Musings of a New Zealand mixed media & textile artist
This week I have begun some new samples for my fabric art journal class in July at Sew Marlborough mini symposium. It is usually a three or four day class, but will be two days as I am teaching two other one-day classes as well. I decided to make several small fabric books which cover many of the techniques I discuss with the students. This means that they will see lots of possibilities for their own books. I have made a tag book with lots of different edge treatments . This format means I can easily add to the 'pages' if I come up with a new idea for an edge treatment.
I also decided to make a book of 'pockets'. This has pockets of all sorts... buttoned, flaps, transparent, patch, recycled....etc etc. I have used a random selection of my 'ugly' fabric stash and pulled the book together visually by using some embroidery stitches and buttons throughout. It has been a surprisingly enjoyable process. Not over-thinking can give some great results.
Photo is a selection from some of the pages I discuss in the class.
A wet day. Have been stitching on a small piece I began on a group outing a couple of weeks ago.
We went to a friend's home 'armed' with fabric, threads, a few watercolour pencils and an open mind.
We were 'plein air stitching'. I approached this in the same way I would if I was sketching. I looked at my scene, edited it mentally to capture what I wanted to 'say' about what I was looking at. After some light blocking in of colour with the watercolours to give myself a basic ground of colour in each area I began to stitch.
The colours were not going to be perfect as I was only using what had brought with me, but I quickly decided that was going to be part of the charm of the piece. The time flew past.
Since then I have been adding a few stitches to it in spare moments. I took some photos on the day, but have not referred to them, preferring to work from my memory and the feel of the scene. More on this later...
AS the Autumn creeps upon us I am drawn to the mindfulness of the seasons. I always feel some regret as the vegie garden is put to bed and I harvest the last of summer's bounty. I have begun some new samples for upcoming classes and I am spending more time sitting stitching. Once again I am seduced by the rhythm of my needle, the connection with fabric and threads which leave trails of thought behind them. I find the meditative quality of hand stitching grounds me and allows my mind to wander and consider as I work.
I am still busy with Changing Threads and the work involved with the show, so the quiet moments of contemplation serve as a counterpoint to the restless activity of that.
To sew, to stitch, to simply 'be' ...such bliss.
The 2016 ChangingThreads Awards Show is now on at the Refinery Artspace in Halifax St Nelson. We have some fantastic work on display . The award winners are really wonderful You can view them on my facebook page, on the arts council nelson facebook page or the website (www.acn.org.nz) Here is a link to the interview I did with Mainland TV about the show. You will need to forward to about 11.30 to view it.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoIcR1x91Vw