Thursday, October 25, 2012

More Silk Shibori

I realised I haven't posted in a while.


I've been a bit busy making these and a few others.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Shibori Silk Scarves

I thought I might introduce you to a new line of items in my Etsy store.

These are shibori dyed scarves,After learning these skills at ContextArt Forum earlier this year, I have been practicing and I think these are really very pretty.

I have a range of very simple designs in silk and cotton.

I'll be posting them in my store over the next few days so please have a look and if you'd like to leave a comment, I always love to hear your feedback.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Felting at the EKKA 2012

Well, it's that time of the year again. I worked hard challenging myself to make something special to enter into the arts and crafts competition at this years EKKA (Royal Queensland Show for those who are wondering what this is).

I managed two entries. Both in the nunofelt section and both using the skills I learnt at the workshops at the ContextArt forums in Katoomba earlier this year.

I spent quite a lot of time stitching and tyeing silk then dyeing it using shibori techniques. I truly enjoy this. You always have an idea of what might happen in the process but the excitement of taking out the threads after the dye bath is exhilerating.

Following the dyeing, I cut the fabric and prefelted the pieces. Then stitched them together and fully felted them to make the finished pieces. Each piece took a full week to complete and both pieces offered unexpected challenges. But the outcome is really pleasing.

And the most exciting part...

A first prize and best in felting section ribbon, and a third prize.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Something to carry an Ipad in

It was my birthday last month and, as usual, I bought myself something I really wanted, bit did not necessarily need. This year it was an Ipad.

I love this thing. It's just the right size and you can do all kinds of things on it. My only problem was what to carry it around in. My current shoulder bag had been too small. Most of the bags in the store where I bought it looked tooooo, nerdy?!? or ordinary. Not my style. So in my usual fashion, I made something to suit.

And this is it.

A fully felted shoulder bag. The design features a brown black base of wool, with intensly colored textural highlight of silk/velvet. I just love the way the velvet crinkles up into a brain pattern when it is felted. I have used a wooden fob button to fasten down the flap.

It fits my Ipad, with room for a small make-up purse, phone and keys, which is all I need.

I got so many compliments on the idea that I am now making similar things for my Etsy store. I have just listed this one. It is made from wasabi green cotton canvas with one of my 2D felt artworks inserted in the flap as a design feature. A fun little piece to take anywhere.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Felted Fibres

I've been experimenting of late, with small 2D works. Kind of like little abstract paintings, but with felted wool and other fibres.

It's been interesting playing around with colour and composition and not having to take into consideration what size it will be and whether it will fit after its shrunk in the felting process.
It has also been fun to see how that composition changes with the felting process.

So, I'm having a little online exhibition which starts on 12 June and finishes on 1 July 2012. I would love it if you would take the time to have a look and leave some feedback. Either here or on my FB page.

To get to the exhibition, just click on the Beljays Felt Online Store button on the right.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Making a Nunofelt Jacket with Lizzie Houghton

The second workshop I attended at TAFTA's Contextart Forum was a nunofelting workshop with Lizzie Houghton. Lizzie is a phenominal felter (and wonderful woman) from England and very well known internationally, so it was a special experience being able to attend one of her workshops.
Twelve of us gathered in the canteen and gym area of our venue and over the next four days achieved nothing short of a miracle under Lizzie's patient direction.
We began with 5 or so metres of silk. I hand-dyed mine some weeks before.
After cutting out the pieces and laying out the wool and surface decoration we began to see something taking shape.
A bit of prefelting
and drying, not easy with the torrential downpour we experienced for 2 days but the sun did finally come out, and we had the makings of some very interesting fabric.
But when we stitched it up and tried it on, it was hard to believe that we hadn't got something wrong. Lizzie assured us it would be okay.
I wasn't until another day of hard work felting and fulling that we saw the wonderful results of this fascinating technique. Who would have believed the shapeless thing in the picture above could turn into the beautifully fitting jacket below.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Shibori Workshop

I have just returned from 6 days of textile workshops in Springwood, Blue Mountains, Australia. Run by TAFTA, (click here for more info about this great organisation )this was a phenominal schedule of 2 day and 4 day workshops by wonderful Australian and international textile artists. There were so many areas covered it was hard to choose which ones to attend.
I decided to go to Cathy Moon's 2 day shibori workshop and Lizzie Houghton's 4 day nunofelting workshop (more on that next time). Cathy is a fantastic shibori artist based in Brisbane, QLD. She has many years of experience with textiles and dyeing techniques and was a fabulous teacher, happy to share her wealth of knowledge.
We worked hard over the two days, learning a number of different ways to create stitch resists, clamp resists and tyeing techniques. Cathy oversaw the dye-baths, as we were all busy stitching things in or taking them out.
At the end we hung our beautiful silk pieces up on ferns in the quadrangle to make our shibori tree.
Amazing outcomes, don't you think?