Tuesday, 25 June 2013

And the last of June...

Yesterday, four of us had a group outing to see Helen's exhibition at the Embroiderers Guild. We were blown away. We knew Helen was a very talented person but seeing her work on display together convinced us that she's been hiding her light under a bushel! Some were works we'd seen her making; others were completely new to us, coming from ten, twenty and even forty years ago. It's an amazing body of work. If you get a chance, go and have a look before it closes on Wednesday.

After Helen had given us a guided tour of the works and told us the stories associated with them, we took ourselves next door to the Love Life Store for lunch. I can really recommend this place for lunch - friendly staff, very tasty pies and delicious cakes.

We swapped postcards as usual. Here's Helen's, with her signature rug canvas:
She painted over the rug canvas grid and the background, and then added gold to the stitched area.

Maz's postcard comes from a series of works celebrating her years of travelling the world.
Tricia's postcard was a cheerful collection of buttons with a beach mood.
She coloured the background and then added buttons and beads to emphasise the flow of the colours.

Nola embroidered on one of her painted cloths for her postcard.
We also shared the work we'd done in our sketchbooks for the Fish theme.

Maz drew some fish shapes in her book:
Here's a detail of the fish at the top.
The technique is called sgraffito. She laid down a thick layer of water pencil on the piece of film negative and then scratched back through it to form the fish. It looks very sea monsterish!
Helen had been manipulating images in Photoshop.

She also drew a design, a fish made of fish, in unwetted water colour pencil, with a collection of fish names. She insisted, "the best fish in the world - Arbroath smokies."
Nola drew fish too, but her first pair of fish were based on the shape of a set of unusual pegs she bought from one of the local Chinese shops. She also wanted to play with repeat shapes.
Her next fish was made from fabric.
She built up the background pages with layers of watercolour and Inktense pencils and watercolour crayons, using the page wet and dry.  She cut out the fish shape and layers were cut from a commercial patterned fabric and attached to the fish with fusible web. The whole fish was trimmed and attached to the page with fusible web. Then she drew in the shadow fish in the water, so the brilliant fish is surrounded by shadowy echoes.

Her last fish was stencilled through a simple shape, using different  1/2in square stamps and watercolour pencils.
Our next theme is Circle. As our group is called Fibrecircle, that seems very appropriate!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

May and June

As you probably guessed, we've been a bit occupied with stuff to do with the Craft and Quilt Fair at Darling Harbour lately. So I'll just do a general catch up for May and June.

First, the Craft and Quilt Fair: As always the quilts in the show were fantastic. Such a high standard of work and so many beautiful quilts. The prizewinning quilts can be seen here on the NSW Quilters Guild website. They are always very efficient about putting images up. The number of quilts was up but the number of visitors seemed to be down. It certainly wasn't as crowded as in past years.

The ATASDA stand was a great experience. We had a large space, 12m x 8m and it looked fantastic, filled with members' art works. We had a lot of good comments about the edgy industrial theme, which you can see here on the ATASDA NSW blog, FibreTribe. It was interesting chatting to people as they came through, too. There are those who would love to try some non-traditional textile skills and those who say, a little wistfully, "I could never do that!" We handed out lots of bookmarks and workshop sheets, and most artists sold some things.

Meanwhile, we've all been busy doing and making. Way back in April, Maz took this workshop at Primrose Paperworks with Peta Lloyd and made this beautiful shrine.

The aim of the workshop was to create a collection of objects and images in a physical structure, in a way that was meaningful to the participants. In the class, Maz learnt how to construct the shrine in in a deep-sided canvas with foam core, covered in paper and fabric, and put together words and items to express her various travels around the world in her younger days. It's really beautiful.

In early May, we spent a day working together to make journal covers for everyone in the group. We all worked on each journal cover, and then we drew lots to determine who received which one.
Here's images of some of the covers:

Tricia's book
Each month, we'll take turns to choose a theme for everyone to work on in their journals. The first theme, from Nola, was Leaf. Here are Tricia's pages:
The apple leaf was sent to her by a family friend in Queensland, and the gum leaf comes from her own garden. She did leaf rubbings with crayons.
Nola coloured on a damp hand-made polystyrene stamp with watercolour pencils and stamped on the page.
She also picked up a rose leaf which had black spot fungus, because the patterns were pretty. She traced the leaf shape and drew some of the patterns with black drawing pen, choosing different colours to emphasise. She thinks they may make interesting stamps.
She also did a rubbing from a hollyhock leaf and was drawing around the leaf margins when the photo was taken.
 Maz drew a leaf with watercolours on watercolour paper.
 She attached leaves and a leaf set in resin to a page and felted leaf shapes with her embellishing machine.
 She made these leaves by free machine stitching leaf shapes on two layers of net.
Helen attached some ginkgo leaves, coated in clear nail polish for longevity, and a verse. It says,
                                      Temple bells ring out
                                      The fragrant blossoms render..
                                      The winds that blow
                                      Ask them which leaf on the tree
                                      Will be the next to go.

The second part is a haiku by Kyoshi Takahama.
 She also made monoprints, cut them apart and wove them into a background for the painted leaf shape. She liked the right hand monoprint because it looked like a cat, so she made a page with the cat playing among the leaves.
The next theme, from Carol, is Fish.
Tricia brought along her latest spinning to show. She has been plying the yarn..

Here are our latest postcards:
Helen's is made with Suffolk Puff flowers on painted rug canvas and silk paper, edged with satin stitch.
 Bev hand stitched on printed fabric and bound the postcard with zigzag in a variegated thread.
 Tricia pieced commercial fabrics and added a button and machine stitching. The edge was bound and stitched with a zigzag.
Nola's was made from a scrap of  graffiti fabric, hand painted, with a edging of a double row of satin stitch.
This week, we're going to look at Helen's one man exhibition at the Embroiderer's Guild in Concord. If you get the chance to see it, don't miss out! It closes on Jun 27th.


Monday, 10 June 2013

Darling Harbour Craft & Quilt Fair

Sorry to go silent! We've created a stack of gorgeous stuff to share with you, which I hope we can do soon. But in the meantime, we've been distracted by the upcoming ATASDA stand, displaying and selling work at the Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair, Darling Harbour this week. Several of us will have work on display and for sale.

Tricia and Nola have gorgeous silk scarves, bags made from breakdown printed fabric and a range of hand-dyed reusable gift bags, replacing wasteful paper wrapping with something useful as well as decorative.

Carol has covered some art journals.

Bev has made some fabric bowls and a cushion from her rust-dyed fabric that is just to die for!

We also have our beautiful garden fragment on display and it's for sale too!
Five of us will be manning the stand at various times during the show, so why not stop by to say hello? ATASDA members will be demonstrating various kinds of textile art work during the five days, mornings and afternoon, and there'll be a visual feast of work to enjoy.

Darling Harbour, June 12-16, 9-5 every day.