Friday, September 25, 2015

Tea on Thursday 23

stash of  tea bags-   drying 
Tea bags are now firmly established as one of my favourite materials to work with. In the past, they have appeared as small embroideries, collaged materials, and even used in art dolls' clothing,
In the last few weeks, I have been very privileged to take classes with  amazing talented artists.
At the Contemporary Craft Retreat earlier in the month , I participated in Susie McMahon's  "Expressive Bust" . Susie taught us some wonderful techniques and I  thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and the process of creating a small sculpture . It was a happy accident that I had included a few tea bags in my workshop box.  The timber base looked ok, but it just looked better with a few tea bags applied to create a more aged look. Susie discussed the need to try to connect the elements, so they appear to be part of a whole, rather than disparate additions. I think the applied tea bags helped to achieve the integrated look.
I called this "Sunflowers on the Inside" 
 Last weekend and Monday, it was a great privilege to attend a workshop with Dutch artist, Els van Baarle. The workshop was entitled "Walking the Creative Path' and it was a journey in manipulating wax, dye and print.  It was fun to create so many different pieces of  surface decorated cloth and paper - layer upon layer. One of the special touches that Els did was to present us each with a small memory book at the beginning of the workshop, and we were to have it completed by Monday, filling it with samples of the work we did in the workshop. The cover of my book is a small piece of waxed rayon, with a printed tea bag applied with a rubber stamp over the top.  This little book  is based on the poem,
Slowly I close the chamber door 
Alone I sit and wait 
You did not come 
Disappointed, I drink solitary tea.
Workshop Memory book cover
Memory book - samples of workshop techniques. 
There are also other benefits to using tea in art works ....  One just has to drink it ...
 There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.

My most recent find in the local supermarket - tea in silk bags and lovely tea, too. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Joy of Having Time....


Earlier in the year, I enrolled in a creative embroidery course. This means that each month, I receive a parcel in the post - fabric and threads with an instruction to create an stitched design according to a theme and/or type of stitching. Inevitably, I run short of time - stitching right up to the last moment, and sending off my completed assignment by Express Post for it to reach the Guild Headquarters on the day the assessors meet.
NSW Embroiderers' Guild 
Last month, no parcel came and my completed assignment from the previous month  was not returned. I thought perhaps because I had two incomplete assignments still on my work table at home, my assessor decided I wasn't to receive another until I had finished and handed in the outstanding two. totally understandable! So I worked hard to complete them.... still didn' t make the last post on Friday!
Theme - Bottles, Technique - Distorted Applique 
Theme - Seed Heads Technique - Texture 
 So I decided not to let that enemy 'time' beat me.... my new plan was to travel to Sydney , take my finished assignments with me, apologise for my lateness, and hope I could locate my missing piece of work and receive last month's assignment.  All went well - caught the train at 7.45am and arrived at the Guild Headquarters by 10.15 am. Oh no - my assessor was away, but  all was not in vain . I spoke to others, found my lost  work (together with my last assignment)   thanks to a little sleuthing from the course coordinator, It all happened within fifteen minutes of my arrival and as I had planned to take a train home  at 12.15pm,,,, I had time to spare!
Goldwork - lost and now found! 
So  with the luxury of having time, it was easy to enjoy  morning tea  with the creative course group - chatting to  the packers of the kits, and some of the assessors and understanding how the course actually operates; early lunch at the  Love Life coffee shop next door and then even time to wander and take some photos. 

Embroiderers' Guild Headquarters 
Love Life Coffee Shop 
Concord West looks just like a main street of a country town and I was so impressed with the cleanliness of the street  and the inviting area near the station to sit and just take time to look at passers by, or enjoy the sunshine - which I did.
Concord West - quiet main street 
What was even more positive about the whole day was that I used public transport  which ran on time to schedule, and not a single hiccup regarding changing lines either way - and all this for only $2.50 fare, at least $10 cheaper than posting my assignments!
Railway Station, Concord West