Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Teaching at Victoria College of Art

I spent 2 days getting the Victoria College of Art's Lower Studio ready for teaching in this spring term.
This is the before shot.

Day 2 my well-trained assistant set up the print tables.

All ready for "Pattern Design for Artists"

I enjoy teaching this course because there are always great discoveries to be made.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Auction House Lot

There was a collection of other things in the box I won at the auction.
A large printed table cloth and 2 plates....

One is a rather lovely painted, wooden plate from Russia (I'm guessing) and a Polish Arabia plate.

...and this odd assortment.

These crocheted kitchen items were made using interesting techniques.

There was a collection of airline cutlery, most of the airlines now defunct. The previous owner appears to have had plans to polish all of the 'silver.' Yah for plastic airline cutlery, unless one likes 'polishing the silver.'
And that is it - all for $5!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Auction house Treasures cont.

The 3rd treasure I spied in the box at the auction was this neatly worked Russia icon-like embroidery on a cloth hemmed at one end and torn at the other.


The 4th treasure was this Chinese silk jacket which is reversible.

It has lots of lovely details like these hand-made frog closures.

It needed a gentle wash before it could be worn so it was lowered into a warm bath with Orvus paste.

I was a little concerned the colours might run so I added a couple of Colour Catcher sheets to the bath.

Wouldn't you know it - the red was the fugitive, but surprisingly little excess dye came out.
The jacket is now lying on a towel in the boiler room drying. 
It sounds as though this jacket is at a spa.
I'll show you pictures of its new owner wearing it, once I have delivered it

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Auction House Treasures

I had a successful bid at Kilshaw's auction house this week.
In a cardboard box I had my eye on 4 textiles in particular - this NW Indian shisha embroidery.

It is not as fine as one I already have in my collection but it is in very good condition and I like that the pieces haven't been cut out for the garment yet.

The 2nd textile is this large linen pillow case. The linen is fine but still surprisingly heavy.
It doesn't look much at the present but once it is laundered and ironed it will look beautiful.

There is pulled thread work around the edge and in each corner with a satin stitch floral motif.
I'll show it again once it is laundered.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Synesthesia #7 Aqua Green

I collected up the fabric and made a decision on the value range.
The layers of fabric were stacked lightest to darkest and the energy lines of this colour sewn on the back of the ground.

Then the cutting started.

Several hours later.

It is coming along quite nicely but there is still a lot of cutting back to do.
Cut back applique is one of my favourite techniques because it always has surprises, and some 'oops.'

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Synesthesia #6 Blue Green

Making another in the Synesthesia series.
The sample looks right though the ground could do with a little more stabilising.

Coming along.
That ground is still wrinkling up a bit with the intensive stitching and changes in direction.
I am using strips cut from my collection of silk blouses. 
Lightweight silks can be warmed with the fingers and easily manipulated.

Monday, March 31, 2014


While spring cleaning I gathered up all of the wool threads from pre-owned kits I had collected, having taken the fabric out for other projects.

I also looked again at a collection of fulled knit fabric that has been waiting patiently for me.
Donna Clement  http://donnaclement.blogspot.ca/ and I had dyed then knit then fulled bags of chunky yarns then we split up the results.

Several months ago I had bought Gail Callahan's Color Grid http://colorgrid.net/ and wanted to try it.

I put all 3 things together with scissors and a needle and stuffed them into a bag for a 'To Go' project.
While on a road trip I stitched.
It has possibilities.
Donna, have you done anything with your half?

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Spring Clean Continues

Sorting threads and yarns into 24 colour hues. Each pile gets put in its own bin.

The stage where things look worse before they start looking better.

I kept pinning pieces to my design wall to give me time to think about them.
A few new projects came out of this airing.

Sorting all of my precious laundered domestic linens.

There was great satisfaction in getting this resource shelf reorganised.
After I had washed the floor, I felt the spring-cleaning urge subside.
Now back to work.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Back to Spring Cleaning

The last bit of machine sewing resulted in a satisfying number of empty spools.
I do enjoy using my stash of resources.

I sent a swatch sample to the SDA Swatch Collection.
It is a piece of bed-sheet that was wrapped around a maple tree of over a year. I stitched it with colours I observed on the tree during the February new moon.

Then I  went back to getting my studio in order.
 It was only while following this urge to clean up that it hit me  - I have spring-fever.

Amber, our son's girlfriend, gave me this delicious yarn last Christmas. She bought it in a Melbourne market cause it looked like me.
Hand spun, hand dyed, chunky Australian merino wool by Hawthorne Cottage - hawthornecottage.com.au

I wound it into a ball and put it out to wait for it to tell me what it wants to be.
While cleaning up I came across this piece of light-weight silk. 
It said it wanted to be with Amber's yarn.
Now they sit there together - waiting.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Synesthesia #23 Orange-yellow #2

I had to make another #23 because a friend bought the 1st one I made.
This time I used the cut-back applique technique.

I like using worn clothing in my work.
My old brown linen pants are just the right colour.
I am waiting for the day when I cut out a piece of fabric from the garment I am wearing because it is just what I am looking for.

Here are the fabrics I selected.
Ooooooow - Goggle's 'auto correct' makes them look off.

This is the 2nd go, I must confess. The first one had to be rejected because I stacked the fabrics in the reverse order. Am I making these mistakes because I didn't stitch much while I was studying and I have to get my brain up and firing in a different way again?

Viola - Synesthesia # 23 Orange-yellow, again.
It is hanging in the Tulista Gallery in Sidney, in the Small Expressions exhibitions, on until the end of March.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Synesthesia #22 Yellow-orange

After completing my studies and starting to cleaning up my studio I was keen to get back to making.
I decided to take a break and make a couple more in the Synesthesia series.
#22 Yellow-orange was next. I knew the feeling I wanted to evoke so assembled the threads and fabrics.

I made a quick sample...

...and started. But I was fighting fires the whole time. The first mistake was laying down too much 'dark'. Working over it with a lighter thread turned it a greeny colour. The circles persisted in forming straight lines...

Eventually I gave up and started again. I took the time to establish the values and their range then made decisions within those parameters to get the right feeling/energy.

I think of a fermenting, bubbling energy when I see this colour.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Mending, Shovelling, Putting Away

In between sorting and putting away resources I would go out and shovel.

One time, after coming back inside, I found the mending pile had grown to toppling height.
I dealt with it.

More shovelling but the sun is helping.

Awkward Selfie: I found this carpenter-type apron and have been wearing it to see if it would be useful.
It is. I could make one in an interesting fabric.