Monday, November 28, 2011

Our Tapestry Groups Grows

We had our third meeting and eight people attended.  The group has increased each meeting which is very pleasing.  
Hopefully it will continue to flourish.  We actually had 6 looms up!  It turned out to be a bit like my tapestry classes - lots of talking and not much weaving.  But we did share ideas and encourage each other, always a good outcome.
As you can see, afternoon tea is good too, thanks to a couple of members.

Will this wool eventually be used for tapestry?  We'll have to wait to find out.

We will not be meeting in December as the 4th Saturday of the month is Christmas Eve.  We hope to meet in January with lots of work done for show and tell.
I have managed to weave a bit, pull it out, weave again, pull it out and now have a few centimetres on the loom. I hope I won't want to pull it out when I return to it and look at it with fresh eyes.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Moving Right Along

After taking down our work from the Graduate Exhibition, a friend and I went to the quilt exhibition at Box Hill Town Hall.  It is in the Whitehorse Art Space.  It is an exhibition convened by the Australian Quilters Association (Victoria), the exhibition is called Quilts in Public Places and the theme was Forest Threads.
There was a whole range of techniques, sizes and interpretations.  We had a lovely time looking at them, drinking a cup of tea provided in the space and then voting for our favourites.  It is a lovely venue, one I visited last year for the same event.

close up of the one below

The exhibition is on till December 21st and you can see some of the artists working on Saturdays at 2.00pm.
While we were there a professional photographer was taking photos of the quilts and they should be online in a while.  I look forward to seeing them then too.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

School of Fashion and Textiles Graduate Exhibition 2011

I was going to title this post Well. That's It Then but decided that seemed a bit off-hand.  It is now time to admit that the course is over, we have had our graduate show and now we all need to work out what we are going to do next.

The graduate show was well attended and there was an air of excitement at both evenings.

The range of work was amazing and our section, the textile and design part, had an interesting variety of techniques and disciplines.

There was so much work I couldn't take photos of all of it.  Hopefully there will be a link on the RMIT site soon.

It was great to see everyone's final work, presented so beautifully.  It was also a little sad to realise that we might be seeing some of the people for the last time, that we would be moving into new areas.  It was reminiscent of other times in life where a change occurs and you have to let go of some things while embracing new ones.
It has been a great journey for me and I feel like I am about ready to start ... I suppose that is what a diploma course should do, get you ready to develop further.  I just hope I can keep up the commitment and discipline and make myself keep producing.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Yet another felting workshop.

I don't know what it is about me and felting workshops but I am attending yet another.
This one was by Sachiko Kotaka, at Beautiful Silks.
Sachiko showed us samples of her work which includes a variety of techniques, almost too many to think about.
One special thing about Sachiko's work is her use of cut-outs as the motifs.  These were very similar to the snowflakes we used to make at school as Christmas decorations - and fine motor skills.  First we practised using paper then we did some using prefelts or fabric, depending on the technique we were using first.
I decided to start with fabric as my base and use prefelt for my motifs.

My usual colours.

Some of the other ladies decided to try different things we had been shown.
Previous work cut up, woven and other sections added.
Prefelt as the main part, holes cut and fabric laid in the space, fabric cut to be the motif.

So far none of the work has actually been felted, we have looked at samples and been busy laying out our designs.  We go back tomorrow and I will attempt to not only felt this piece but learn more techniques.  Who knows, one day I may use all this knowledge.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Box Hill Graduate exhibition

Today a friend and I went to Eckersley's to see the graduate exhibition for the textile students from Box Hill Institute, it is in a lovely gallery space at the back of the shop.  We managed to rush past all the wonderful artist supplies and only look at the exhibition.
It is wonderful!!  There is a great range of ideas and techniques.  It was inspiring to see all the talent and technical skills come together.  Congratulations to all concerned.
Unfortunately is finishes on Saturday, so you will have to hurry if you want to see it.
There was one series entitled Bark, by Robyn Bayliss, that especially appealed to me (if you know me you will know I have been working from photos of bark all year).
My obsession with bark aside, there was a wonderful array of work to look at and drool over.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Women's Salon: Voice

Tonight I went to the opening of the Women's Salon annual exhibition at the Counihan Gallery in Brunswick.  I know several of the artists whose work was accepted into the exhibition.  The artists are all connected to Moreland city. The theme this year was to celebrate the centenary of women achieving the vote in Victoria's Legislative Assembly elections. Joan Kirner opened the show and gave an inspiring talk.

