Sunday, July 31, 2005
The intention was to be productive this weekend but friends and family intervened- and what fun that was. Gellibrand tends to be a sleepy hollow in the middle of the winter and yet this weekend lots of friends were around, kids were happy because their friends were around and lots of good food was eaten and lots of bubbles consumed.
So today after the last of family had disappeared over the horizon, I checked out the trees and bark, and my pretty boy rooster- who seems to have all of the chickens, including the bantams under control, but good heavens he croaks when we go near his pen.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
I have finished the machine quilting on what is now titled River. I have to put the binding and sleeve on before tomorrow and I thought I would do some french knots in the orange areas around the bluish river, but I am running out of time and there is still dinner to cook, and up early in the morning to drive to Melbourne to set up Two by Two at Vic Quilters Showcase ( and the reason for racing to get this quilt finished). But after that I have five clear weeks of nothing at all- so I had better use it wisely!
Monday, July 25, 2005
Another background I have stitched to create Artist trading cards ( ATC's) - I think this one will actually work better for little cards if I cut across the stripes and I am not as attached to this one as the previous one. This will be cut smaller into 2 1/2" by 3 1/2 cards, so I have no idea what they will look like.
I had a wonderful time at the retreat that I taught at on the weekend. Caught up with many old friends, made some new ones and enjoyed the whole atmosphere of the Afficiando Retreat which is extremely well organised by Geelong Quilters and the co-ordinator for the retreat Judy Gordon. And for one of my students of the retreat here is the link to the Handweavers Studio in London from which I buy some of my hand stitching/quilting threads( they are weaving threads but are really nice to hand sew with).
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Preparing for ATC's
I made this background piece out of which I need to cut some ATC's for my friend Clare Smith in Wellingon, New Zealand- she is writing an article about them for New Zealand Quilter- an excellent magazine produced and edited by Ann Scott
It is almost too nice to cut up, but as I am going away to teach for the weekend I have to put it in the post tomorrow. I also bought a fridge magnet maker a week or so ago with the intent of making fridge magnets of my quilts and various other things. I am going to try it out tonight!
I am waiting for the fog to lift and the sun to come out so I can do some more dyeing. I did about 60 metres yesterday and am now in the process of washing it all, as I am teaching this weekend and students wanted some of my hand dyed fabric. Yesterday i did warm colours and some darks- today the blues purples and greens. I am always intrigued by how other people dye with Procion MX Cold Water Reactive dyes, but am surprised when people buy premixed colours. I use a base of about nine colours, mix my own greens and use a base brown which I always add other colours to because on its own it's a pretty yuk colour.Other than that I use the black which is a mixed colour but all the others are what I call pure colours ( though the yellow MX2RA is a mixed colour- its a pretty saffron colour)
Thanks to Sharon of In A Minute Ago who picked up on my comment regarding Arts Funding and the requirement that funding can only be given to orgaisations when touring and curating. She suggested writing to the top- so I am wondering who should I write to? I am also wondering are there other independent curators out there or am I the only silly one? And another point I think is that there is so much funding to new media ,digital media which is great but it seems, the powers that be, have not caught up with the fact that this is happening at a base level too- that the internet allows you to make quick and immediate connections with galleries and organisers the other side of the world and that you do not need an organisation to do this. Also I have found that by producing catalogues galleries and other bodies accept that I can bring what I say I will bring.Why can't funding bodies do the same?
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
It's A Hot Continent
I have included a picture of some work I did with transfer dyes last year. Transfer dyes are used on synthetic materials. You first paint the dyes onto paper, as you would if painting a painting, and then you place the paper painted side down on the synthetic material ( in this case a very thin polyester fleece) and iron or press with a heat press the back of the paper and 'transfer' the colour ontothe polyester fleece. You can get up to three prints for each paper and the colur is permanent. It allows you control over where the colour goes and the fleece when stitched almost has th eappearance of felt. I like it a lot and am chomping at th ebit to do some more. I use teeppee transfer dyes which are available in liquid form so you can paint with them without further ado.
On a more musing sort of note yesterday when I visited In a Minute Ago Sharon Bogon mentioned a Carft manifesto, which looked at how craft and the internet had brought people together, to create and form exchanges and friendships, and had created opportunities . I know I have certainly enjoyed these and have found the world a smaller place. However there is another aspect to all this. Some of you know I have curated a number of travelling exhibitions and have done so since 2000 and am now in the process of curating Across Australia which will travel widely including the Panorama Mesdag in the Netherlands and then to Libya, Egypt and Syria as a showcase of Australian culture in January and February 2006. I have done a lot of previous touring out of a suitcase with little institutional funding and off my own bat, and made contacts largely through email - though the Middle eastern tour is being co-ordinated by the Australian Embassy in Egypt and they have arranged sponsorship, and this will include a full colour catalogue- thank goodness- and this is almost all through email on my part and through the help of an internet friend( though we have met now a few times face to face: Jenny Bowker) but with little support from the many incorporated associations that are out there relevant to my craft.
