Monday 24 October 2011

Don’t Drink & Cook.........

It’s sad that I have had to learn this lesson again. After watching the Zombie March ( a fundraising event for the Brain Foundation of Australia) limp, scream and moan to it’s final destination in the Valley yesterday, it was off to our favourite chill out bar Lock n’ Load for some cocktails.  Then it was back home for some ‘Svenja Specials’, as I began to prepare dinner. In a flash I had sliced my finger through the nail ‘not good not good not good’!!!! It will be ok, but I already miss the use of it, I know I will hit it about a hundred times today, and I can’t wait for the throb to go away.
The weekend started much better than this though! Saturday was spent in the shed, cutting sheet metal, bending wire and braising it on to my WoW structure, which I cannot show you as all must be kept secret!
The bandsaw
 When Matt's not helping me, he's working on the dashboard and new gear shifter setup in his International - can't wait to have Murray back on the road!! Here he is doing the scary job of cutting out bits of the dash with a grinder!! I know, ya gotta break eggs........!!
Attacking Murray with the grinder - eeeek!!

Doing some tricky braising for me
I don’t think I have actually stated yet that for 2012, I plan to enter the Visual Symphony section of The World of WearableArtTM – the brief for which is: Design a work of art that makes sound & will be choreographed to a music score composed especially for this section. Each garment will have its moment within the music score on the stage which will be microphoned to amplify the garments sound, e.g. the garment becomes an instrument/sound within the music composition creating an interesting soundscape.   
Until I come up with a name, it shall simply be know as The Beast.
I am getting much better at lighting the acetylene torch, and I even managed to get my gas mix right all by myself! It is going very well, and I expect to be fibreglassing it soon! In the afternoon I zipped down the freeway to my favourite fabric shop, in the hope that they might just have the perfect material for the dress. You never know what they will have, you just have to go! And I was glad I did, as I think I found the one! A beautiful purple and gold shot fabric – the perfect combination of colours! A softer fabric than I imagined, but you can’t have it all! (the photo doesn't do it justice - it's like liquid gold from some angles
Sunday morning it was off to the Redland Art Gallery to see a performance by Colin Offord, an amazing musician who makes his own unusual instruments – a perfect research opportunity for my Visual Symphony design. His performance was beautiful, and the instruments absolutely fascinating! I just stood there in awe, and I began to feel like an idiot for attempting to make an instrument when I know absolutely nothing about sound, considering this guy has spent years refining his! I didn’t really get a chance to talk to him, but I certainly was inspired, and look forward to seeing a performance by him again – he mentioned one in January on Coochie Mudlo Island at sunset – this will be wonderful!
 Having said that everything with the design is going well, I am continually plagued with doubt as I progress – have I missed the mark entirely, am I expecting too much of my limited skills, am I rushing too much without considering everything…… time for a chill and a considered reassessment, methinks.

Thursday 20 October 2011

Geelong Forum and Melbourne, September 2011

Already it seems a lifetime ago! A week spent at Geelong Grammar School on Corio Bay, classes every day, design presentations by fantastic artists each morning, slide presentations each afternoon, plus exhibition openings and merriment opportunities! Not quite the relaxing sojourn I had envisioned, but an inspirational, enjoyable and memorable time. The school grounds were amazing – something from another world, perhaps related to Hogwarts – at least the dining hall was!

TAFTA Fibre Forums have been happening for many years, and amazingly, this was my very first one! I chose to enrol in the inaugural Design Focus group – 5 of the classes offered were part of this special programme with its emphasis on design aspects of our work, not the practical aspects of making.  Each morning we were enthralled (whilst coming to terms with the day sipping on our coffees!) with presentations from Wendy Lugg, Tony Dyer, Helen O’Hare, Akira Blount, and my brand new hero, Lissa Hunter.  Something about her work really struck me – I’d seen it before, but didn’t really relate to it – suddenly, I ‘got it’, and was moved, and in awe and incredibly inspired. Akira’s presentation was also notably impressive – initially unimpressed by her title of ‘dollmaker’, I was astounded by her fabulous sculptural works. Definitely not matching the picture of ‘dolls’ in my head!
The exhibition of Jiyoung Chung’s Joomchi  exhibition on site was another inspiration – see the work of this charming artist here:  Joomchi is a traditional Korean form of papermaking with similarities to felt-making –several layers of mulberry fibre paper are combined by agitating them for hours by hand – a true labour of love resulting in some very beautiful and surprisingly strong paper pieces.
Of course, some evenings ended up in far too much wine being drunk, leading to scenes like this in the common rooms….  It was here that Martien attempted to remove my last eyelash extension, and succeeded in removing a large chunk of my own lashes, which I miss daily. The morning after this one was tough.

I also met some great ladies in my class – Pam Hovel who is a wonderful felt maker creating beautifully fine felt garments dyed with plant material – see her website here RawEdge Textiles

I greatly enjoyed mad times with Meryl, a first-time felter who adapted to the class beautifully, bringing her many artistic talents into play. Our class was housed in a biology classroom, and in the corner we discovered a large jar of whale eyeballs, inspiring Meryl to make her own felted ones. Much hilarity ensued. Thanks for keeping me'sane', Meryl.
Many thanks also to Meryl for being a model for me in the final evening fashion parade. I had brought down many of my garments from Morphology II to showcase at the Friday night party, and to have a stall at the Heathen Bazaar in the morning.  Here I sold one of the two devore velvet dusters made for Morphology II to a New Zealand participant. It’s very fitting that it is going to NZ, as the bracket fungi design I made for the devoré  pattern came from a photo of an amazing growth of bracket fungi in my Aunt’s garden in Tauranga!

After the Heathen Bazaar it was back to Melbourne to reunite with my true love, who indeed lived up to this title by having already stocked the room fridge with bubbles and wine. What can I say, the man knows me.  Having quenched our initial thirst, we headed out into the city, where we ended up in Hell, an upstairs alley bar where they made a good Moscow Mule and had some seriously good nibbles for not much dosh. Never managed to find it again though……
Another highlight was rum out of a jam jar on a bridge pylon in the Yarra, as we discussed our future and had arguments for nothing over the WoW design...note the pen and paper for 'visual discussions'.....

Our 3 days in Melbourne involved a lot of walking – through Collingwood, Fitzroy, Prahran,  and a lost afternoon/evening in St Kilda, where we made new friends, danced to techno music (go Matt!!), lost my wallet, and found it again. The thing we noticed about Melbourne shops is that they really go to town with their names, and we found one we particularly loved…..
After a week and a half of catching up on everything I didn’t do, it is great to be back in my life, and working hard on the next WOW creation. Update on that and other recent events soon.