Carla and Dana with their work
The works were done in a variety of media and the artists' statements were especially interesting in this exhibition, many relating to women in our state or the artists' personal history.

Not only did I know some of the artists through my RMIT textile and design course, I knew some who are parents of past students of mine - it was a bit shocking to hear how grown up some of the children I taught as 5 year olds are now.  How time passes quickly!

There was also performance art, music from the Brunswick Women's Choir - wonderful.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Never throw anything out!

I am showing my age here but ... I have some graph paper from when I was at school and it is in the imperial measurement ... inches.  I knew I had kept it somewhere and this evening I found it.  I wanted it because I am trying to design a 12 inch square art quilt (for an online group thing).  Quilting tends to still be done in inches and so I have kept some of my old stuff - rulers and graph paper mostly.

I don't have an imperial measurement ruler, just one that has metric and imperial.

I was being lazy and not bothering to translate the measurements and now I have my reward for never throwing anything out. Reinforcement for a good/bad habit (it depends on your viewpoint, I suppose).

When did we transfer to metric measurement, I hear you ask.  I have looked it up and it was ... well, not when I thought, according to the articles I found, Wikipedia and wiki answers.
I seem to remember 1966 being an important date. It turns out it took many years to be fully implemented.  I have to admit that I was at school when the changes started which may have made it easier.  It was much easier to understand why we had to learn our 12 times tables when we had the imperial measures.
Actually, I remember driving in miles and having the speedo in mph, so I had left school before that metric measurement came in.  I don't remember that long drawn-out process, now I am just used to metric but have some flashbacks, especially when quilting.

Who remembers how long a cricket pitch is?  I am guessing here - and not looking it up.  I seem to remember that it is a chain long.  How useful is that knowledge??
Ok, I couldn't resist looking it up and I remembered correctly.  Not that I have ever had the need to measure a cricket pitch.

I wonder if we will ever have metric time measurement.  That would be amazing.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Shop to sell stuff in

Today a friend and I visited the Alcove Art Shop, part of the Box Hill Community centre.  It has a lovely range of small hand made pieces for sale. There was a range of techniques there - wood turning, glass plates, ceramics, textiles, jewellery, beading etc.  If you are a member, you can sell through the shop (if they accept your work) and only pay a 20% commission, it is more for non-members but not much more.  Membership is $25 a year, after paying a $50 joining fee.  (I think these details are correct, contact the store if you want to be sure.)

It is not a big space so the preference seems to be for smaller works.
There is also a Christmas sale coming up, still time to put some work in, and that is apparently very popular and quite a lot of work is sold in the two weeks of the show.
I believe there are art shows, featuring work of local artists, during the year.

I was very interested as our course has now finished. We still have the Graduate Exhibition to go but, essentially, the course has finished, no more classes.  I am wondering what I will do next year, what direction I will actually head.  I will have to decide which of the techniques we learnt I really want to develop further and I will have to cope without the teachers' pushing and without the invaluable feedback from both staff and other students. Scarey thought!  This shop provides a possible outlet for my work as well as some ideas of what sorts of things to make.

We have looked at possible outlets in a few subjects this year but, for some reason, today it seemed more real, not just an exercise for the course.

We were also given brochures about workshops the Community Centre runs in various areas and I am interested in some.  However, I think it is about time I stopped being a serial workshop attendee (and student) and started my own practice more seriously.  That's not to say I won't still attend workshops (I have one booked for a weekend soon) but I need to not rely on them for my inspiration.  Anyway, it is the day after handing in our last work for the course, so I might just be thinking pie in the sky things, who knows.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Crostic Puzzle - Tenuous Link to Tapestry

I have been given a crostic puzzle that has some relationship to a novel that has a tapestry link.  I can't say more than that as it will give away some of the answer.
You will have to print the two images to do the puzzle - I don't know how to upload a PDF to a blog so I have converted them into JPG format.
A crostic works like this:
You have a clue and then spaces to write the answer.  It will have the correct number of spaces for the word and will indicate how many words are in the answer.

Each letter has a number under its space and you then transfer that letter to the appropriate space in the diagram that looks like a crossword (but it isnt'!). Each square in the puzzle has a number AND a letter, the letter indicates which clue the number is in, so you can guess words in the quote and then transfer the letter into the clue, to help you guess that answer.