This is not only a problem for me but possibly a problem for many other people out there with even better ideas for exhibitions and exposing the world to what we spend half our lives with (ggg). From personal experience and having served on exhibition commitees and also on committees of organisations,I actually think that the government ruling that an organisation must be an incorporated association in order to apply for funding is a huge problem. Firstly because committees by law, have to roll over their committee ( ie those positions have to change every couple of years which means inexperienced people step into the fray or old ones who have been off committee come back into it). So it means that people like myself have limited access to funding because you need to create partnerships of trust and mutual understanding which is difficult when things are changing all the time and if dealing with new people they have to be re-educated each time. I actually think that it can be counter productive in that the funding goes to perhaps not the best people to organise the exhibitions. From a personal point of view I find committees hard, because, firstly I live in what is considered an isolated region, two that usually involves almost a day of travel to attend a meeting ( and I already give my time for free in organising the exhibitions that I do), and three I have limited funds and do not like expending money on petrol to attend meetings. No one ever wants to come to Gellibrand because it is too far- I have the reverse problem.
So I have managed to tour things because of the internet and going outside of the normal system of government funding, organisational funding and using the internet as the huge tool that it is. Just another aspect of what the internet can do at times .
Monday, July 18, 2005
Work is slowly progressing on my shed/studio. the front verandah still has to go on and the windows in and the door etc. It does not look big but it is 9 metres by 6 metres which is about 5 times the size of thes pace I work in now. It will be lined with insulation and plaster and one wall will be hanging space and the other benches and shelves. The slab has to go in as well- that got a bit of a setback today as the washing machine went into a spinning frenzy- literally and refused to do anything else. It is probably the control switch but I need the washing machine this week as I have to dye lots of fabric as I am teaching at the Geelong Afficiando Retreat this weekend and some of the students want fabric. So the slab fund will have to bow to a new washing machine grrr....
Today was the first day since being back that I did a dedicated 10,000 step walk, the weather has been pretty rotten for walking, and everytime I stepped outside it rained. However I did manage to walk 10,000 steps most days though not in one walk.
Started quilting the top I posted a picture of yesterday. I love how different things look once the stitching goes in- it completely changes the appearance. I had to use a cotton batting which I don't like to use because when you stitch a lot it flattens the texture too much and that is precisely the reason I quilt - to create textural nuances. I always try and use Matilda's Own an Australian mostly wool/polyester batting, which does not strecth too much with stitching and which still maintains some loft after stitching.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
This morning when i walked into my work room I was in a nothing mood- but then I looked at the fabrics I had tossed onto a pile- well actually draped ( I usually drape them because I like to look at them)- and suddenly I could see a quilt top there. Since being home I have been thinking river, and then for the Rhythm and Blues quilt I was thinking Cry Me a River- but of course that is blues, and not Rhythm and Blues- so the river thought has been floating aorund in the back of my mind for a couple of weeks now.I am still thinking of appliqueing tie dyes onto the deep blue streaked bit of fabric to balance the other tie dyes, but I have run out of Vliesofix ( Bondaweb).I use rolls of it for my work, so it is a nuisance to have run out. The tie dyes remind me of drying up water holes, and all the other pieces of fabric were made with water in mind but at various different times. I also needed to make a new quilt for Two By Two which will be shown at the Vic Quilters Showcase the week after next, and so I think I shall be able to use this one.
Golden Wattle Blossom
Yesterday was a dirth sort of day- it rained and rained and it was cold and miserable, and children cooped up inside. I added another gazillion french knots to the rockpool piece. It is close to done now.
Today is sunny and walking around my garden I found one of the golden wattles already starting to bloom- hurrah bring on the spring, I can do without the winter weather. The otway region abounds with wattle- black wattle and white wattle- driving along the road to Colac in the height of spring is like driving past a wall of yellow.
Friday, July 15, 2005
The Whole Piece
I have to make two quilts 20 inches by 24 inches for an exhibition I am organising with Mary Andrews of The Fiber Connection. I have been slow starting and did paint a piece with the intent of using it as a whole cloth. Our inspiration is Australia. I found the piece I painted too busy somehow, so I overlaid it with some scrim I dyed last year and tore holes in the scrim. I stitched around the holes in straight stitch and then got carried away doing French knots- I think there is about another days worth of those to go in..... what did I start.
