Monday, November 29, 2010

En Plein Air tapestry weaving

As an enjoyable way to finish off our year of tapestry study, we have just spent a weekend at Mansfield, learning how to do en plein air tapestry weaving.  We had good intentions of working away all weekend but took a while to get going, due to being in holiday mode. We eventually got to work and warped up at the Crockett Cottage Studio.

Cresside Collette was leading our group and showed us how to warp up using a stretcher frame or something similar.  It had to be small enough to hold on our laps as we were going to be sitting outdoors.

I know we are all grateful for the rain but did it have to rain all afternoon?  We ended up going to the one of our classmate's house and using the spectacular views from her balcony and lounge to work.

In some ways this was great - we could be dry, have comfortable seats and be near the kettle. Thanks very much to Sally for this hospitality!

As you may have noticed, the King Parrots were not at all put off by the people around.  In fact, one of our group included them in her work.

It was strange to only use the bobbin for beating down and doing the weaving with short pieces of yarn and our fingers.

It did not rain Sunday afternoon but we returned to the same place to continue our weaving.  Of course, the light was different but we managed to make do.  Due to the recent rains, there were a lot of shades of green to work on.  Tonal value became more important than trying to accurately portray the exact shades - not that we had brought enough yarn to even attempt this.  One of the differences with en plein air work, you can't plan too much in advance and have to be flexible.
One of the hazards of en plein air work.
Due to our slow start on Saturday and the earlyish finish - due to the changing light, being indoors and sitting in this unaccustomed position - we did not finish our work.  We are hoping that we have taken good enough photos to complete the work in the next few weeks.

It was an interesting experience, trying to weave what you are looking at and having to cope with changing lighting, not being able to plan your colours in advance, having to adjust the image as you go and trying to balance it all on your lap. We had a very relaxing and enjoyable weekend.  Thanks to Cresside and Sally for their contributions.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

RMIT Fashion and Textiles Graduate Exhibition

After much hard work, the students had their industry exhibition last week. (I have been slow posting about it as I left my camera in a friend's car and did not get the photos loaded till tonight.)
 The work was fabulous, so many beautiful designs and ideas for their use.  So many techniques.  It was inspiring (or is that intimidating for those of us yet to graduate?) to see the standard of work and the effort the students had put in.

The venue (Moonee Valley Race Club) was good, good lighting, plenty of space to move around and see the displays and a good stage for the speakers.  It was also close to the campus and had good parking - always one of my major considerations.

Congratulations to all the award winners as well.
Sorry about the photo, I had to take it through a glass screen.

It was good to have the opportunity to see the Fashion and Footwear students' work also.  (Link to gallery of work.) We do not always get to see their work, even though they are on the same campus.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

FUSE: RMIT Textile and Design Development 2010 Graduate Exhibition

This exhibition, held at the Counihan Gallery in Brunswick, shows work done by the graduates of the Textiles and Design course.  It is a select entry exhibition and some students elected to put their work on show here, rather than the more industry-based show at Moonee Valley. Some very busy students had work at both shows! There was a great range of works and techniques once again.
Experimental Textile, mostly crocheted.
The venue was great,with the hanging of the work showing it off to advantage. Lovely space.

Tapestry weaving

Once again, the students have worked hard to produce some amazing art. Congratulations to all the graduating students. Congratulations, too, to all the teachers who have helped the students develop their skills and find their specific directions.  It was noted in several of the speeches that the students have individual styles which have been nurtured, and subtly directed, by the staff.

Tapestry weaving with perspex 

The opening night was very busy with lots of excited graduates and their families present, having a wonderful time.
I have only posted a few pictures of the work, there was so much more to see.  The exhibition is open till Decemeber 18th, Wednesday to Saturday, 11am - 5pm and Sunday 1pm - 5pm.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Would you believe it?  I had never heard of oya until we went on our study tour to Turkey and then, lo and behold, there was an article about them in the latest edition of Embellish.
I have some scarves with oya attached to the edges.

At the women's market in Odemis (a town we really enjoyed visiting), we saw a lot of them.

We also met some ladies who were making them as they sat at the roadside waiting for custom.  The ladies we saw were making them on what looked like a sewing needle and doing what looked like french knots - but they became 3D pieces.  I even bought a pair of earrings as they were so interesting. 

(The link above takes you to an article about oya and explains that there are various means of making them, including using a sewing needle.)

