Sunday, November 24, 2013

Arty Places #13 - New Acton

This week I spent a few days in Canberra (Australian Capital Territory)  for Rotary training and had a little bit of time to myself one afternoon to discover the wonderful art just in one Canberra precinct , New Acton. The sculptures "Time Thief" captivated me and I  sat for some time admiring the three elements  of Robin Blua's concept.

The commission was co-ordinated by Pamille Berg Consulting, the Molonglo Group's public art consultant for the New Acton Precinct for the past seven years.Ms Berg said the sculptures ''show all of us what can happen when a developer is committed to ''doing things right'' in properly employing the superb skills of the professional artists and craftspeople in our midst.'...'Read more: here  
The other sculptures in the precinct are just as engaging and interesting, some even more imposing and thought provoking.

NewActon South is the striking centrepiece of NewActon precinct; a sensuous glass, steel and concrete curvilinear apartment tower that transcends the everyday through its quality of thought, exacting craftsmanship, distinctive materiality and ever-present integration of contemporary art ... from
This photo  above also shows at ground level a little cafe, called Mocan and Green Grout , described as" an ethical cafĂ© and bike maker under the label Goodspeed Bicycle Co that’s as much an art and design experience as a place to enjoy good coffee and food "  My friend Pam and I sat in the  double garden chair  on the footpath you can see in this photo. and we ate cauliflower,quinoa ,barberry and  lemon myrtle and snapper fillets with pink grapefruit and fennel - absolutely delicious !  Of course, I took the photo to highlight the sculpture and the rooftop garden, but couldn't help adding the details about the fantastic food.and mentioning the beautiful scenes along the walking path around  Lake Burley Griffin  adjacent to this arty precinct. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wise Words Wednesday is a Story

Stitched tag : Theme "All Stitched Up' - The Emperor's New Clothes
Hand stitched calico& metal embellishment
Instead of just wise words this Wednesday.. here is a favourite story. "The Emperor's New Clothes"
 A vain Emperor who cares about nothing except wearing and displaying clothes hires two swindlers who promise him the finest, best suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position or "hopelessly stupid". The Emperor's ministers cannot see the clothing themselves, but pretend that they can for fear of appearing unfit for their positions and the Emperor does the same. Finally the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him and the Emperor marches in procession before his subjects. The townsfolk play along with the pretence not wanting to appear unfit for their positions or stupid. Then a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretence, blurts out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all and the cry is taken up by others. The Emperor cringes, suspecting the assertion is true, but continues the procession. from  Wikipedia
Moral of the story - Always tell the truth? Look before you leap? Those with authority are not always right?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Workshop - Tumbuna Sculpture /Message Stick Art Doll

 Date:  Sunday, 24 November 2013
Times: 9.30am – 4.00pm 
Venue:  Lambton NSW  
Exact address supplied once you have registered for this workshop. 

 Lunch, morning tea, afternoon tea provided.
Please notify of any special dietary requirements.

Contact  Timeless Textiles via contact 
or leave a comment at the end of this post with an email address, please 

Information for participants: This workshop is a combined workshop (two projects in one) and while you will learn most of the techniques for both creating an ancestor bottle of your own and a message stick doll, it is recommended that you focus on creating either one on the day. You do not need to bring anything very much at all, depending on whether you have something specific in mind to create on the day. Please bring a basic sewing kit - scissors, needle and neutral coloured thread, pins Please also bring any favourite sculpting tools if you have any.

 Tumbuna Bottle Sculpture:  The morning is spent on sculpting a head. In my samples I have created heads which are inspired by wise men and women in Papua New Guinea. Of course, you can create your own “ancestor” and base it on any culture or your own family.

Requirements list: Most of this is optional as I will have additional bottles and embellishments for you to choose from.
  • A photo or image of a human head which will inspire your sculpture. 
  • A bottle you would like to use as a base
  • Trinkets, souvenirs, memories which you would like to add to the bottle.
I will supply clay and other bits and pieces for sculpting the head. You will be able to use any paints, waxes, tools and equipment required for sculpting and finishing the head.