Until 4 years ago I rarely did handwork, though as a teenager I did loads of embroidery. However a couple of years someone did something that made me so mad I want to stick pins in a doll- I then thought about this for a night and decided I couldn't live with myself if something happened to this person, so I started hand quilting again- I tell you the first foot of hand quilting was a pin in that persons ohh la la each time ( and with gusto I might add lol)- and then I started enjoying it, and now always have a piece of handwork on the go. So in a sense I ought to be grateful... and maybe I am.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Painting Another River
I spent yesterday and today making some paintings of a landscape looking from above. I find it fascinating looking out the plane window and seeing below- the landscape looks so different then what it does when you are viewing it from the horizontal viewing plane. The first one I tried to do in Australian colours, but I did not like it very much- the dynamics somehow didn't work- I don't know. The second one I like better though I am still not satisfied, but I will continue with it. When you machine stitch the lines of the shape they sort of become trapunto-like, which adds another dimension and in the areas where there are no scribbles I thought I would rough hand stitch in contrasting threads. These pieces are relatively big- about 32 inches wide and 50 inches long. I need to have one finished for VictorianQuilters Showcase - our big state quilt event, as I curated an exhibition Two by Two which will be shown there in the last weekend of July. This exhibition also travelled to England , but one of the quilts I had in that show I left in the Netherlands for the exhibition at Dreamline, with Annelies Elburg in August.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
The Art of Bert Heckers
One of my quilting friends Roos Heckers of Maastricht was married to well known Dutch artist Bert Heckers ( he died last year), and he was a well known Maastricht persona and his art sought after. Roos graciously allowed me to photograph these works which were hanging in the loungeroom of their 16th century heritage listed house, where not a single floor is straight, and which has a tower in the backyard. I particularly liked the piece in the orange/rust tones ( but then they are my favourite colours)
Ohh and I have finally managed to add a links list to my blog- they are not all blogs and I have included quite a lot of websites of people whose work I admire. A lot of blogs I visit regularly can be accessed by clicking on the Artful Quilters link.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
The Entrance to St Gervais Basilica
I had hoped to post a photo of the print I did of a lino-cut I made today, but I ran out of time. So instead I am posting a photo of the St Gervais Basilica in Maastricht because the entrance reminds me of the Princess Margaret Rose Cave- the layers and folds.
Today has been one of those hopping exciting kind of days. I found out I shall be going to Libya after all with Across Australia. I am very excited about this because for one or another strange reasonLlibya has been on my want to see list for quite some years. I read some time ago an article about indigo dyeing at some place in Libya ( unfortunately i cannot remember the name of the oasis- wish I did) but it is enough to ignite my curiousity.
Monday, July 11, 2005
I love this photograph- it reminds me of Galadriel's tree in Lord of the Rings. The half face appeared in the walls of the cave and almost looks like a drawing one of the Renaissance masters might have done- it is quite angelic looking. The first photograph is looking into the roof of the cave- really quite a weird sensation, given that we normally look down or around- the only similar sensation is looking into the crown of a tree, which also gives the feeling of floating.
I really liked this cave-because it was small and so not overwhelming, though the tight spaces were a bit scarey at times- and some of the formations were lovely because they were so close. I am thinking I really want to do something with these images in textile- not sure whether to paint the markings or try something with dyeing.
Sunday, July 10, 2005
I have posted pictures of some of the things we saw and did in Nelson for the last four days.
I will write longer tomorrow but firstly I wanted to say my most heartfelt sympathy to everyone in Britain, who have sat through the horror and tragedy of the last few days- such an attack strikes at everyone's sense of vunerability no matter whether you have suffered a personal loss- everyone has suffered a loss- one less place to trust in the world.
It almost seems banal to post photos of such peacefulness compared with the mayhem in London. The beaches on the Southern Ocean were stunning- miles of view with not a single other human being and the waves rolling in and the flotsam and jetsam of ocean washings on the beach- we walked and walked. We also visited a limestone cave- Princess Margaret Rose Cave- which was just beautiful- it was like walking into an enchanted forest- everything so close that it was almost too tempting not to stroke your hand along the stalacmites. We fished , and caught some and ate some and brought some home. We made a beach scouring sculpture- we saw kangaroos a plenty and emus ( emus stand about as high as a man and are a large flightless bird similar in size to an ostrich) and the air was sparkling and fresh .