This post is late. But a trip away and limited internet access are the culprit.
It’s the end of an era. My exhibition, Pattern: A Universal Phenomenon has had its last showing. It has been on tour for the past four years and Childers Arts Space was its last venue. The staff at Childers did a great job hanging it and were very welcoming. I have enjoyed the contact I have had with them. I was driving past the gallery on the week before it came down and called in. My timing was perfect. There was a group of Year 7 students from a local school. They were there on an excursion to look at pattern. I gave an unscheduled artist talk.
Afterwards the group was on the veranda of the gallery where there was some lovely iron lacework.
While I waited for the day to demount the exhibition, I got to spend a couple of days at Burrum Heads. I just happened to be there when some trees were bring trimmed and look what I found: lichen!
As well as being on the trees, there was some adorning an old fishing table.
I have come home with quite a collection ready for some natural dyeing – maybe this month. I wonder how successful the dye extraction (if any) will be. However I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to collect it.
From an earlier trip: Job’s Tears.
I had this Akha (an ethnic group in Laos) necklace out the other day. I have been meaning to pass on some information on these beads which are really seeds, since I came back from Laos at the start of the year. I have come across textiles that use these seeds ever since I started travelling in S E Asia. A display in The Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre in Luang Prabang detailed great information. This museum is highly recommended.
Pronunciation of “Job” in Job’s Tears: It’s probably easiest to describe as “Job” in the biblical person and not “Job” as in work.
In the museum, there were some great didactic panels which I’ll share detailing aspects of these beads as well as some great textiles.
I didn’t realise that there were four types of beads. I did however recognise that I was seeing different beads in different places. Check out the beads and the different shapes.
This map shows the distribution of the ethnic groups using Job’s Tears in S E Asia. Note the comment that “their disappearance is a indicator of our changing relationship with nature”. Beads are used extensively though often they are mass produced.
Naga shawl. Sagain Division, Myanmar/ Yangon, Myanmar.
Karen skirt borders. Mae Hongsorn Province, Thailand/ Bago Division, Myanmar.
Akha Jacket. Shan State, Myanmar/ Louang Namtha Province, Laos.
Katu shawl for sale in the Museum shop.
Earlier on in August, I had three weavers in the studio for a “Special” class. This allows for open choice and in this case the three students all chose to do something different. Now before I show you what they did, I would like to point out that one had never woven before and this was her first ever experience. Another weaver had done a token amount and had barely wound a warp. While the third was experienced.
Here’s Sharon weaving a fabric length for a blouse.
Sharon is the experienced weaver. The fabric is finished. It has a cotton warp with a silk noil weft: a very beautiful fabric.
But wait- a decision is pending. There are some supplementary warp threads in there for woven shibori. Will she or won’t she overdye? Sharon will be back this month and we’ll find out then.
Jan has just started weaving and is in the process of winding her first warp at home. She came to learn technique and at the same time experiment with some woven shibori. She had seen an example at the Redlands Spinners and Weavers Open day. Along the way she discovered the enjoyment of play.
Here the treadles had been tied up for an 8 shaft twill. What happens if you go that direction and then that one and what happens if you don’t always keep in sequence? It’s fun! And she got to earn about selvedges and how to throw a shuttle and the process of weaving efficiently and with good technique.
And she also got to weave shibori. Here she is pulling up the resist threads. Later she got to experience the magic of an indigo bath. Unfortunately I don’t have images of this.
But I do have some of a collection of things I put in the indigo too. The pattern on the scarf is not really a shibori pattern. The fabric is solid indigo and the pattern sunlight through some lattice work in the early morning. Now that could be inspiration for later.
Rochelle has never woven before and wanted to weave an image inspired by a design on a piece of pottery. Why not? She got to prepare a warp and thread over a 1,000 warp threads. Not bad for a first attempt AND loved doing it. She did celebrate finishing though.
This is what she’s weaving. The technique is Theo Morman and allows for great control of imagery.
Later on final detail of pattern will be achieved by embroidery. So for a beginner weaver she’s learn how to set up a loom, throw a shuttle and get great selvedges and how to use a cartoon to achieve imagery. She’ll be back next week to finish off.
The weekend workshop at GO Create will now be on Friday and Saturday, 13-14 October.
Coming up in the studio:
18-22nd September Doubleweave and Friends
16-20th October Two extremes: Choose between weft faced rugs and warp faced textiles including rep or textiles inspired by SE Asia. (2 places for rep/warp faced textiles only)
13-17th November Woven shibori (2 places left)
4-8th December Special
Lastly: a very special event. When I was at Burrum Heads I got to experience the sun setting down the river and immediately after the moon rising out to sea. It was a remarkable experience!