Thursday, December 20, 2012

Goals and aspirations

I met with 3 of my friends today to wish each other well for the festive season and to discuss our goals for the future (whilst eating obscenely big slices of cheesecake and drinking very nice coffee at Mia Cafe in Inglewood). We have been meeting in each others homes (roughly once or twice a month) to work on our art (mostly textiles) for quite a while. We get on really well and today we decided we wanted to continue meeting - maybe a little more often and regularly. We discussed what we each want to do in the next couple of years and what is important to each of us in terms of our art. We discussed some individual and joint goals. We are thinking of having a group exhibition in 2014 - with venue, date, and all other details yet to be decided. I am going to create another blog which can only be accessed by the four of us so that we can post pictures of works in progress, results of experiements, and discuss how we're going to achieve everything. The picture above is of the Christmas pressies I received. Margaret was obviously really in the planning groove by providing us all with a calendar :-) Julie has challenged us by providing some materials to experiment with. And Louise challenged us all with some big questions to think about. I think the support and encouragement of the group will help us all stretch ourselves artistically. I also think the group will give us all the confidence to aim just that little bit higher and promote ourselves more than we each would have done alone.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Sold! Fib #358

Louise bought Fib #358 on the opening night of the Designing Women exhibition "Dimensions". At that point I hadn't embroidered a signature on it so last Tuesday while Louise, Margaret and Julie were visiting I did that. I also promised to give Louise a copy of the Artist Statement for it. This is an incredibly difficult work to photograph because the greater part of the work is white silk on white cotton stitched with a grey-white thread. Texture brings the work to life when it moves gently in an area with plenty of natural light. In real life the white bars stand out quite a bit - but this texture does not photograph well. I'm looking forward to seeing Fib #358 installed in it's new home.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Fingers and Petals - First Petal

The top photo is of a shirt and skirt I purchased at an op shop. The shirt had a linen bodice with an oversized collar that formed the sleeves as well. I'm not sure what the collar/sleeves fabric is. It withstands a hot iron and although quite a loose weave is fairly stiff. It has a lovely lustre and I think it might be ramie. The skirt is 100% cotton and quite thin. My plan is to make 5 petals like this one and five petals from the cotton fabric. I intend to put the ones with a sheen at the front and the matt ones at the back to form a flower with 10 petals. I may put more stitching on these leaves - especially round the edges - but I'm going to wait until I have made all 5 to this stage. This is to reduce the risk of running out of the variegated rayon thread as I would like all 5 to have a very similar appearance. This one petal has taken hours already! But that does include lots of mucking around auditioning fabrics and making paper petal mockups to test the final size.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Skin cancer

I have just had a little skin cancer removed from my neck. Now I wait 10 days to find out if it's nasty or not. I can take this dressing off after 3 days and then I'll be able to see if Dr Azucar's sewing is as neat as mine :-) The nurse said he'd done a very neat job.

Dimensions Exhibition



Dimensions is open until 29 November from 10-4 every day EXCEPT Mondays. We have a white challenge hanging in the central atrium area. The top piece is my entry into that called Fib #358 which sold at the opening. The second photo shows work by Linda Stokes (circles) and Delys Brady (the wave). The close up is of my piece called Greef Net (Grief Net).

Monday, November 12, 2012

Dimensions Exhibition

Dimensions, an exhibition by Designing Women, opened at the Nyisztor Gallery, 391 Canning Highway, Melville, Western Australia on Friday evening at 7pm. The exhibition runs until Sunday November 25th. It is open Tuesday to Sunday (NOT Mondays) from 10am to 4pm. Entry and parking are off Stock Road. The gallery used to be a library and has a central lightwell which we had made special white challenge pieces for, and they suited that space very well. I was part of the team involved in the setting up of the display and learnt a lot from Ron about what makes a successful exhibition.

