Friday, October 16, 2015

Medieval Project in Melbourne

I thought I would provide an update on the project. It was shown  in Brisbane last weekend and now travels down to Melbourne to be shown at the Stitches and Craft Show at Caulfield racecourse.

There will be some Italian pieces joining the collection! I will be there selling my books ( I hope) and also will have hand printed panels for sale. Sp hope to see you there to enjoy the project. It is quite different to the Sentinelle project and really is a tribute to the imagination of the makers- so much variety and creativity!

On another note- there is still some people who have not paid their fee to join the project. The project will travel widely ( after Melbourne  there will be Adelaide and Sydney) and I am presently negotiating something in France for later next year. Obviously there are costs involved in moving a project around, from getting a suitcase, arranging signage, pins and other needed hardware to mount the exhibition in different places, and just the moving around plus the return of the pieces when they return from touring. So those of you who have not paid the $20 fee to join I would really appreciate it if you would.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Exhibition Vernissage Tomorrow

 If you happen to be in Paris around  Bvd Haussmann you are most welcome to come to the vernissage of my exhibition at the offices of Ethiea Gestion.

It's been a very hectic two weeks and today I finally have some time to catch up with my blog. I have caught more trains than I want to for some time, and today was the first morning I did not have to be up at 6 am to get somewhere.I also feel remiss at not having blogged much these last weeks. Sometimes it just seems too easy to just use Instagram or Facebook, but then I like the journal aspect of my blog which is not only for you the readers but also to some extent for myself- it helps my creative habit, it helps me keep on track and allows me to muse in a little more detail then brief ephemeral snips here and there.

So I have managed to stitch a few of the panels which I had printed, but not been able to get to, to make samples. In a way i think of my linoblock prints as the background for which to indulge in some creativity. This thought struck me as I was stitching at the Salon Tendances Creatif in Toulouse last weekend. Normally you don't get to add to prints that are made on paper (and prints on paper are usually quite a lot more expensive as well) so you never get to add any of your own creative touches. I have used the lino block printed fabrics as a background on which to stitch and quilt, much as you might colour in an adult colouring book. So I also think of them as a kind of adult stitching project , one in which you can be as imaginative as you would like anything is possible  and its soothing as well, as I find  stitching a very meditative rhythmical process.

So the first  embroidery is the banksia panel which is roughly 20 cm x 18 cm and of course  inspired by  banksias.... the story of these is starting to grow in terms creating a whole insight into banksias not only as flora but as receptacles of myth and story and babblings- maybe just my mad babblings

This banksia has a combination of machine and hand stitching
The banksia is available as a linocut print on cloth ( without the stitching)- on earth colours and greens for $15 inclusive of postage

The second print i have worked on is the tree linocut which was inspired by a visit earlier this year to the Palazzo Davantzani in Florence. I loved what simple stitching did to this print- just back stitch and chain stitch- nothing complicated but somehow adding that medieval/early renaissance richness I was looking for. The background stitching still has to be finished. This print measures about 22 cm x 19 cm. This print is also available for sale  at $15 per print inclusive of postage. Simply email me if you are interested.

I have been so busy and on the hop and also challenged with access to wifi that  some ideas I cooked up with Fiona from the Stitching Project on my recent trip to India went on the back burner. My income in order to survive is entirely fuelled by my textile practice and teaching and as a single parent for the last 8 years that has not been an easy road and of course with tightening economies has become less easy from year to year. But I also hugely admire what Fiona and Praveen are doing with the Stitching Project- its ethic and mission and their matter of factness that this is a business  but one in which the aim is to employ as many people as possible with a living wage and in particular to provide women with work which can help sustain them. It is not a charity but one based on business principles and also  sustaining crafts practices at as high a quality as possible- to make something that is worth having. 

So as some people had expressed interest in some of the actual linocuts I had created in the past, I decided that I would dip my toe in the water as to making woodblocks and offering them for sale. They are carved by a craftsman in India, sourced by the Stitching Project ( they use the same wood block carver) and then cured in mustard oil before being ready to print with. The prices reflect my intellectual property in the original designs, so you can use them as you will, and the craft  and skill of the woodcarver. If the woodblocks are properly cared for they will print many many prints on fabric or paper and are a lovely object to behold in their own right. So below are the woodblocks that are available:

This is the wonder tree woodblock after it has been immersed in the mustard oil for curing. The block measures approximately 20 cm square and cost $75 AUS plus postage ( which will be from India) The block will take several weeks to arrive as the  woodblock carver has to make them in the first place. I envisaged this block being printed on fabric and then having all kinds of embroidery extending out from the branches.I will get to doing this some time soon I hope!

The babbling banksia block. I can't believe what a wonderful job Mr Satnaryan did on this woodblock given that he has never seen a banksia. I actually think this block is beautiful in its own right. it measures about  20 cm long by 10 cm wide and also costs $75AUS plus postage.

Pomegranates have long been a favourite motif, and when was I was at Fiona and Praveen's house in August we would often have the seed and juice with our breakfast, so of course I had to draw them and well one thing led to another. This block is about 12 cm round ( maybe a bit smaller) and costs $55AUS plus postage.

This leaf block has been designed to go with the pomegranate block and measures about 12 cm long by 3 cm wide it costs $30AUS plus postage.

If you would like to order any of these block please email me . They would make a great Christmas gifts, and yes I know it's way too early to mention  Christmas but it takes time for Mr Satnaryan to carve the blocks and it also takes time for the post.

Then there is also hand loomed indigo dyed cotton cloth  which I have been working on . These pieces measure 210 metres and are  90 cm wide as they are hand loomed by an artisan weaver. The cloth is also known as khadi cloth or Bihar cloth ( the province where it is woven). The designs of shibori have been made with the idea that they might be used  for travellers blankets or some such thing. Hand loomed cloth is wonderful to hand stitch with and it softens as you handle it. Or you might simply use it for something else. It has been indigo dyed  with Mr Rambabuji and has been dipped three times. The hand loomed cloth does not get  quite the same depth of hue of indigo  than commercial cloth (which has been bleached and chemically process. each piece ) The cost is $65.00 AUS per piece ( 2.1 metre long) plus postage form India. Again there is a little wait time as the fabric has to be delivered to the indigo dyer and dyed there.

There are three types available ( i will post the image of the third next blog post)

Pleated- and this one can have a more white background if desired.

Square pleated shibori drying on Fiona's washing line at her house. Remember these are all artisan products and so there will be variations for each dyed piece and the cloth itself has lovely little variations in the weaving.

Anyway it was something we thought we would try and see if there was interest in this sort of thing. All the things have been made in accordance with the mission of the Stitching Project.If you are interested please email me