Saturday, 11 January 2014

Well, You Can't Say That Wasn't Fun.

Our get together today (at Burrinja Gallery in Upwey) was a fantastic day. We thought it would be nice to have it there in order for everyone to see Isabel Foster's gorgeous exhibition (talked about previously here).
Isabel joined us too.
We were completely delighted that she came, and she was delighted that we were delighted, so we were all happy! It was terrific to have a walk around with the author of such a large and significant body of work, to hear the details of the items and their context. Work done over a period of  40-50 years!

  Isabel works her rag rugs as a weaver, often using silks for what we could emulate in Proggy. They are delicious underfoot and beautiful as you would imagine. She told me that her mother worked at the Louvre as (I think?) a restorer. Isabel collected the discarded silk from gowns etc., that were beyond repair, and, 80+ years later, still includes these ancient fabrics.
Also present was Isabel's friend Olive, who has been one of Melbourne's early modern art weavers. It was such a privelege to have these ladies with us.
Further to our growing group, we had Jo Franco all the way from Perth and Judy Stephens, Noreen Wendleborn, Ann Johnston and Marion Nerfiodovos from the Strath Matters group in Strathalbyn, SA.   These lovelies flew over for the day and we are impressed and pleased to put faces to names at last.

I'm afraid there wasn't quite as much rug work going on (with me at least), but the conversations were productive in all sorts of ways. My head was buzzing with facts and ideas and projects and coffee and my fingers were itching to get into it.
Renate, our new member and long-time crafter, had lessons and purchased Proddy and Hooky tools, ready to start next Christmas's presents. Renate learned both techniques and caught the bug well and truly! I saw Joy out of the corner of my eye, mixing it up in her lovely, watercolour, painterly way.

Sympathies also to Jo's sweet son, dragged along and patient beyond measure. I remember those long and arduous times and believe I was far more demonstrative about the imposition! Well done!
Over all, the day was brilliant and exciting. Judy invited us to participate in the 5000 Poppies Project, so please follow the link to see what that's about!
We hope to share the love and encourage as many people to the craft as we can. It's so satisfying and the scope is as wide and broad as any medium. Cloth is tactile and comforting too, and pretty. Snuggly. Perhaps Burrinja will have us again, where the public can rub shoulders and be introduced?
My grand-daughter rolling
 about in fluffy, pretty things,
like we all want to.
I had an early glimpse of Isabel's work in 1974, while I was at Melbourne College of Textiles. I was doing a one-year, all-round course which covered patternmaking and design, dressmaking), hand-weaving and embroidery (ironically, I missed the embroidery component as I began a couple of months into the year). I turned 16 there, and was a bit of a countrified (as in, naive) hippy. One day the design teacher called me, in particular, to come and see a garment woven in one piece. It was quite abstracted and wild and colourful. It was going to be worn in Gown of the Year 1974. I was impressed by their adulation, too young and green to know my own thoughts, but saw that these teachers considered it skilful and cutting-edge and fascinating. I took note. That introduction gave me a reference, or a field of play... it opened a door to a new way of thinking in fashion, at a young, eager age.  I discovered it was one of Isabel's pieces when I saw it 10ish years ago at Burrinja.
Thanks for that bright light Isabel! And thanks for coming.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it was lovely. Looking forward to our next meeting, wherever that may e. I have lost track.