Friday 16 January 2015

Larks in Logan, Shibori Shenanigans, and the delights of Selective Fine Fabrics

Shibori work by Beatrice Jackson
I spent today with my dear friend Beatrice, who is a weaving, dyeing and shibori master. Our first stop was to Logan Art Gallery  to deliver her work for the Vision 20/20:Our future exhibition. Her contemporary shibori work was a delight to behold, worked in two layers of lamé secured by beads.
We enjoyed looking around the current exhibition of wild-life art, where there were some truly amazing works. I was not familiar with the technique of working on scratchboard, which enables the artist to create a highly detailed and lifelike artwork.
Logan Art Gallery Retail Space

The retail space contained many, many lovely things, including of course, lots of lovely dyed and woven scarves by Beatrice Jackson. There were also beautiful wood works and jewellery, at amazingly good prices.I saw some lovely work by Therese Flynn-Clarke, who had a corner of beautifully eco-dyed scarves.  Logan Art Gallery also sports a magnificent workshop space - this place is amazing!
Stitched shibori shaping on woven scarf
Paint-printed devoré effect
Selective Fine Fabrics 

(When I had initially arrived, Beatrice showed me one of her woven scarves which she had shibori stitched into leaf shapes, which is now ready for dyeing. I think they are so fascinating at this stage, and am in awe of the time and skill that goes into the creation of these.)
We stopped in at Make-It Fabrics, where no fabrics demanded to be taken home, but it's always good to do the rounds and see what's currently in stock. We did find this interesting fabric which appeared to be a devoré velvet, but was actually printed with paint instead of acid etched to create the pattern. By now my stomach was warning me that if I didn't find noms soon, there would be a hangry. My theory was that the local tavern would provide the coolest environment on this horrendously hot day, as well as cold drinks. Hmmmmm. The Springwood Tavern did not quite live up to this. It was NOT cold, and it was a buffet set-up - I'm used to going into a pub and
Selective Fine Fabrics bling cabinets!
being able to order what I like! Oh well, it was a new experience for the both of us! I enjoyed sharing with Bea my latest designs - I had come prepared with sketchbook and tablet!
On the way home we stopped in at Selective Fine Fabrics, an unassuming looking shop which houses amazing textiles sourced from all over the world.. We warned the owner that were just coming to drool, but she welcomed us and simply asked us not to drool on the fabrics, as silk water-stains. We were initially captivated by the delicious Elie Saab floral printed organza, which we later found in chiffon as well, then by the divine rhinestone waistbands. If you can't find what you are looking for amongst this amazing collection of printed, embroidered, ruched, and beaded silk, not to mention guipure laces, there's something wrong with you.
My shibori shaped and spray painted lamé
I had myself that morning put the giant boiling pot in the garden to boil my shibori work, done in the bomaki style over pvc pipes, and buckets for the larger scale versions (hence the need for the giant pot which lives in the back garden ready for these moments.)  On arrival home, it was time to unload the shibori pot - one of the buckets completely warped in the heat into something more like a triangle! Here's how they end up, after drying, being spray painted whilst still pleated, then opened up. These are for my current WoW creation, which I hope to finish fairly soon. Then perhaps I could work on a second one?!!

Saturday 10 January 2015

Hurray for Hollywood!!