Some of the other people on the trip had bought strings of oya.
You can see one of Mehmet's scarves in the background

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Owl and the Pussycat

I was looking around the net for some images of The Owl and the Pussycat, for the tapestryweaversoz group's new project,  and came across this wonderful animation.  Just love it.
There are ideas floating around but nothing is gelling for me at present, then I got distracted by the animation.  I just love animations.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Making Silk Paper

After having been asked for about a year, I have eventually got around to showing two friends how I have made silk paper in the past.
We got together on a day that started out sunny and ended up cool and wet - actually pretty cold (for late spring).  But the process was easy and the company was enjoyable.
We laid out the silk sliver, despite the breeze.

Then we wet it with soapy water, both sides (it was sandwiched between two pieces of tulle).

We mopped up the extra water and then rolled textile medium over it, also both sides.  We tried diluted (1:3) textile medium and undiluted, depending on the stiffness we wanted.

We then hung our pieces up to dry, still in the tulle, while we had lunch.

One friend tried laying it over a bowl to get a shaped piece.  Because it was so cool and damp, I haven't seen her finished product, we had to take it with us before it dried.

Now all that has to be done it to peel the tulle off and decide what we want to do with it.  So far we have only made experimental pieces.  Now it is time to look at books and play with some of the ideas.
Two books I have, which give slightly different instructions, are Silk Paper for Textile Artists, by Sarah Lawrence, and Silk 'Paper' Creations for the Fibre Artist by Judith Pinnel.  Both have some fabulous ideas, all I have to do is try them.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Exhibition of work from Turkey.

We pulled down our exhibition of work from Turkey last Friday.  We were lucky to have the show up for two weeks in the foyer.  There were lots of positive comments about the exhibition and quite a few queries about the process of felting.
I took a couple of photos at the official opening but was so busy meeting and greeting people that I forgot to take many.
It was great to see so many people from the trip as well as visitors and staff members.  Thanks to all those who attended and for all the great feedback.

Also thanks to the people who allowed us to include not only their felt from the workshop but other items they had purchased, that were relevant to the textile theme of the trip. Thanks also to Tony Stewart for his photos.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Occupational Health and Safety - NOT

After viewing Deb Herd's pictures of India (make sure you see the electrical connections), I couldn't resist putting up some of my own pictures of OH&S pics I took in Turkey.  None compare with Deb's picture.
This hole was in the footpath for a couple of weeks.  We did not see it repaired or signed.

Worker walking around on high roof with no railing

Climbing over the domes, putting water on the plaster.

There is a man here, in the traffic, selling water.  There were also men washing windscreens when the traffic was slower.

There were steps down to doorways, and inset doorways, all over the place in Istanbul.  No warning.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sydney Statues Project

I have just heard about the Sydney Statues Project.  Unfortunately, it is over but you can go to Flickr and  see some of the fabulous work.  It looks like it was very hard work, measuring the statues, working out how to make the clothes look like they had been fitted when the arms, legs, etc cannot be moved.  Then the making and the actual fitting. The pictures are great.
My sister heard about it on National Radio, the By Design program and you can download a podcast of the show.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hot air ballooning

As I was trying to clean up after handing in all my work yesterday, I came across some of my stuff from the trip to Turkey.  I found a certificate verifying that I went on a hot air balloon trip (not that they had time to put my name on it, due to some hitches with the organisation of the event).  I needed this as proof of the trip as all my friends and family know that I do not like heights.
I was assured by several people on our trip that being on a balloon is not the same as being high in a building and that I would be fine.  So I decided it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and booked in.
They were right, it was not the same and I felt quite comfortable, despite the somewhat fraught landing.
We were supposed to leave at dawn but were told that the winds would not be right and to come an hour later - that suited me, not such an early start.
Firing up the balloons

But then we had to wait around for over an hour for the balloons to be ready. Some seemed to have been up already and we had to then drive to our balloon.
setting off to find our balloon

Half the people got out and half of us got in, then the other half of their group got out and the rest of us got in.  All this so it would stay on the ground.

looking up from the basket

The wind blew in an unexpected direction, so we did not get to see all the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, but we did see some amazing landscape.
We also saw a few foxes running about.  They may have been disturbed by the noise of the balloon (don't let anyone tell you it is silent!) as our dog goes bananas if she is outside when the balloons go over our place, usually in autumn.

When it came time to land there was a slight problem - our captain had not flown in that direction before and was not familiar with a good place to land.
our captain, an Englishman, so we could understand his strict landing instructions
not a lot of places to land!

We eventually landed safely, after bumping up the hill.
Then a celebratory drink (warm) and another wait for the pickup team to find us.

the pickup crew had to find roads that actually came to us

In the meantime, we got to see the balloon let down and folded away, then wandered off to meet the truck.

Although there was quite a bit of time doing nothing, the experience was well worth it.