Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Natural Dye Day With Trudi Pollard

I have been having too much fun recently! My wonderful friend Trudi Pollard is the most amazing artist and natural dyer! I have been doing shibori, indigo and natural dyeing for the past 7 weeks and yesterday was our natural dye day!

I am soooo hooked on natural dyes, have a look at what we did. We used brown onion, puff balls, fig leaves, silver dollar and chilli bush! And before you think of hacking your chilli plants in the yard, it's not that sort of chilli bush....the aussie native one! Chilli bush is my favourite and I want to do more and more and more. Of course I want to put my felt in, but this was a rather large communal class, which I am not a fan of....nothing worse than your pieces of silk being taken by others.....and of course you find out later!

Going from left to right the colours are: Puff balls, chilli bush, fig leaves and brown onions. The silver dollar will be coming tomorrow, it needed a longer cooking time! The beautiful thing about natural dyes, is that they all work together, no matter which way you put them. How amazing that these colours all come from plants. Trudi has so much knowledge, far more than anyone else I know of. We are all getting on her case about writing a book, as the Inida Flint book Eco Colour is good, but she doesn't give away many of her secrets. Trudi is so generous with her knowledge and skills......I haven't met anyone quite like her....she is one of a kind.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Retreat, Recipe and Reactions

I could always start listing the excuses why I haven't blogged in a while....but no one really wants to hear that. So lets catch up!!! I am in love with my own japanese soup I have created, our exhibition is going well, art awards went well, retreat was sensational and am getting over the flu!

My Japanese soup: Enoki mushrooms, soba noodles, japanese soup stock, spring onions, nori roll sliced thinly and some cooked chook. Chuck the noodles and mushrooms into the stock and cook for about 5 mins. Put into a bowl and add the chicken, spring onions and sliced nori roll. Man it's fabo and so good for you. Even my kids eat it!

I woke up on yesterday and decided to go and get my second tattoo. I have had a tat for 13 years now and this one is pretty special. It is a symbolisation of my family. My husband is the single star and the other stars are for my boys who roam this gorgeous planet and for my two babies who watch us from above. The single star hurt like hell.

Have had all positive reactions so far, my hubby liked it, my kids had their stars picked out at first sight and happily tell everyone who has which star. Am waiting for someone to give me a bad reaction.....sometimes I love to able to use my vast vocabulary to it's fullest extent!

I am the luckiest daughter in law in the world. This is my wonderful birthday present from my wonderful inlaws, Ted and Jan. I actually got 2 of these stands, in solid jarrah. I asked Ted to make me one in pine for the market stalls, so I can hang my bags and bits and bobs......so of course I got 2 solid jarrah. You have to love an architect.

The first edition of Felt has just hit the stands.....a damn good magazine, about to send an email to the editors and let them know that. Go and find this at your newsagent!

The most gorgeous letter box in the world. What you don't see, is the antique spoon on the back, which is the handle to open the door. This is made by a local cabinet maker in the hills.....he is about to make some bird houses too!!!

How happy was I when my shipment of water balls arrived from Germany. And it didn't hurt that I was on my way to a felting workshop I run on Thursdays. The girls were all too happy to grab one and start squirting away. They are soooooo hard to find, but after a year of persistently annoying the right people, I found a source.

The following pictures are all from our retreat at Camp Simon in Roleystone. We had 26 Feltwest members come along and we had such a grand time. The location was stunning, the hall so big we had room to move and most of us had double tables. Food was good, company sensational and the opportunity to felt all day and night.....simply glorious.
I made a vow at the beginning of the weekend, not to make a 3D vessel or form. That vow was on Thursday night, by Saturday morning I was felting a vessel. I was enticed....Heather came back from a quick jaunt and starting waving my favourite natural fibre to weave and sculpt with, under my nose. She told me where it was and I was gone. Back in about 15 mins, and felting within another 10. Actually the piece is gorgeous and I will photograph it when it's finished.
I was very proud of myself though, I actually did a heap of nuno, which was a first for me. I really enjoyed it, but still love my sculptural work better. It's good to have some time off though and now I may incorporate some nuno into my sculptures.

Heathers scarf laid out.

An abstract design I was working on.

Lee Ann Davis, amazing felter and stitcher, a sample of some of her work.

Sharna's piece partially laid out.

Heather, our dye pot master, could not resist doing some natural dyeing. Lindy and Heather had two pots simmering, one a fungi pot and the other natural vegetation from around camp.

Nancy's rug after it was pretty much felted.

Sue Eslick, our tea cosie queen, with a great hat she made. We made her wear it sideways, as it looked better! Sue also won our name badge challenge with a lovely mini tea cosie badge! I got equal second place!!

Some of the name badges in our challenge. Mine is the funky purple and green one!

Mary Anne made this stunning baby jacket, and this was just a sample! I have been inspired, she so generously gave me the pattern and now I am going to have an attempt! You may never see the pictures of my attempt!

A pic of some of our work at the end of the weekend. Everyone went insane making hats. I said next year we need to have a hat challenge!