Posts filed under ‘Hand embroidery’

Ecology and the Bogong moth

There has been a bit of a flutter this year about the migration of the Bogong moth and one of its’ predators, the mountain pygmy possum. See the story at Melbourne Zoo here. I can remember many swarms of these large moths as a child. As we know, the ecological food web means the loss of one species has a domino effect on other species. Our GeeTAG group had a theme of wings for one of our meetings so I decided to make a giant bogong moth.

Normally a bogong moth is about 40mm in length, mine is about 3-4 times that size. I call him a macro moth.

The wings were coloured using tea dyed silk and drawing with inktense crayons and a mixture of water and aloe vera gel (stops the colour spreading too much). They were made like Stumpwork wings using copper wire stitched around the shapes with additional handstitching to create the markings. I also had fun stitching the raised stem stitch band on the wool felt body and using turkey work stitch for that great hairstyle!

Copper wire was also used for the legs and wrapped with thread for the proboscis. The eyes were some jet black glass buttons I bought a while back. With all their little segments they were perfect for the moths multiple eyes.

I am now thinking of creating a baby mountain pygmy possum to join the super sized moth in an exhibit.

December 5, 2021 at 6:04 pm Leave a comment

Treasure Trove Challenge

Another challenge I took part in last year was with ATASDA (Australian Textile and Surface Decoration Association) which included members Australia wide. Currently the challenge art pieces are on display at Epping Creative Centre and will travel to other venues as restrictions ease.

Members nominated to join the Challenge and were given a Challenge partner. Each person created their own ‘treasure’ in whatever textile medium they chose. The only limitation was a size one for posting. Once finished my treasure, based on a conch shell, was posted to my partner to create the ‘receptacle’ or treasure holder. You can view all the treasures and their receptacles on the ATASDA website galleries.

To create my shell I began with needlefelting, then wet felting to create the base ‘fabric’. The piece was free machine stitched, lined with natural dyed and twin needled silk, formed into the 3D shell and then handstitched and beaded.

My treasure partner used nuno felting to create a wonderful ‘stage’ for the shell:

January 10, 2021 at 9:27 pm 2 comments

Labyrinth

The 2020 Biblio Art Prize at Blarney Books & Art is now open for viewing, both in Port Fairy and online.

The Biblio Art Prize began in 2009 and has become very popular, attracting entries from around Australia and overseas.  It was instigated by and continues to be run through Blarney Books and Art in Port Fairy, a quirky bookshop plus art gallery that is an institution in Victoria for locals and travellers alike. A book title is chosen from a hat and the entrant is expected to read and respond to the book in some way or form.

This year Blarney Books and Art chose to select books written by Australian authors for the art prompt. I was emailed The Labyrinth by Amanda Lohrey and promptly supported my local bookstore by buying the book. As one of the finalists my piece is included in both the online and physical exhibitions.

Title: Perfect Imperfection

Book Title: The Labyrinth by Amanda Lohrey

Medium: Textile Art: Goldwork, Free Machine Embroidery, Hand Embroidery.

Brief Statement:

This book brought to mind the Japanese aesthetic of wabi sabi, its complexity and imperfectness, which is reflected in all our lives. The book explores the elements of strength/resilience and kindness/softness.

The Labyrinth speaks to:

            How we care for others,

            How we respond to adversity,

            How we accept the imperfection of human nature.

The artwork started with a base of natural silk, strong yet soft. I painted the colours of sea and sky and used frottage to simulate the grey gravel of the zen garden. The soft cotton, repeated stitching is a meditation on the labyrinth, the metal of goldwork the strength that holds us all together. The twisted tree, reminiscent of my beach walks, represents the complexity of family relationships and the chairs the warmth and belonging of community.

A labyrinth is the opportunity to meditate on the perfect imperfection of life and living.

Detail

The piece is framed by Mulbury Framers in Highett who use beautiful reclaimed and recycled timber.

January 10, 2021 at 9:00 pm Leave a comment

Just one more stitch

I have finally called time on my Teatowel stitching for the India Flint ‘Sailing the Armchair’ exhibition at Fabrik Arts + Heritage, an historic woollen mill in Loebethal, South Australia.

