Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Little Progress

I am slowly- a little too slowly- wending back into work mode. Somehow a  quilt was not speaking to me at all- I was writing things down, ideas, ways of stitching even drawing , but not a lot of substantive work. But my printing is starting to  come together into a piece that I will  construct into a quilt top today. Things changed from the pink I had been thinking when I dyed a very dark and moody purple on Thursday- it made the purple printed panels look completely different , and so I have discarded the pink panels, and printed some black leaves onto the  deep purple. It is difficult to see the black leaf print, but it will emerge more when I stitch.I auditioned a few things before  I  decided on the black printing and I played around with the shape as well.

 Little stylised apple shapes in green and black- didn't suit the print panels
 Leaves in pink- too much the same as the print panel

There is still time to purchase a sentinelle panel if you would like to be part of the Sentinelle  project. The idea is that you embroider or stitch or embellish the panel  however the mood takes you. All people who have registered their  participation will have their finished panels displayed at Voix au Feminin in Palaiseau and in all likelihood at the Textile Art Festival in Canberra next year- and any other venues I can source.If you would like to purchase a panel and participate int he project email me. The panels costs $15 each  plus postage ( approx $2.60) and is hand printed on hand dyed cotton. My linocut is starting to deteriorate badly so I won't be making any more print runs with it- as I want to preserve as part of the project.I still have a good range of colours available.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Printing Fabric

I have not been idle this last week- hoorah. I have been scouring the internet for antique french fabrics because in my upcoming book I want to devote some space to the inspiration antique fabrics can offer.I also love old fabric steel books but the price for them is somewhere out in the stratosphere- I wonder what the lowly clerks who pasted the fabrics into the books and carefully wrote descriptions would have thought how much their work is worth now? I think it's the combination of the hand written ledgers and the hand cut fabrics that  is so appealing . I have also fallen in love with a few bits of fabric, but most of it is  tooo expensive , so then the only option is too make your own, but with an eye to the fact that I am very drawn to things that look as if they have been made by hands rather than machines. So I combined my  indienne inspired bird fabric linocut with a flower linocut and some random dots- and worked in a totally uncharacteristic colour for me- pink. What do you think?

 I made the dots with cotton buds- and then combined the prints in the collage mode to see how they would look altogether- I have made 4 panels roughly 50 cm x 50 cm. The printed fabric on the right actually looks brighter than what it is- it's much more moody, and of course things will change with stitching when the bird pattern will come out much more strongly.

I spent some time with my daughter last week working on the logistics for the book I am working on, and we went out and about in search of some inspiration and found this lovely bunch of roses. The trouble with the book is that somehow it does not feel like work and I am having trouble sitting down to the actual writing because that idea has become fixed in my brain - so I am trying to overcome that idea by writing things down in long hand rather than on the computer- more like cues and getting the  chapters sorted in my head and on paper.And the great white heron was there again last Friday on our walk- this must be his" beat"- the creek was quite swollen from recent rain.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Making Time

I promised myself that this year I would make more time for my blog, but yet again, I have not posted for a week- the intention was to try and post at least twice a week, as i did in my first enthusiastic years of blogging. I haven't lost any of my enthusiasm for blogging I have just lost the ability to make time for it as regularly as I would like. I may have to make myself a little timetable  like I had when I was a student.

I have been busy this last week, going to Colac nearly every day and teaching at CrossXpollination for three days. Classes were not full but I was very grateful they went ahead as bills need to paid and I need to put food on the table. We had a wonderful time making linocuts and printing and working with lutradur.I have made a collage of student work and apologise that I  have not mentioned names as I forgot to write them down on the day.

The charming little piece above is by Fiona  Jellie and was in the working  with lutradur class ( or disperse dyeing, or transfer dyeing, or transfer painting)

The exhibition has been going well  too- with visitors very enthusiastic about the work and the way it has been installed. Photos do not do it justice and you only have one day left to visit it if you are close by- that is today!

Above: Work by Catherine O'Leary and Carole Redlich

 Above: Work by Sue Ferrari.

