Sunday, August 20, 2017

WA Craft Fair 2017 - TAAMMI Challenge and Display

One of the highlights of my year is going to a craft show, and the August one is quite special because I participate on the TAAMMI display stall.
Dorothy and I manned the stall on Saturday morning and had a great time meeting so many lovely people who came over to chat and have a look at our display and competition pieces.  We were blown away with the response this year which is rewarding after the amount of work that goes into it.
Each year we have a Challenge and a Display for our members to enter - this year the Challenge was to create something relating to music and what music means to you, and the display theme was "Doors".

We had two generous sponsors this year who donated prizes for the Music challenge - Halcyon Steppe and The Teddy Tree, with the winners being Wendy Burgess and Trudy Boyce.

We also had a people's choice award for all pieces created over both displays, and I offered, as Thimble Fingers, to donate the prize this year.  The public are encouraged to vote on their favourite piece and write the number on a slip of paper placed in a box over the course of the weekend.

Of course, the craft fair is much more than just our display, there are many fabulous stalls and artisans demonstrating their talents, along with quilt displays, demonstrations, and a fantastic wood work show at the other end of the hall to keep the husbands amused.
Not to forget Dale Rollerson's The Thread Studio stall which is always a big draw card for me to buy up lots of lovely textile supplies.  It's so easy to get carried away and want one of everything!
Caroline Sharkey was a guest artist and her work is simply amazing, really capturing the colours of Australia.  Attending one of her workshops is definitely on my bucket list.  Another lovely lady was Elizabeth Dubbelde from Berry Quilting Retreat NSW showcasing 6 different textile art exhibitions.  I was especially taken with her One Red Thread theme.
I digress ... back to TAAMMI.  So, the following weekend at TAAMMI we had our open day welcoming all the new visitors from the craft fair, and scored 4 new members.  Welcome ladies! We love to see our group growing each year.
Before the open day exhibition and Wendy's texture on textiles demonstration the winner of the People's Choice award was announced.  There was I with gift in hand ready to present it to the winner and whose name was called out  .... yes, mine!  Oops, awkward. Note the look on my face.
I was totally thrilled that my Door piece won, as its my first win, but I could hardly keep my own prize, so it was presented to Wendy who was the 2nd and 3rd place winner for her entries in both categories, and deservedly so.  Well done Wendy.
Next week we decide on the theme for next years challenge, giving us plenty of time to plan, prepare and create but of course we always leave it to the last minute don't we - it's the pressure that really gets the creative juices flowing.  I left my music challenge piece until the day before entry, I found it quite a hard theme to work with.  Hopefully the next theme will be easier.

Now my door piece has been revealed I'll be busy this week putting together the instructions on how to create it.  My minds already running away with lots of ideas for the next design - yes, my mojo's back.  Yayyy!!!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Michelle Mischkulnig workshop

As a member of TAAMMI (Textile Art & Mixed Media Inc) we're always looking for new tutors to inspire and guide us in our creative journey, and recently our workshop co-ordinator Penni introduced us to the vibrant textile art of Michelle Mischkulnig.
Luckily for us, Michelle was happy to come over from Victoria and conduct two weekend workshops for our group, and for non members from other textile and embroidery groups.

What a brilliant weekend we had.  Michelle is very open to sharing her vast knowledge and techniques with us all, and is an extremely friendly and warm person.

Michelle showed us how to create a colourful garden theme, using machine embroidery on printed fabric of Michelle's design and layers of fabric and thread to give dimension and depth to the piece, adding 3D pieces to develop texture and volume.

The two days flew by and we all had a ball.  Unfortunately no-one finished their work in the time frame, but they were all about 80% complete by the end of the workshop.

Mine is still sitting in my workroom waiting for more attention - and after a weeks holiday next week I'll be getting down to some serious stitching.  Watch this space .....

Friday, July 21, 2017

Corset creation

It's been a long time since I made clothes and even when I did they were quite basic, but recently Art a'Peel (the local textile group I'm a member of) challenged the members to create an artistic corset.  It was interesting to see each members approach to the theme - some did two dimensional designs which were framed, or on canvas, and others created actual corsets in varying sizes.
It's always inspiring to see how each person interprets a challenge.  For me I threw myself wholeheartedly into creating a full size corset with no idea at all what I was doing, as lining and boning were new techniques.  However, I have to admit once it was done I was quite thrilled with the end result.  It's good to push your boundaries and try something new - we never know what we're capable of until we try.
I started off with some Osnaburg fabric I'd previously rust dyed, as it had good strength but was soft and manageable, and lined it with Quilters Muslin.  The embroidery was hand stitched and on an evening sitting attaching the many sequins was quite relaxing.
The rings for the lacing are metal curtain rings, heated with a heat gun and dipped in embossing powder to coat them with a colour to match the sequins and embroidery.  It was fiddly but worked well and tied it all together (pardon the pun!).
My grandson asked me if it was for me, or a young person - I've learnt to smile sweetly and not take offence.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

I'm back .... with exciting news

Well time certainly slips by and it's shameful to see how long it's been since I last blogged, but I'm back and intend to keep you up to date with all that's happening at this end of the world now that I'm getting a handle on social media.  I've definitely got a lot to catch up on but that doesn't mean I've had idle hands - there's been quite a bit of textile and embroidery work getting done in the background and in the next few weeks I'll be telling you all about it, but in the meantime my exciting news is that my new website has been launched and I hope people find it easier to use and navigate around.  Be sure to visit me at Thimble Fingers and have a look around.
 I'm also up and running on Facebook if you want to follow me: Thimble-fingers Australia - I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Unfolding: New Indian Textiles Exhibition