Is this as clear as mud?  I hope not.  I hope you have a go and see if you can do it.
The tenuous link to tapestry is that the words in the puzzle make up a quote from a book and the title of the book is in the first letters of the answers for the clues, vertically.  But the surname of the author is the first word down, just to confuse things.  So, you write your answers to the clues and the first letter of each line will spell out an author's surname and then the title of the book.
A big clue is that the book has a tapestry link and I may have blogged about it in the past.

I am not sure how best to print it, you may just right click on it and tell it to print or you may have to save it to the desktop, I'm not actually sure. Anyway, good luck if you have a go.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Interesting weaving show

 I had a phone call, a text and then another phone call within 5 minutes yesterday.  They were all from people who thought I would be interested in the show on the ABC, Mastercrafts.  It was all about weaving this week. I haven't seen the show before but I had been told about it.

Thank goodness all these people were thinking of me!  It was great.  If you want to see it, you can go to iView and it will be on for about 2 weeks, I think.

I was very impressed with the girl for whom weaving is obviously not her thing but who persevered for the whole 6 weeks.  Very impressive.  I'm not sure I would have had the stamina.

There was also a bit about tapestry weaving and I enjoyed that very much.  They went to Hampton Court Palace, which I was lucky enough to visit earlier this year (and post about) and they talked about the tapestries there.  I didn't get to see the rather amazing spectacle of making the tapestries bright like they were originally, which they had on the show, but they were still impressive.
The host claimed they were the best tapestries in the world, a rather extravagant claim.  Can't really agree with him but they are good.
It has made me go back and enjoy my pictures again.  Here are a few, they did not come out all that well because it was dark and you aren't allowed to use flash but they do give some indication of the size.  There were also a LOT of tapestries there.
I loved the way they could be put around corners.


This one was particularly dark, even iPhoto has not been able to make it good. These were in the dining hall.

Here's one with a door behind it.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I Should Be Working!!!

It's that time of the year, when all assignments are due in and we are preparing our presentations of our work.  Everyone is tired, distracted and busy.  I should be working right now.

I am in between tasks and need a break to reset the brain - and I am nearly missing my self-imposed task of at least one blog a week.  I think  I have finished all the making, well, for the RMIT course at least, and now have to make sure I have done all the fiddly bits of paper work that have to be handed in.  I need a good rest before I get into that mindset.

In the meantime, I have started to work on the final project for my SWTAFE course, Machine Embroidery as an Art Form. I have been playing around with making bowls.  I think my final work is going to be in machine lace but need to do a bit more experimenting.  I especially need to work on how to stiffen the lace but not lose the lustre.  So far I have stiffened my work but it is a bit dull.

I made a bowl that I thought would be easy and fairly quick - is anything quick with machine lace?
Anyway, I decided to be a good girl and recycle my cut off bits of thread from my other machine sewing.  They were all sitting in a container, looking lovely.

I drew a circle on a piece of MacRinse (water soluble vilene) and laid the threads out in the circle.  Then I pinned another layer of MacRinse over the top and put it into a hoop.  I couldn't see the threads as I wanted to use a thick soluble fabric and thought it wouldn't matter.  I used free motion sewing to keep it all together.  This was a good chance to use up all those bits left on spools.  I just put the spools on the top and bottom and didn't worry about having slightly different colours in them.

The pink spiral is photographed from the top and all seemed to be going well.  Then there were some strange noises and bumpy sewing.  When I checked the bottom it looked like I had bad tension or had tangled the threads.  But, upon closer inspection, it turned out that the loose threads were being pushed out the back by the sewing.  I have turned the solvy over to try to redistribute this effect, in case it was obvious (it wasn't in the end).

I was worried that I had gone a bit overboard with the free motion sewing and that it wouldn't be transparent enough but when I held it up to the window it seemed ok.

I am a bit disappointed with the way the colours have come out and think it would have been better to have used transparent soluble so that I could work with the colours a bit better.  It also still has a fair bit of the soluble not rinsed out, to give it body, and I think that is dulling the colours.
So now I think I had better do what I should have done in the first place, and make some smaller samples that I can try various stiffeners on - but that would be too organised and orderly.  It will all have to wait till later now, I have to get all my other work done first, then move on to this.