Sunday, August 15, 2010

Teaching In Whakatane

I went to Whakatane to teach for the weekend . I  left Wellington at about 7.30pm on one of those flying pencil cases. Then the pilot said that the de-icers had broken down on the propeller and the crashing sounds on the side of the plane were bits of ice falling off the prop and hitting the plane as they flicked off. They landed us in Palmerston North and couldn't fix it so stuck us on a bus to Whakatane. It took them ages to find a driver who hadn't gone to the pub so we finally got to Whakatane at 4.30am. I am not sure that the person who billeted me was expecting to have to get up in the middle of the night to let me in (I did tell her just to leave the door unlocked and a note on the bedroom door).

I really enjoy teaching and it was a great class, I really enjoyed it.  It was a terrible weekend for weather though. They had 300mms of rain over the weekend and parts of the town were flooded and some of the people in the class had to leave early because the town went on 'code white' (whatever that means) and they were told to go home to Ohope and Opotiki now or be stuck in Whakatane overnight
All the quilts made in this class - called 'The Next Step' are different. This is one of the quilts made in the class, thanks to Pauline for letting me put it on my blog. She has called it 'Living Outside the Square' and she has quilted and bound it since the class finished on sunday - that is less than 2 days ago! Well done Pauline.

Now back in Wellington and we are gearing up for the workshops with Yoshiko Wada, the author of the book 'Shibori: the art of shaped resist'. She is doing 3 public lectures in New Zealand.

Public Lecture - Yoshiko Wada
2pm on 23rd September, nelson School of Music, $20 per ticket.

Floortalk with Yoshiko Wada
30th September 
Meissen Kimono  11 am Expressions Gallery Upper Hutt

New Texture, new material, New Thinking
Yoshiko Wada
24th September Friday 5pm, Massey University, Buckle st, 10A02

Monday, August 2, 2010

Possum Merino felt

The textile students are working on a commission to test possum/merino wool. At the moment they are trying to felt it and then will dye it in natural dyes and acid dyes. At the moment the sliver (carded wool) is palest beige but I hope to be able to change some of that tomorrow!

The Australian Brushtail possum was introduced to NZ in the 19th century and they have been chomping on our forests ever since.  To get rid of these pests they are shot, trapped, deliberately run over or poisoned. Woolyarns factory devised a way of mixing possum fur (which is a hollow fibre) and merino wool to make the most beautiful knitting wool. It is incredibly warm and soft.

If anyone has anything possum related for the students please get in touch. This could be possum skin offcuts, scientific papers, anecdotes about possums or names of people they could interview.

Photos of possum felt samples tomorrow


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Quilt Symposium , Queenstown 2011

I haven't made a quilt all year. I probably need to start thinking about quilts for the New Zealand Quilt Symposium exhibitions next year.

I am really looking forward to the Symposium in Queenstown . The last Queenstown Symposium was probably my favourite ever Symposium. It is such a beautiful spot. Dijanne Cevaal and I got very brave and flew down to Milford Sound on a light plane. VERY SCARY but amazing.

The committee have asked me to teach a fabric printing and painting class, a sashiko class, a design class and a class using recycled materials. I don't want to spoil the fun for everyone of seeing the registration book which should be due out fairly soon.

On sunday I helped Sue Wademan pack up her exhibition wall at the New Zealand Art show (used to be the Affordable art show) in Wellington. She reminded me about exhibition opportunities such as the Silk Road Exhibition in Queenstown and the symposium exhibitions.

For details of the Silk Road Exhibition in April 2011, please email Sue Wademan



I am not very good at this blogging, I forget to update it for weeks at a time.

Over the last few weeks I have taught 2 screenprinting classes. One was for the public and one for digital design students who had the designs all ready to go and just needed to get them onto a t-shirt. One was very low-tech, the kind of process I use at home where I don't have access to all the fancy equipment. One was high-tech in that we used the vacuum table and special exposure unit.
Both classes were great fun but I was shattered at the end! I didn't even take any photos.
 Over the 8 days I managed to coat about 20 screens with the photo emulsion and help students coat about 20 more, and help about 15 students with their designs which required at least 3 colours per print. Pretty full on.

I have also been making scarves for a shibori exhibition at Barometer Gallery ,13 Gurner St., Paddington, NSW. The exhibition will be opened by Yoshiko Wada who wrote the bible for shibori artists 'Shibori: The art of Shaped resist"

- contemporary shaped resist dyed scarves/shawls

Barometer Gallery will open on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday each week from the 8th September to the 3rd October, 10am to 6pm.

Here is a detail of one of my scarves that will be on the sale table. We each have one major piece and up to 5 for sale. This is the first time I have entered a shibori exhibition. It feels funny not entering a quilt which needs a hanging sleeve etc. I don't even know how they display them.

This scarf is made of 100% merino wool jersey and has been clamped and bound and dyed about 6 times in acid dyes. Dyeing wool is also something new for me and I have been experimenting with both acid and fibreactive wool dyes. They react differently to Procion dyes on cotton and I am just learning how they work.