Friday, 6 February 2015

Some of what we were doing in January

At our one January meeting, Maz was working on an embroidery for an exhibition at Blayney, out in country NSW.

If you follow our blog, you'll know that's she's been interested in figures like this for quite a while. This time, she was using a very thick thread, which made the stitching stand out from the background fabric.

I hope we'll have a finished photo to show you, before she sends it away.

Helen brought along a work on the theme of flight as well, although it's for a different group from Cindy.
It's her trademark canvas work, of course! And, as always, such beautiful embroidery.

Cindy brought along some postcards she'd made to sell at the extraTexture exhibition later this year.
They were machine and hand embroidered and couched, with rat tail and yarn. The edges are couched rat tail, which gives a nice firm edge.

Nola was working on sketches from photos for the box book we'll be making next month. She's decided to use the book to record her recent trip to Africa. This image is a reminder of her close encounter with an elephant.


She also sketched an outline of a tiny frog she saw in the Okovango Delta.

Cindy also brought along one of her embroidered sun prints.

We've seen this kind of work from Cindy before. She likes to use stencils as the resist in sun printing, because it gives a very sharp edge to the motifs. We'll be experimenting with sun printing as a group in March, using some sun dyes left to us by Jan, when she returned to the States. We often get better results when the weather is not too hot, as it almost always is in February. (As we've planned this outdoor activity, expect the hottest or wettest March on record!)

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

It must be book time...

Both Helen and Cindy brought along books they'd made, at our last meeting. Helen brought along a book she'd made back when she was studying through City and Guilds, because it was all about trees in embroidery.

We can only show you a few pages here, but it's an amazing book! She looked at the use of trees as a motif, back as far as Assyrian times...

... through the Bayeux Tapestry...
...into modern times.

Helen also brought along a book she'd made inspired by her visit to the Hundertwasser village.

Just gorgeous!

Cindy's fabulous Fantasy book was made for an exhibition with extraTexture later in the year. The members of the exhibition group has been setting each other challenges, relating to the theme of flight. This time, it was 3D Flights of Fantasy.

You can see the images better flat..

The photos really don't do it justice!

And while we're talking about books, our project for February is to make a book from boxes and other recycled paper and card. Some of us are using this as an opportunity to use some of the things we've acquired over the years. Hopefully we'll have lots of process photos as well as finished books here during the next few weeks.

Monday, 2 February 2015

January is one long holiday...

Well, it is for most Aussies, anyway! Groups stop meeting, schools are on the long summer break and a lot of people go to the beach. Fibrecircle doesn't exactly stop but we only met once this month.

OK, first some housekeeping from last year - Nola brought along her finished Birthstones sketchbooks. I think she's the only one of us to put something in her book for each month. The November birthstone was Topaz:
She discovered the "devant de corsage", originally a triangular decorative panel inserted into the front bodice of a woman's dress, pointing down towards the stomach (hence its other name, "stomacher"). In the 18th century, this developed into a triangular brooch or group of brooches, which became especially popular in Edwardian times. She also found that Faberge loved to work with topaz.

The December birthstone was Turquoise. Some years ago, Nola made a textile work based on the beautiful turquoise tiles on the mosque at Isfahan, the area from which most European turquoise came. She traced the history of turquoise in the west, first as religious jewellery and, after the Reformation, in secular jewellery. Of course it also features in pre-Columbian societies in South America.

Helen brought along her new journal for our 2015 theme, Trees.

She had already begun putting things in her journal. She has decided to use the letter of the month to help her choose which tree to focus on, and it must be a tree she knows nothing about. The tree for January was the Judas Tree, cercio siliquastrum.

It's name comes from the legend this this tree was the one from which Judas Iscariot hanged himself, after betraying Jesus, although this story is also attached to the elder tree.

It's an unfortunate legend for such a pretty tree!

It doesn't sound as if it would be very happy living in Australia, as it doesn't like very wet weather or very hot weather.

We'll have more tree pages to show you in the coming year. If you want to share our tree journey and create journal pages every month too, we'd love to hear about it!