeine embrace - but bliss! I arrived at the venue by 9:30 to find everyone hard at work - scary!! These guys are hard core - you've got to watch them!! They're dying to be violent to their felt, to rough it up and beat it!! Luckily I caught them in time :-) This was a really exciting day, as we had many 'reveals' as we turned wraps over to see the decorative elements, and started to see creations changing from wet, flat, fibres into crinkly, delicious textures. I was very much kept on my toes as again, we had many different stages happening at once.  I think I was excited as much as anyone, seeing these amazing
Mindy's rich layout
Margaret Reed's colourful layout
changes. These pieces change so much from 2 metre + fluffy layouts to much smaller, textured pieces. I rejoiced in the smallest of elements, a crinkle in this fabric, a successful adherence from this one. It truly is a fascinating process, and the beauty of a workshop is that every participant gets to witness so many 'free trials', seeing what happens when others are using different materials and techniques.
By the end of Friday, we were all quite exhausted, and I think we were all quite pleased to finish a little ahead of schedule. Some were not finished but were 'finished' - as discussed with the lovely Margaret, she had simply "run out of Margaret". Fair enough! Her wrap was almost finished, and I
The end of Margaret!

The two sides of Stuart's wrap
Annette and her wrap
can't wait to see the end result. Stuart had started to get a bit of a wild look in his eye shortly before this, and admitted he was wanting to 'throw' the felt! Hopefully his end result made it all worth it - a stunning wrap that you just can't decide which side you want to look at, richness of colour and richness of texture doing battle with each other. Yum!! Unfortunately Mindy had to leave early, but her richly textured wrap was finished! Annette finished this delicious very Svenja-coloured wrap, and sadly I didn't get a shot of our first finisher, Kim! We even got a visit
from the local paper, so keep an eye out for us, Hervey Bay!
It was a great couple of days, although hard work for all, and I do hope my class enjoyed it as much as I did. I also learned some neat tricks and ideas from them! I have to share this marvellous image of some dyeing experiments they are doing - truly grotesque!! They remind me of specimen jars in science labs.

Saturday was of course, ANZAC day, so weary as I was, I went to the local dawn service, which had a wonderful turnout, and some excellent speeches. I never quite saw dawn, as it was still dark, and as the sun began to rise, I curled back up in bed for some more zzzzz's!

Thanks Hervey Bay for a great few days!

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