Dimensions was opened by Dr Geoff Lummis from ECU who was a personable speaker - but embarrassed me no end by referring to my work several times. We have a red challenge as part of the display - my face was competing well with that - especially after a wine or two :-) Several works were sold at the opening - including one of mine called Fib #358. I found out later in the evening that it was bought by one of my friends so that was a huge bonus. - there seemed to be quite a bit of interest in that piece and I think I could have sold it several times over!

I think we have pulled off a very successful exhibition and would encourage anyone interested in contemporary textiles to go and see it - just don't go on a Monday!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Indigo Dyeing

At the last Designing Women meeting Dorothy set up an Indigo dye bath for us all to try. None of us had done this before. It was a cool day and Dorothy set it up on the verandah. She used the pre-reduced Indigo which requires Sodium Hydrosulphite and Soda Ash to be added to the mix. I was busy while Dorothy set up so I didn't see that part. Once everyone else had dyed their prepared silk scarves I put in 2 blouses I had rescued from the Op Shop. This silk blouse was originally the palest of pale pinks and the linen/cotton blouse was originally an extremely pale khaki colour. They both fitted me well but I didn't like the colours. When I bought them I thought I would save them for a dyeing opportunity - and this was it :-) I put them in once only for about 2 minutes. I've since found out that to get even colour you put them in, then remove them for 15-20 mins and reimmerse them, repeating as often as necessary to get darker and more even coverage. I actually wanted the blotchy look so I was quite happy with the results. The stitching was obviously a sythetic thread on the linen blouse but I think it looks quite decorative. I will replace the stitching which holds the 2 lace panels together at the front though. It did take a lot of rinsing remove excess dye. I think these are definitely "wearable". They are displayed here on "Freda" - my duct tape dress making dummy.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Open Studio Visit - Linda Stokes

Yesterday afternoon I went to an Open Studio organised by WAFTA and hosted by Textile Artist Linda Stokes. Linda is lucky enough to have quite a large wet studio space set up in a seperate building just behind their house. She specialises in dyeing and printing onto fabric. Linda does her stitching in one of the rooms in the house. The wet studio space was large enough that we were all able to sit down to listen to Linda talk about her life, her art training (taken on later in life after children) and the work on display. When asked about various pieces Linda was very generous with details about how certain effects were achieved, and showed us some of the tools she uses (handmade stamps, stencils etc). What amazed me the most was how very simple stamps (a few squares of foam on a bit of Corflute for example) can be used to make the most complex fabric. I've made a few stamps myself but not used them because they look "boring"! I will have to dig them all out and have a go at creating some fabric with many layers of print to see if I can transform "boring" into "amazing" as Linda does.

Linda has a shop on Etsy where she sells Thermofax screens that she makes. She has a few of her own designs but will also create custom screens for other artists from images emailed to her. I bought one yesterday and am looking forward to giving it a go. Linda is a wonderful teacher, and her workshops for various techniques are always very informative. Linda has a blog here.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Concentrating on my Art Work

I have taken the big step of closing the Lizard of Oz website and not selling English Piecing papers, templates or patterns any more. This was a really difficult decision as it's been a part of my identity for the past 12 years. I found that I felt guilty about not doing Lizard of Oz "stuff" when doing my own artwork, and when I did Lizard of Oz work I felt that I wasn't really following my heart anymore. My artwork has moved away from quilting and more into printing, drawing and painting. So I decided some radical action was necessary. I would like to thank all the customers and friends who have been supportive of Lizard of Oz during all that time. There are 2 businesses that I know of who specialise in English Piecing and Applique, Patchwork with Busy Fingers and The Quilt Fairy. I hope they will be able to help you. Meanwhile I get to play in my studio without guilt! :-)

Friday, February 17, 2012

"Embryo" painting for Kate

This is a detail of the pen and ink drawing/painting that I made for my sister's 50th birthday. She said she was very happy with it and has just the spot for it above the fireplace once all the redecorating has been done.