What a brilliant day it has been! After an energetic start to the day with a very enjoyable KettleWorx class (it's SO good to be back now that the wrist is recovering!!), it was off to the Museum of Brisbane to see the Hollywood costume exhibition with Janet de Boer. I haven't been there since the renovation, and it was all very different, and quite lovely!! I was actually involved with setting up the MoB Store many years ago when it first began - I didn't realise that the shop no longer existed! The entrance to the Hollywood Costume exhibition, featuring garments collected by local lawyer Nicholas Inglis over the last two decades, was nice and twinkly - a good start! The exhibition was very popular, and as there was so much information to read on the didactics as well as the beautiful garments to look at, a slow moving one! There was also a wall of  beautiful fashion sketches - some with actual fabric swatches as well.
The costumes were beautiful, and well displayed, but nothing was better than seeing them in motion on the film clips provided. Actually, it was pretty cool to look from the film, to the actual garment, back to the film. They all appeared so much more vibrant in the films, some even changing colour completely?! I was really impressed with the presentation of the exhibition, and thought the mannequins were quite beautiful - right down to this rather jaunty one for the Don Juan costume! Well done, Museum of Brisbane!! I was quite tempted to buy the catalogue, which featured lovely shots of the exhibition - having the film shots included as well would have certainly tipped me over the edge.
On our way out through the David Malouf exhibition, we found the BEST ART GALLERY COUCH EVER!! This thing was firm, plush, and velvety, and Janet took full advantage of it. We WANT one!! (Please note also the fabulous Elvis scarf, celebrating his recent 80th birthday. I have to admit, I did enjoy Elvis joining us over lunch). Our experience was then rounded off with lunch at the Shingle Inn - the original Shingle Inn reconstructed in City Hall!! OMG, I had no idea it was there, and was so excited to step back into my childhood! Whenever we went into the city, the Shingle Inn was the place to have lunch, and of course, those delicious patty cakes. What a perfect place to reconstruct it, and how wonderful to be back in those wooden booths, looking at the cake cabinet! The food was great, and we also indulged in a couple of glasses of Pol Roger. The waitresses were even wearing the lovely old fashioned uniforms.
My dear Matt was my chauffeur today, which was just lovely. On my return home, I went straight
into the studio, where I spent the afternoon tidying up. I put the fabric I bought in New York on rolls, drew out the pattern for Matt's waistcoat from the toilé, and just tidied in general. I decided to look for something I suspected was in one of my sketchbooks, which was when I discovered that I do not need to buy another one for quite some time. It's a bit like shoes for me - I just love them, and on the chair is my collection of as yet totally unused sketchbooks. See?!!  (On the floor is another pile of half used ones.....) But there are also quite a few which are totally full, thank you very much, which provide a very interesting trip into the past. I've left one of them open at an interesting sketch, an idea which looks worth pursuing....

Wednesday 7 January 2015

Matt gets waisted...

The New Year has brought a comforting return to routine and normality for the recent traveller. After some serious blobbing over the festive season, involving lots of design sketching in front of many a Midsomer Murder, it has been invigorating to return to work in the studio. I spent the first few days of the New Year working on the latest version of the WoW entry for 2015. I had already spent several months at the end of 2014 working on an EPIC entry for the South Pacific section, only to find when I logged on to enter in December, that I hadn't read the description correctly, and the section was actually themed Red, White and Black. Oh dear. Ok, so I've wrapped that all up in plastic and hung it from the studio roof for now - it's just on hold until next year, as I think it's got some merit, not to mention the months I have already invested in it. I've investigated my other options, and have come up with some other ideas...
Last year, on one of my textile odysseys to the Sunshine Coast, Matt and I bought a variety of materials to make waistcoats for him, so I took advantage of the temporary lull in activities to do this - before I got consumed by WoW activities! I am pleased to show you the results of these efforts - I am particularly proud of the welt pockets, which quite tested me. I also think that the waistcoats are very flattering!! Only one of these is from the recent purchase - the pink jacquard I have had interfaced for several years in readiness.

By the way, in the background there is the photo from our Handfasting Ceremony 11 years ago. Tomorrow marks our 12 years together - amazingly just remembered in time today!!

In my travels this week, I came across this beautiful silk dress at the local op-shop. Unfortunately it is a size 1, which I will never fit, but I just had to have it. Whether I dye it and sell it, or give it to my uber-gawdjuss sister to wear, I'm not sure yet. She'd make a great bridesmaid in it........
Indeed hmmm, you never know what might happen this year..
Best Wishes to you all for a very creative 2015! I'm sure I will meet up with many 'friends I haven't yet met' as I tour the country - further details soon. A reminder though to any Australian groups that may want to catch up - get in touch now to access my schedule!! Looking forward to yet another amazing year, and best to all of you,