I recently had the pleasure of visiting the "Unfolding: New Indian Textiles" Exhibition held at the Fremantle Arts Centre and was blown away by the amazing work created by contemporary Indian fashion designers and textile artists.
This exhibition is curated by Maggie Baxter, a West Australian textile artist who has a long connection to the textile works of India, and what a brilliant job she's done in bringing this exhibition to Australia.
I brought my sister along for the day, and it was wonderful to have someone to "oooh" and "aghh" with, and we definitely did a lot of oohing and aghing, because each new item stunned us even more. The black and white leaf design above was one of the first items we saw as we entered the gallery, and I don't think the photograph does it justice.  It's Aari embroidery (silk thread on silk organza created by using a tambour) created by Mayank Masingh Kaul, and is simply beautiful. 
There were a number of canvases like the one above which were incredible.  This one is called "Rabari" by Play Clan, and is a screen print with hand embroidery on cotton canvas.  If you look closely you will see the vast amount of beading stitched onto the canvas.    
Another, is this one above, entitled "Ghat" by Play Clan - again, you need to zoom right in to see the enormous amount of tiny stitching and beading, to truly appreciate the work that has gone into these pieces.
As I'm quite partial to a bit of sparkle, I did love the sequins trapped between layers of fabric on some of the items of clothing.
I spent a lot of time looking at this Neran embroidery created by Chandra Shroff with Jai Bhatt Singh. This is rayon thread on hand woven wool, courtesy of The Shrujan Trust, Kutch.  As a hand embroiderer myself, I know the amount of hours that goes into anything hand stitched, and I couldn't begin to estimate the time it would have taken to stitch this.  
 Each item that I looked at left me amazed.
This woven piece of fabric called "Latitude" by Bai Lou is made of single filature silk warp and weft with spun silk bands and sequins.  The designers were awarded the UNESCO Seal of Excellence for Handcrafts for creating this special technique of weaving sequins into pockets in the cloth. 
The shawl above has been created by Kirit Dave, and is a wonderful example of Ahir embroidery - rayon thread on hand woven wool.   
Unfortunately I didn't photograph the artist or technique for the above piece, but I believe its silk ikat and has been hand stitched over the top with a gold coloured thread.
Here are some more of the wonderful woven sari fabrics, and below is part of a silk Kimono stitched with sujani embroidery
 Some more work by Bai Lou, hand woven linen with missing warp and weft with inlaid sequins.
The scarf pictured below is marbled and bandhini silk by 11.11/eleven eleven.  They have a facebook page with many photos of their incredible work.  Follow the link here:  eleven eleven 

I took loads more photos, as I wanted to remember everything I'd seen and learn more about the artists and technique, but it would be unfair to post them all here.  Instead I would suggest you visit this travelling exhibition whenever you get the chance as it's well worth it, and for those of you in WA you need to be quick as it finishes this Saturday.
I've put as many links as possible through this post, as I feel its well worth expanding and learning about the work that these artists are creating, its fascinating and very inspiring.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Inspiration from the Craft Fair

I was so impressed with this years WA Craft Show at Claremont Showgrounds that I wanted to share some of the highlights with you, like these fabulous quilt creations from "Just One More Stitch".

and the marvellous textile and fibre art from "Designing Women".

Dale Rollerson's work never fails to inspire me.

But for me, the big draw card this year was Alison Cole and her superb stumpwork and goldwork embroidery.  Her work is simply stunning, so fine and well executed, with a wonderful selection of styles and themes to entice you.  Not only that, she's a lovely lady too - we sat and chatted quite a bit together at the end of the day, and I came home all inspired to create a stumpwork design - something I've not done in a number of years.
Each year the fair holds its Art to Wear display and as always the artists imagination is awe inspiring, like this dress made by Minni Karamfiles, all made of ringpulls from aluminium drink cans.  Incredible!! 
and this work of art from Jan Rowe - such an amazing amount of texture created in this piece and the colours were extraordinary.  I couldn't begin to imagine the number of hours work that went into creating this piece.

There was one piece in particular that caught my eye, and that was the eco dyed dress made by Jane Flower.  The colours and patterns in her work really appealed to me and I spent quite a long time chatting with her and went away itching to set a date on the calendar to attend one of her workshops.  Fortunately she lives not too far away from me, so as soon as I get a slot in my calendar I'll be off there in a shot.

There's something so appealing about the natural colours and patterns in Jane's work that I kept going back to her stand time and again, just to soak it all in.  She certainly inspired me, and since the show I've spent a lot of time googling eco dyeing, so watch for future posts, I might have something to share with you soon.

Another guest this year was Ro Bruhn, whose work is so colourful and vibrant.  It makes you want to pull out your paint box and have a go. They were such happy bright pieces.

Val Hornibrook is a West Australian artist and her felted pieces were also colourful and enticing.

There were many exhibitions of art quilts and textile and fibre art from leading artists from all over Australia and internationally.  But the one that stood out the most was The Sentinelles, by Dijanne Cevaal.
I couldn't get enough of this wonderful display.  My brain was like a sponge trying to take it all in - so many different approaches to embroidery and colour, and the way the display was set out showing the colours changing as they moved around the colour wheel was incredible.  If you ever get the chance to see this travelling exhibition I thoroughly recommend it.

And last but certainly not least, was the Kimberley Dreaming exhibition run by Dale Rollerson of The Thread Studio.  Unfortunately my photos don't reflect the true colours of some of these masterpieces.  They were the colours of Australia, and were simply beautiful.

There are so many talented people all around us every day who work hard in their creative fields, and I'm always so grateful to these people for sharing their inspiration, ideas and techniques with us all. So a huge thank you.  I had a brilliant day, my mind is spinning with inspiration and I can't wait for next years show.