Monday, February 27, 2012

Mastering the Fine Art of Tapestry - Tour 2012

I have just received the information about the tapestry tour, Mastering the Fine Art of Tapestry, with Cresside Collette. It will be from September 3-22, 2012.  I LOVED the trip last year.  I am not going to go as so much of it is the same but I would dearly love to go to Stirling Castle Stirling Castle to see the reweaving of the Hunt of the Unicorn, and I would love to visit the Dovecote Studios. We did a slightly different tour in 2011.
I highly recommend the trip, it was great last year.  
I have posted about this trip several times, it was wonderful:

Yet another excuse to put up some of my photos of the trip. These are scenes around the Pompidou Museum in Paris.

I don't know how to attach PDF files.  If you are interested, here are the addresses at which you could make enquiries.  - the author of the trip and one of my tapestry teachers. - the travel agent.   
The trip starts in London and ends in Paris, no flights from Australia included in the price.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tapestry Weavers group meets again

Our tapestry weaving group is gradually building up membership.  We met yesterday, despite the heat.  The rooms were a comfortable temperature with the fans blowing.  Two new ladies joined us.  They are both studying the SWTAFE tapestry course, by correspondence,  and we are hoping that they will find the contact with others who are interested in tapestry to be of benefit to them and to us.
We saw the assignment that the second year students have and there was some discussion about different ways the weaving could be done.  It is good learning for all of us.
You can see samples here and here. It seems that blogs are a great way to have a visual diary.

I am having trouble with my current tapestry, it has a wrinkle (or a bulge) and I wasn't sure why.  It seems that I may have too much weft in it from not pulling and beating the weft quite tightly enough.  Hopefully I will be able to reduce some of that when I sew up the slits.  I have decided to do the sewing after the weaving as there would have been so many needles and threads hanging and I tend to tangle them.  One of our members showed me how to do the sewing after the weaving.  I suppose that I can try steaming the work if it still has bulges (I can hear the indrawn breaths of horror from some purists already).

Can I call this warped? Or should it be wefted?
I have reduced some of the bulge by putting some folded paper under the relevant warps and tightening them a bit more.  I was advised that I may be weaving with my warp a bit too loose.  This is the advantage of having people around to discuss the work.  I am very grateful that the group is available and that everyone is so helpful.  It is a group that has quite a few early-days weavers as well as some with more technical knowledge.  A good mix.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

An excuse for another look at photos from France

As you may have noticed, I like posting on days with interesting dates.  I really wanted to do one last Tuesday as it was 21/2/12 but couldn't think of anything riveting to write about.  Lo and behold, today I found some photos on my phone that I took when I noticed this sculpture by Anish Kapoor.  A  friend and I were visiting Heide Museum of Modern Art recently and it was in their sculpture garden.
I know it isn't the right date anymore but I can pretend to myself.

Here is some info about this installation, it is notes from the gallery. 

This lead me to go back to my photos of the installation of his that we were lucky enough to visit in Paris. I have to admit that I hadn't heard of him till then.  It's an example of travel broadening the mind I suppose.  And that you are never too old to learn.

The exhibition was amazing.  It was specially made for the space, which was huge,  and the sunshine coming through the girders put wonderful patterns on it.  We were able to go inside the sculpture and it felt like being inside a body, looking at the arteries.

I put my camera on the floor and left it open for a long exposure, hence the smudged bodies that were moving past.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sensorial Loop

I went to the Ist Tamworth Textile TriennialSensorial Loop today.  It is at Storey Hall at RMIT in Melbourne.  There were some amazing works of all different techniques. My reason for going was to see Cresside Collette's tapestries.  They were wonderful, beautiful colours and 12 small tapestries in that made a very interesting larger image. 
But there were all sorts works there.  One of the themes was around the tools textile artists use.  
I wasn't allowed to take photos, so you'll have to visit the website or go. It is well worth a visit.
Here is a link to a talk about the show:
Sensorial Loop - ABC New England North West NSW - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Working on a new tapestry

As my sewing machine is out of action for a couple of weeks, I have had to redirect my energies.  Thank goodness for the mild summer we have been having, I actually have some energies.
I took a photograph a few years ago at Darebin Parklands.  Fortunately, I had put it in a folder of possible ideas for a tapestry so didn't lose it when I deleted all my photos from iPhoto (still not happy Jane).
I played around with the photo in Photoshop and made it less pictorial - slightly less.  I also cropped it.

I didn't fiddle with the colours, I seem to have a history of getting this purple-blue colour down at the park.  I am using some of the wools that I used for my cliff-face and it is looking remarkably purple again.  Oh well, I liked the colours in that and the greens will hopefully make it look different. I also have a tendency to mix my colours as I go and to adapt the design, so it won't look too much like the photo in the end.  Hopefully it will still be recognisable though.