Message Stick Art Doll: You can choose to sculpt a unique head or use one of the commercial moulds to create a head for your stick doll.  You will spend most of the morning making the head and learning the wrapping technique. The remaining time will be used to add the stitching and embellishments.

Requirements List: Again, most of this is optional as I will have extras of most of what you need.
  • A stick/twig,/branch 40-50cm in length   
  •  Some  strips of your favourite fabric
I will supply foil, first wrap stretch fabric, and as for the Tumbuna bottle, sculpting tools, materials and equipment.

 I look forward to helping you to create something very special. 
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Quick and Easy Handmade Gifts

It's THAT time of the year! 
For most of  the year, my work can be purchased at  my Etsy shop and Timeless Textiles, a Gallery and Centre for Fibre Artists. But, at this time of the year, there are pop-up shops, markets and bazaars for local artists and artisans. Every year, I then frantically search for good ideas for small, inexpensive, quick and easy handmade gift ideas for markets. This year, I made quite a few fabric fridge magnets...  I will explain the basic steps and perhaps you might like to try some for yourself. 
1. Choose a bright and simple print on heavy cotton or linen. For these magnets, I chose a mushroom silk screened fabric from Thea and Sami. 
Thea and Sami printed fabric 

2. Use a backing fabric like heavy calico, linen or ticking in a similar colour to the print fabric. 
3. With both fabrics together sew around the print and then trim leaving a small edge. 
4. Make a very small slit in the back, cutting through only the backing fabric. 
5. Stuff very lightly through the slit, with fibre fill . 
6. Stitch closed the slit and then using strong glue, attach a magnet. 
7. Apply fabric sealer on both sides and leave to dry thoroughly. 

Here are some additional  hints ....  choose simple shapes 
and a fabric where the print motifs  are not too close to one another. With this fabric, I needed to sew with an open toe foot on my machine as the little doll prints are quite close together. Use small very sharp scissors for trimming. 
These are great small Christmas gifts, easily posted, tucked inside a card. Hope you will try to make some yourself. Or you can purchase these  here -  all ready to pop into someone's stocking! 
Thea and Sami Printed Linen

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wise Words Wednesday

I love this   - my daughter has this poster on the kitchen wall  in her home ... Family Rules  - Say Please and Thank you, Be Happy, Pay with hugs and kisses, Laugh out loud, Think of others before yourself, Do your best, Respect one another, Hug often, Listen to your parents, Say I Love You, Laugh at Yourself.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A spider sandwich for lunch?

Close -up of the base of "witch with sticks' art doll 
 Did you know that if you were a witch, eating a spider sandwich could give you special powers?
Rosemary Ellen Guiley says in her Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft, and Wicca that in some traditions of folk magic, a black spider “eaten between two slices of buttered bread” will imbue a witch with great power. If you’re not interested in eating spiders, some traditions say that catching a spider and carrying it in a silk pouch around your neck will help prevent illness... So, while creating my art doll witch, a spider was always there amongst the drawings and plans.
rough drawing of an idea for the base of the doll 
 I rarely take photos during the process of making a doll, only because I get so engaged in the making I forget to take a photo at each step of the way . I am not entirely comfortable creating witches, so I took a few photos of my process....  when I remembered....
sculpted head in progress 
hand armatures - wire and tape 
fired head and hands - some problems with the hands so they were redone
basic colouring of the face 
stamping hand dyed cotton - it was later painted with acrylics
bunch of left over threads , perfect hair! 
threads sewn roughly to a circle of stocking  and glued to the head 
trying on the body.
draping a bamboo fibre 'skirt' around a base of sticks 
same bamboo fibre used as a cape, deepened face colour
attached arms and hands and placement of props ( sticks) 
finishing the base - painted base to blend with sticks, and added the 'spider'/ 
"Spider sandwich, anyone?"