Tuesday 4 July 2023

Leaving Ballarat

It's hard to believe that this time last night I was with everyone at Fibre Arts Ballarat, and now I'm in a motel in Albury. The last day of class on Monday was very cruisy. I just went with the flow, totally without plan, and was pleased with the result. 

 Here is the class photo:
They were a great bunch of ladies to work with - all immersed themselves in the workshop and boldy experimented with the new materials and techniques:

I left Ballarat in good time for the day's journey, but ran into a bit of a problem about an hour in. I had pulled off the main road to look at a creek running past an old mill, and parked on the grass to be off the private road. However, the ground turned out to be solid clay with a layer of grass and water on it, so I found myself in trouble.

Despite my best efforts, I ended up having to be pulled out by rope by a passer by I persuaded to help me. Back on the road, it was a stop off in Bendigo to see the Cloak exhibition, with Catherine O'Leary's work being the highlight of that.

Next stop was Wangaratta Gallery to see the Contemporary Textile  Art Award. I'm too tired to write about it now, but I have some thoughts on art that simply includes some textiles as opposed to that which is created by someone who is skilled in working with textiles as their main medium.

So that was day one of the drive home - it's time to get some sleep now ready for day two.

Monday 3 July 2023

Experimental Sunday

After getting information from Jane that there was some fabulous fungi down by the lake, I headed there before class - what a bitterly cold experience! However, it was worth it. Unfortunately though, due to poor vision and inexperience with the camera settings, my photos weren't to my satisfaction, so I left class before lunch to try again, with more success.

Obviously, there were many, many more photos than this. 

With the class now working on individual projects, I was on my own, with no particular ideas apart from one I had had in my dreams - the other drifted off into the night. So I began playing with the metal cloth, just feeling what it could do. Always on my mind was the idea of keeping the qualities of the cloth foremost - to showcase its unique properties. If I could do it with organza, why would I use costly metal cloth? I started with my dream piece - little circles inspired by lichen.

I rolled the edges and flame painted them

and hand sewed them on an organza backing

before trimming the organza away then using a heat gun, which created tension as the material shrank.

The metal cloth is good for shibori-like techniques, as it retains the shaping well, so I tried some pleating.

This piece was simply crumpled metal cloth secured in sections onto an organza backing with free-motion embroidery, before melting back the organza. It has a rolled edge, and has a nice sculptural look.
This sample is a pinched-up piece of metal cloth sewn onto organza (which also provides a bit of depth of colour), with some wool, and silk chiffon stitched around it, then lace scraps added.
This is coloured metal cloth laid over purple velvet - as you stitch over it, the pile pushed through the metal and shows itself. This would be really nice with some hand-stitched areas on it.
The afternoon finished with the release of the Fibre Arts 2024 Winter School tutors - unfortunately, nothing there for me. We'll see what else turn up.

Saturday 1 July 2023

Saturday, but no-one's really sure anymore

Starting the workshop on Wednesday has most of us wondering what day it is, and I'm probably the worst, after being on no schedule to speak of for the previous two weeks. Of course, I started with another visit to my favourite lichen trees....

Today was our half day, so we finished off the two samples started yesterday before getting on with whatever we wanted. We soaked the metal/fabric with tissue paper stitched on, scrubbed it back, and coloured it - I also did one which was just paper. I really like the organic, distressed look.

I also really liked the lutrador, burnt back with the heat gun after being stitched onto metal cloth.

This was metal cloth stitched onto champagne bottle foil over another fabric. It becomes a richly textured and shapeable material.

This is flame painted metal cloth on top, over silk organza, small strips of polyester organza, foil paper, and silk. I sewed, cut back and tore back layers, and sewed some more.

In the afternoon I had plans to train, but the gym wasn't staffed, so I couldn't get in. So I spent some time wandering the streets before heading to the Art Gallery, where I saw a couple of pieces which struck me, as well as lots of Australian classics.

Love the houses here with all their iron lace

The work of Tim McMonagle

Stephen Davidson
The free afternoon went quickly and by the time I had returned, put on a wash and had an early shower, it was time for a drink with the girls in the common room. Then over to dinner and tutor talks - I particularly enjoyed Julia Wright's tonight, as well as Kate Thompson's.
As usual, I feel like I need a few hours to myself, which I suppose what the free afternoon is supposed to be about - but we all try and cram so much into it, or simply try to catch up.