Sunday, 15 January 2017

WAC #3

Week 3 and line found yet another expression in this small collage (about 8 inches x 8.5 inches) (20cm  x 21 cm). From my colour study used for last week's bowl inspiration, I found lines (strips) of fabric and made a quick collage. Quick - in the sense that I didn't want to fluff about overthinking the project and stall progress which just kills the creative process for me.
Many lines - of fabric and within the patterns of the fabric - organic and structured. The two decorative stitches I used represent flora and fauna - footprints and flowers - and their tracks. The geometric lines that fill some of the available spaces represent an intervention in the environment - structures, buildings, infrastructure that co-exists with dreaming tracks, stories, culture and history. Curved and straight. Soft and rigid - but more than oppositional. The hand stitching brings a more personal touch to the piece in the sense that I really feel present in the work. 

Footprints and florals
 Fabric, printed paper and hand dyed thread
 Collage pieces fused to charcoal interfacing

Sunday, 8 January 2017


Second week of line inspired by Uluru as part of Brenda Gael Smith's #weeklyartproject2017.  This week I isolated the colours from an image of this sacred place and used strips of our hand-dyed fabrics to wrap the cord.  Very therapeutic to sit for a few hours and plan out a project. This week the lines flowed and coiled while strips of fabric behaved similarly. Looping the final piece back into the body of the bowl has given it a sense of continuum  - honouring and acknowledging a 40,000 year continuous history of our country's first people.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Weekly Art Challenge - 2017

Lines of thought
This year I'm working on a special, weekly arts project and my theme is Uluru. I am kept accountable by joining Brenda Gael Smith in her weekly art challenge for 2017. Last year I completed a 100 days project, working in my journal every day - and it's time to take the next step - translating journal and diary pages into tangible responses. I've broken the year into four blocks of thirteen weeks, each with a different focus. The first is LINE.

Each week I'll post progress - and if you'd like to join in for all or part of the project, you can! Pick a theme - a word - and somewhere to record further consideration. It might be digital - I prefer the physical act of drawing into a journal or visual diary.  I'll start this week by exploring the word Uluru and learning all I can about it - meaning, location, colour, history, spiritual  and see where these lead. I'll also think about  the subset of LINE and how research makes connections to LINE. Above all, it's about enjoying the year in the studio - with renewed focus, purpose and output!

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Back to basics - food and stitch

Time to make cheese and prepare bread for tomorrow. Most of the work involves waiting - a perfectly good reason to create, stitch and sew. To make the cheese take a good quality, clean cloth and place in a bowl. Add 5500g to 1kg (1lb - 2.2lb) of natural, pot-set yoghurt and a little chilli salt. I use mineral rock salt and flakes of chilli made from drying our excess in the wood-fired oven last season. Once dried and crushed the flakes are added to the salt. This time I'm also adding dill (dried, about half a teaspoon). Mix gently then hang the cloth to drain over the bowl for 6-8 hours or overnight. After about 4 hours or so I take the cloth down, cut the cheese mix through the centre to turn the dry sides inwards, and the wetter middle to the outer and re-hang. The whey can be used in cooking or (in my view at least) collected and frozen over several cheese making days then defrosted and used to dip cotton fabric in readiness for eco-dyeing. Simply dip, drain and hang to dry. Back to the cheese ...  it can be used like labna. We roll small balls in chopped herbs, drizzle with olive oil and store in the refrigerator. They are said to last up to two weeks like this ... but I wouldn't know about that.

Creative Strength Training - Summer Camp

In addition to Jane Dunnewold's latest offering - Creative Strength Training - Jane and daughter Zenna are offering a Creative Strength Training Summer Camp - all online through a CST Summer Camp Facebook page. Each week a prompt is set - and participants post (or keep to themselves) a response to the prompt. Week 1 - was sticks; Week 2 - involves some writing and a poem - all offered by Jane. 

Week 2 is a response to words found in a page in a dictionary or newspaper  - from which a poem is written. My words include: portmanteau, facetious, transistor, motel, convenience, compass, isolated and string.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Inspiration at the Tweed Gallery

Visited theTweed Gallery which houses much of  Margaret Olley's home, exactly as it was when she passed her mortal coil. An exercise in creative thinking and developing a response to that environment followed, with 5 hours or so of observation and  discussion. Lots of refreshments at the Gallery Cafe too. I was fascinated by the curtain fabric, the patterns on rugs, cushions and chairs.  At some point the experience became sensory overload - thankfully images provide the opportunity to revisit the space. A wonderful day with my tribe.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Block head

Found myself drawn to The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt series as part of discussions with Rebecca Staunton Coffey about our hand dyed and printed fabrics. Each year I commit to one traditional, pieced quilt. This year, TFWQS 1920 and 1930 versions offered 210 blocks between them. I wanted to use our fabric range in a new way.  I've chosen the first few blocks based on either 4-patch or 9-patch appeal and until I'm warmed up, blocks that can be cut using a rotary cutter and easily pieced on the machine.  Drawing up the template is easy and the endless possibilities for dark /light combinations and pattern orientation are worthy of consideration prior to cutting.

Drafting on paper helps record the various shapes and sizes and work out the best method for construction.  It is also worth considering the fabric design as it presents itself on individual squares and triangles. The small square below needed to be cut into a half square triangle. Before cutting, I looked at  how I could make the most of the existing pattern / marks on the two resultant pieces. Sometimes it makes a difference and others not. In this case, using the opposite diagonals would have resulted in a lot of pattern on one half triangle, with almost nothing to show on the other. Really enjoying this year's challenge.