My teatowel was a very old, faded linen with a few holes that was destined to become a cleaning rag. I popped it in a madder dyepot with a few other threads and fabrics to brighten the colour. This has been a slow stitch project over the last 6 months. I added ideas and bibs and bobs as they occurred to me. It has emerged as a story cloth around the central motif of mother earth and the need to nurture our sustaining planet before it is too late. My almost daily beach walks with my dog continued throughout this covid on/off year as did my habit to ‘take three for the sea’, generally being various bits of rubbish, plastic and many, many sharp pieces of broken glass. Several of my beach pick ups are included including a helium balloon with attached string. All of the threads are ecodyed from my own dyepot, Rita Summers kind contribution and Arlee Barr’s lovely threads. It is currently making its way to South Australia.

These very sweet little buttons were picked up somewhere in an Op Shop

January 8, 2021 at 7:24 pm 1 comment

Some dyeing and stitching

Here we are in another school holidays with a little time to create. I am currently working on finishing a ‘treasure’ for the Challenge with ATASDA. When I finish my treasure I will post to my challenge partner who will make a receptacle to contain it. All the treasures will be part of an exhibition in various states of Australia. ATASDA is an Australia wide group that encourages experimentation with textile art and surface decoration through social days, workshops, various exhibitions and challenges. Due to Covid many of these have been forestalled but in the background much has been happening. The website committee are putting the final touches to a brand new contemporary website, hoping to launch in mid July.

I am also preparing an exhibit for the ATASDA Bi-ennial exhibition at The Calyx, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. The exhibition, Interlude, has been postponed to the first week in November. For the theme I have been dyeing fine cottons and silks (fabrics and threads) to create a bojagi type cloth. The cloth will depict the regeneration of the earth between the five mass extinctions. It is designed to be both a warning to humanity and a source of hope.

Over the lockdown I enrolled in India Flint’s wonderful ISO class, In place :: sailing the armchair around the village well. It is/was a wonderful class that started as 23 days (continued well past that) and continues monthly at the moment. The meditative stitching/actions in this class are so very good for the spirit/soul in these very difficult times. Below is a journal cover I am continuing to stitch of an evening:

A tickle of feathers:

A silken biscornu

Just a little taste of where we sailed in our armchairs. Also in progress as slow cloths are a Wayfarer’s cloak and a cloth for a group exhibition in the new year.

July 5, 2020 at 11:40 am 3 comments

Twining a dilly bag

I was fortunate to spend a day with Aunty Bronwyn Razem at the National Wool Museum last weekend. The workshop was using twining to create a dilly bag in raffia. Now I have the technique mastered I am hoping to make a few different variations. Aunty Bronwyn has some wonderful pieces of her fibre work on exhibit at the Koorie Heritage Trust in Federation Square Melbourne, well worth the visit to see both her works and the other artists on display as well. Below is the current progress. I am not happy with the attachment of the emu feathers so I will take them off and try a different technique-stay tuned.

Twined dilly bag

Also in progress is this woven basket, begun at our GeeTAG twining workshop and now being embellished with beads and woven rings.

Woven basket with woven rings

I visited a few open studios today in the Northern Bellarine Arts Trail including lovely printmaker Jennifer Niewenhof in Portarlington. At Dax Designs in Drysdale I found some gorgeous lampwork glass beads/shells made by Glenda MacNaughton all ready to attach to my basket!

Lampwork glass shells

The smallest is 12mm diameter, the largest 30mm long. I will try to finish these two this weekend, it is the Melbourne Cup weekend so an extra day off.

November 2, 2019 at 5:31 pm Leave a comment

Getting ready for December GeeTAG

Our last meeting of our creative textiles group for 2018 is coming up in December. It was suggested we work on our own versions of 12 days of Christmas in a tin. The tin I had at home has a kombi at the beach so my version will be 12 days of beach, very appropriate as we move into summertime. I walk on the beach most days with our rough collie so have lots of inspiration to draw upon.

Kombi tin

I created a concertina book and tea stained one side. (the bits of paper are the corners I cut -hoping to get a negative).

Tea staining

And the book in the tin (not glued yet as more work is to done in the book). The opposite side shows some fun with paints, dyes and salt at the recent Geelong TAFTA textile forum.

