Monday, March 19, 2018

Traveller's Blanket On-Line Class

Goodness I have been chilled to the bone these last few days at Chartres and meanwhile fire warnings were out not so far from where my shed is in Australia and places where friends live, so a bit of overnight worrying  whether everyone and everything was safe. I am still at Chartres as the Croisements des Arts continues until 25 March when I go to Belgium and teach for three days at Adinkerke, de Panne, just over the French border.I am teaching the Traveller's Blanket/Plaid Nomad for two days and Tifaifai/machine applique one day ( there is still places in the Tifaifai workshop, which always delivers great results and students create their own designs.) If you are interested in joining  email me please. ( 26/27/28 March).

I have managed to do a lot of stitching on my blue and white piece which has now grown a name- True Blue ( it was called a walk on the wild side as this colour combination is a bit outside of my ken but things change...). As I worked on it I realised that the blue and white combination was very much in tune with my heritage as well as reflecting my love of blue and white ceramics and of course Delft's Blauw . So what to name this blanket was whirling around in my head  and I coined true blue which I mentioned somewhere and someone said- but oh yes it also reflects Australia- in that true blue means dinky di or the real thing especially relating to Australianess- so the name reflects both of my worlds, my dutch birth and my adopted country Australia and of course my love of blue and white ceramics. This piece did not begin with a story but it acquired one and as it did I grew to like it much better than I ever expected. I hope to finish it this week, so I can commence another piece to meet this  deadline I have made for myself .

I sometimes wonder why I do so much stitching. but the texture it creates is a bit mesmerising.

I am staying in the old part of Chartres in a little studio apartment called  Studio-Adulaire, which is a nice brisk walk to where the exhibition is at the Collegiale Saint Andre. It means I can cook my own food  and there is a good market for food in Chartres on Saturdays and everything is within walking distance.I highly recommend it if you intend to spend anytime in Chartres. The owner is very helpful  and the  studio is well equipped.

And then i discovered the Depot-vente in Camphol- a kind of flea market, brocante all rolled into much to see , so many good things, but what to choose? I could not decide and only came away with a book and a bunch of fish knives ( silver with marks for 2 euros) as they are great for mixing textile pigment with base extender- hmmm maybe these are too good for that!

An archway near the cathedral- with gnarled some kind of vine- I wonder how old that vine is?

One of the buildings I walk past everyday has these wonderful wooden pillars embedded in the wall. the motifs look medieval so again I wonder how old this is? The details has  been weathered but even so they are still  gorgeous.

Traveller's Blanket On-line Class- I  am still taking enrollments for the  on-line class which is  designed to help you record memories in textile and create a rich memory laden cloth that you will never want to part with! Just email me if you are interested. Course consists of the delivery of 4 pdf lessons, a private facebook group to discuss our developing stories/ blankets- and your very own memory cloth/blanket. It is amazing how these pieces acquire meaning as you work. There is a lot of time to invest in the process so a lot of time for contemplation , and it shows in every piece that has been made,

I taught a one day workshop for the Traveller's Blanket at Gallery Cardamome last Friday. Of course one day is not enough time to make anything big. So we made a sample piece with one motif to try out different stitches and then a start was made on  a larger piece which  was a square of about 40 cm.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

ChARTres- Croisement des Arts

I had meant to blog prior to leaving Australia last week, but as life was digitally challenged that did not happen, plus things were super busy. I agreed to a crazy deadline of 10 Traveller's Blankets  for the Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair late in June. I will use one very early piece to show how the work has developed but all other work will be new ( as the the  traveller's blankets I have sold  in the past belong to new owners ). So I feel my hands are whirling dervishes at the moment and as I don't wear thimbles they do sometimes succumb to needing a rest , which fortunately coincided with my flight to Europe, and I am determined to make that deadline!

I arrived in Barcelona last week, and took the train from there to Narbonne, to spend a night with Margo and Trevor Bimler, in order to pick up things I had left there ( more things than I had realised) and then headed up to my cousins near Chateroux. I do have a lot of family in Europe but as my parents emigrated when I was nine, I don't know that much of my family , but this cousin is a similar age and we enjoy each other's company so I always try and catch up when I am in Europe. Then onto Chartres the next morning to install my exhibition for ChARTres- Croisements des Arts that afternoon. It is always good to be part of this exhibition and it seems to be getting better all the time. The exhibition venue is a deconsecrated church called Collegiale Saint Andre dating from the twelfth century and it  was built right on the edge of the River Eure.So at the moment it is rather damp and cold but nonetheless a  beautiful venue

The weekend was busy with vernissage and an artists evening  at the house of the organisers Ethia- which is always a lot of fun. it would be so nice to sell a piece, but the traveller's blankets ar enot for sale at present!

And then I have been working on a white and blue piece. A bit uncharacteristic for me, but  as I was in a place two weeks ago without my usual supplies, and this was all that was at hand, it started to grow,  and I am beginning to like it. It is starting to remind me a little of Delft's blauw- which is suppose is appropriate seeing I was born not that far from Delft ( well in Australian terms)

I can't wait to see what the background stitching will add to this piece, and the temptation to already begin it is a great- but I am trying to be disciplined and finish all the circles first. I have tried to make each and everyone different.

A little bit of Chartres:

After Chartres I will be teaching in Belgium and at the Lapjesgaart in Amstelveen ( traveller's Blanket and tifaifai) and then onto the Textile Biennale ( formerly Quilts en Beaujolais which is what everyone still calls it) in Beaujolais with the Aussie Bush Project!, and then a quick catch up with my friends in Le Triadou and  Moux and then onto Austria for more teaching.

Traveller's Blanket On-line Class
I have had a lot of emails from people asking  if I will be running the Traveller's Blanket on-line class again. Initially I thought I would not , but I have spent a  lot of time rewriting and making the content reflect current work and am still writing an entirely new lesson 4. So I have decided to run another on-line course starting 7 April. I have been asked why I call these works blankets- and the reason is that someone once called my work blankets- so being a bit tongue in cheek that is what I have called these works. They are intensely stitched and grow as you stitch- they are such an investment of time and love and contemplation they really do take on a life of their own. They are a slow process  and it is an incredibly soothing process- I lose time in a good way and the work has built, and the story has increased in that lost time- it is like taking some moments away from our ever busy lives and just stitching, enjoying the rhythm and the story as it develops. If you are interested in joining the class please email me and I will send out an information sheet .