Some of my own work- unfortunately the flash overrode the excellent lighting job done by Nick Moloney. Also many thanks to  Karen Patterson from COPACC and Carole Redlich for their hard work in getting CrossXpollinatioN off the ground and their hard work at making it the best it could be- many people have commented positively on the professionalism of the installation, the variety of fibre work and the ambience.

So of course  when finally I get to spend some time at home and I should be dyeing and printing new sentinelle panels  it rains and the sunroom where I do a lot of the printing and dyeing is  uncomfortably cold- and I have finally managed to get some time watching the Tour de France- but that requires that I sit and stitch- so I have been back working in my little khadi book that I worked in some time ago and have just been stitching lines of colour. It is a very soothing process somehow- and these lines of colour have got me thinking all sorts of things.

 During the week I passed many herons- as it had recently rained- but the heron below is one encountered on one of our morning walks- a great white who would not allow me to get to close and who  watched carefully...I love their stillness and careful deliberate movements.

 And last- Denise Levertov's eloquent words on a Sunday morning- when she says St Simon Heron I immediately think of  St Simeon that most famous Syrian stylite who perched atop a pillar for many years.
St. Simon Heron,
standing, standing, standing
upon his offshore pillar,
suddenly, subtly
dips his head to drink,
Three, then fourth,
and more times, that legato
arabesque of the neck,
the small head almost serpent's,
smoothly one with its flexible stem.
Body and tall legs
move not an inch.
thirst, fulfillment
are ripples that lap his surface;
his patience absorbs them.
Time does not pass, for him;
it is the lake, and full, and still,
and he has all of it, and wades to strike
when he will upon his fish.

Friday, July 05, 2013


It suddenly dawned on me as I was putting together work for the installation of my exhibition in CrossXPollination in Colac that I had sent quite a few pieces of the Coqueclicot/France work up to Berry as workshop samples. The colours of these are so lovely and warm for a winters day that i sewed like the fury to get some more done and then forgot to photograph them- well to be more accurate ran out of time to photograph them as we had to install work on Wednesday afternoon. I will post some photos next week. The exhibition opens tomorrow night- the more the merrier and it is still possible to join workshops or to come and view the exhibitions  which will be open until Sunday week. There will be a makers market this Sunday and then a creative foyer throughout the week.

Thursday we did a Scarecrow making workshop in Colac- we had five family groups and we had a lot of fun, painting faces ,sewing bodies, dressing and stuffing with hay- we made a mess but there was a lot of smiling faces, and I had not realised quite how large the scarecrows would become, but they became so life sized that the kids were really proud of their efforts.

I was expecting attention spans to wane but everyone stuck to their task and we managed to finish them all- they looked so funny and as we were working int he foyer of the Copacc Cinema Centre our activities  attracted quite a lot of attention- we will install them in the exhibition as a group drinking  a cuppa and having a yarn.

And then during the week some exciting news for Sentinelles ,  including those embroidered by other people. We had been planning to show my bigger sentinelles and many of the embroidered ones at Palaiseau with a   quilt group there, organised by my friend Christine Moulin- we were going to include as many of the embroidered panels as possible as each one has  turned out differently, and I am trying to secure  places to exhibit it  in Australia.

Then the organisation at Palaiseau thought they would make a great exhibition for  their Voix au FĂ©minin  in March of 2014- and so they invited me to be  guest artist- and then to exhibit as many of the embroidered panels as possible. So if you have purchased a panel off me and you have embroidered it please email me if you would like to be part of the exhibition. It is also still possible to purchase a panel if you would like to embroider one. The price of  the panel is  $15 and postage is $2.60 for overseas. I will be doing one more print run but then I will have to  discard my linocut as it is deteriorating with the washing which affects the hemp on the back.So email me if you would like a panel or you would like to join the exhibition- the deadline for delivery of the embroidered pieces is  late January 2014. The only expense will be postage and possibly return postage though I will work on trying to get some funding for that.