But that didn't seem enough of a challenge - I also decided to take photos of it as it progressed with the aim of making another small stop motion animation.
Have I mentioned all the things you have to take into account when taking photos for an animation?  Things like having the camera at the same precise angle, the loom at the same angle, the lighting not changing, the camera and loom at the same distance each time, etc.
This is all a bit hard to achieve over the time a tapestry takes to weave, especially when you take the loom with you to other places. I am attempting to make the images the same size in Photoshop but it is proving to be a little challenging.  However, if I am not too bothered by a jerky animation, I may succeed.  I will continue working on it and see how I go.
One benefit is that I stop from time to time to take a photo - and that reminds me to get up and move, much needed. Then I can see the progress I have made which is often much more obvious on the camera than on the loom.

Note the difference in the photos, they are going to need quite a bit of work to match them up.  But I can see how much I have done, very pleasing.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


What was this in the Yarra???
It might be a bunyip - or maybe Jabba the Hutt.
What do you see?

Monday, February 13, 2012

More birds at the park

I just noticed that  I haven't posted for nearly a week.  I must have been busy! Actually, my sewing machine is off getting repaired and I have been starting a small tapestry (more about that later).
I have been taking Penny to Yarra Bend a bit lately, the grass is mown and you can see where you are walking.  There is also a good spot for swimming (for her) and I can rest while she exercises.
Lately there have been all sorts of birds.
Seagull and ducks

Rainbow Lorikeet

Swallows - they love it when we walk across the cricket ground and disturb the insects.

I think these are Ibis. I looked them up at this very interesting site.

Crested pigeon (also at this site)
I suppose it is getting closer to autumn and there is plenty of food around.
I also saw willie wagtails, sulphur crested cockatoos and a beautiful crimson rosella.  It has been nice to have had the time to look around and appreciate the birds.  I am loving the cooler summer!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Beneath the Southern Sky

I have been accepted into the exhibition Beneath the Southern Sky!  I am very excited to be included, especially when I see the samples that are already up on the Facebook page.
I have been working on eucalyptus bark images for a while now (in case you hadn't noticed) and the banner size, 1m x 40cm, suited the images perfectly.

I based my work on the techniques that I was playing around with for my graduation pieces, just a bit bigger.  I had fun doing it and was very glad to have the focus straight after graduating, it gave me the impetus to keep designing and making.

The work has silk I dyed with eucalyptus bark as well as some commercial silks.  I did free motion and raw edge appliqué.

I especially like the pictures of trees that show so much texture.  I was also influenced by the trees in summer, when the bark peels off, showing the lovely smooth trunk underneath.  It reminds me of our innocent youth when we used to peel the burnt skin off after a day in the sun - gives me the willies now!

I hope I will get to see it on show, I might not be able to make the Australian Quilt Convention but I think it is here in Melbourne again later this year.  I'll have to check the schedule.
I will put a link in the side bar so I can check the updates while it is travelling the country.

Monday, February 6, 2012

February ATASDA meeting

On Saturday we had our first meeting for the year, for our ATASDA group.  We had a demonstration of using silk waste (I think it was silk cocoon strippings) to make a silk paper-type fabric.  You can embed grasses, petals, etc in it and then you can make 3D pieces with it also. It was a very easy-looking process but I will hold that thought until I have done some myself.  I will have to get hold of some of the silk cocoon striplings before I can do it though.
Elma, who did the demo, got it from Beautiful Silks.  I am a bit wary of visiting as I cannot leave without spending money I had not intended spending - it is like Aladdin's Cave, full of treasure.
Elma does amazing crochet and has combined the silk 'paper' with her crochet to produce some lovely pieces.  She is taking part in an exhibition at Herring Island, a place I had never heard of.  When she told us I thought I would not go there as I couldn't be bothered driving to the coast but it turns out it is an island in the Yarra.  Who would have thought that the river would be big enough to have an island that can support a gallery!
The exhibition is only on during weekends for the Summer Arts Festival.  You have to catch a ferry to get there.  I was going to visit on Sunday but the weather was so hot and windy that I decided to stay at home.
Next month's meeting will have a demo of using resin, something I am curious about, so I am looking forward to it.  It is on the first Saturday of the month in Hartwell.
Today's date is another interesting one - for me, anyway.  It is 6/2/12.  (6x2=12).

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tapestry Group meeting January 2012

Another good date to be blogging - 1/2/12
This one is a bit late, we had our monthly meeting of our Tapestry Group last Saturday but I am only just getting around to reporting.
Only four of us could make it this time.  It was the Australia Day 'long weekend' and it was hot, so we decided we would let the non-attendees off the hook.  Hopefully we will see more at the next meeting, on the last Saturday in February, at the Handweavers and Spinners Guild in Carlton.
Two of the ladies were working on the Square and Circles pieces for the AuNZ Tapestry Group Project for 2012.  Actually, it looks like they are nearly finished.

I have finished mine - how amazing that I am ahead of schedule.  It is not perfect but that wasn't the point for me, it was a learning experience.  It was quite a challenge as I decided to try to do the geometric shapes, something I am not good at.  And I had trouble with sewing up the slits, not sure why, I just did.
I decided that I was not quite happy with the overlapping shapes and started another one.  Here is a pic of my first one, the overlapping shapes. (I did mention it previously, here.)
All the pieces were relatively small as the challenge requires the pieces to be 20cm square or less.

We will need to find a new theme to work on now.  One member recommended that we bring along any cones of tapestry wool, or parts thereof, to swap at the next meeting.