Concertina book in a tin

Appropriate colours for the sea and beach I think. I often collect debris as I walk on the beach – I try to take at least ‘3 for the sea’ pieces of rubbish. Yesterday there were lots of seagull feathers as well as the normal lolly wrappers, lollipop sticks, cigarette butts, micro plastics and bits of rope and string. I will incorporate these into my book with stitch and print.

Beach debris



November 18, 2018 at 2:37 pm 1 comment

The slow stitch boro bag

I am really enjoying the variety of bags that are appearing on India Flint’s bagstories group on Facebook. I began slow stitching a boro bag when I was recovering from surgery and couldn’t focus for long periods of time. It is a great project to pick up and continue in those little moments of rest. For this bag I used scraps of sari silk, indigo dyed kimono scraps, some eco dyed silk and some lovely natural dyed fabrics and threads from Arlee whose blog I follow.

I decided to stitch this in a quilterly way so layered the lining fabric (a lovely print of an indigenous painting), some padding and then the patches of scraps were pinned. The stitching evolved as I sat and stitched with no real premeditation. the strap also evolved, starting with some indigo dyed cotton-thanks Arlee, onto a wool blanket remnant. It was a little scrappy and not strong enough so I added a wrapping with the madder dyed (I think Arlee??) fabric. Some seams were machine stitched as there were so many layers. Having the padding means it will be perfect to carry my laptop to Uni for the PhD meetings.

2018-08-04

I enjoyed this one so much I think I will start another in the Spring term break. Next time I will try using the doll needle (a tip I read somewhere) and use a wool blanket padding. I will also add the lining separately for a better internal finish.

 

August 4, 2018 at 7:13 pm 2 comments

Some slow stitch

I have been housebound the last two weeks following surgery so slow stitch by hand has been very therapeutic. I recently purchased a download version of India Flint’s bagstories self publication and have three bags in process. India has also started a Facebook group for sharing the results which provides lots of inspiration. The first two need finishing details. The first one I made from a remnant of linen and appliqued fragments of my ‘eco-printed’ silks and cottons. I added a strap using a cashmere and wool sample but find it a little long so I am thinking about how to remedy that. The lining is silk dyed/printed using iron water. It will have a closure added, still browsing the ideas on Facebook to decide on that.

Tsunobukuro bag

The second is hand stitched using squares of natural dyed and printed silks and cottons. It needs a closure of some kind and a strap, I will hopefully finish these over the coming days. The squares had some disappointing natural dyed cottons used like paper piecing in quilts so I will also add a full lining to finish and strengthen it, maybe cotton or linen as the outside is all silk. This is a picture of some of the squares in process:

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_mini_b294

little squares bag

The third bag is a very slow stitch one: a boro bag with lots of vintage indigo and sari bits, my own ‘ecoprints’ and I will also add some naturally dyed fabric and threads I purchased from Arlee Barr (be warned these took almost a month to arrive by post-blaming Australia post dis-service for that) once the base fabrics are secured.

Boro bag stitching

As well as these projects on the go and cogitating, I have just finished my contribution to India’s ‘gardens of the heart’ project which will culminate in an exhibition in South Australia early next year and also a publication of the resulting poems. Each participant is allocated line 1,2 or 3 of a short poem to stitch. Here is mine below using whipped chain stitch on natural dyed and printed bridal silk remnant, photographed among the she-oak and grevillea this morning (very dull morning today):

fullsizeoutput_1611

 

June 8, 2018 at 1:56 pm Leave a comment

Goldwork finished

I have been very busy over the last 3 months working on samplers and pieces for the Intermediate course in Goldwork with Alison Cole for Embroiderer’s Guild Victoria.

First piece was to be an initial (very little gold thread in there!)

Second piece was to be based on a traditional form of design-I chose Art Deco style and decorated this very cute round bag I found in an Op Shop (lots of gold, black and purple-Art Deco colours). The dodgy cotton padding was fixed before the gold purl was added :

Art Deco bag

Final piece was to be a major study of A4 size (approx.). This is to be the cover of a Triptych, which will be completed for our EGV Geelong 50th anniversary exhibition in September. The piece was embroidered as a set of separate slips (technically mostly silver work), I hand painted the background silk:

Peacock

 

 

February 18, 2018 at 7:54 pm Leave a comment

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