Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy new year

Good-bye to the ox,
and welcome in the year of the tiger,

wishing everyone a year of prosperity, inspiration, creativity, knowledge, and success.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

More exhibitions: Part II

And then there are the embroidered purses. They are small pieces, approx 15x 10cm (6x4 inches).
More decorative than practical use.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

More exhibitions: Part I

I was fortunate enough to see this when I was in Hong Kong over Christmas. It is part of the permanent exhibition so if anyone is there, it is worth a visit. (and entry is free on a wednesday).
I found out that photography was allowed in this exhibition (no flash, of course) and I went back the next day with my camera. The lighting level is higher than I expected compared to those at exhibitions in Australia, but it helped with the photography.

This cylindrical shaped object is a thumb ring holder, so you can imagine the scale of the object. The diameter is just close to one inch.

This fan has a woven floral image with a straight twill background. It is such a subtle design and the carving on the handle is a continuation of the floral pattern.

The following 4 images are that of 'cloud collars'. They are primarily decorative but can also prevent grease stain from the hair getting onto the dress collar! The shapes are interesting as are the different decorative styles.

This last item is a headgear called a 'tianzi'. It is decorated with pearls, semi-precious stone and inlaid with kingfisher feathers. All the turquoise coloured parts are made of feathers.

In this last image, you can see the grain of the feather. The workmanship is spectacular.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Ikat weaving demonstration

In early Nov last year, there was a demonstration of ikat weaving from the island of Flores, Indonesia, at the National Gallery of Victoria International. It was fascinating. I have heard of and read about backstrap looms but had never seen one in action before. It is amazing what is woven on them and how much space they take up compared to my 'huge' countermarche floor loom!

This is a miniature example of how the warp (or the weft if it is a double ikat) is wound and tied, ready for dyeing.

A view of the pattern on the warp and a section of woven cloth.

The 'heddles' I believe is a continuous piece of string looped over/under the warp threads.

A flat piece of timber is pushed through to create a shed, and the 'shuttle' is a rod with yarn wrapped around it in a tube. (you can just see it in the top right hand corner).

The 'shuttle' thrown and pulled out at the this end.

It was truly amazing and inspiring.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ikat workshop

Last year, Kaz came to Melbourne and taught us how to do painted warps. This is some of the woven results.

My colours turned out more subdue than some of the other ones but they remind me of maple leaves colour in Autumn. We used procion dyes on mercerised cotton.

These ones are Michelle's and they are about an inch wide, with the single black edge.

These very vibrant colours belong to Barb and she woven a section in repp weave,
and a section in a twill, which makes a wider cloth.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Things on the go

I get together with a few friends probably once a month and we catch up, eat cake and do 'stitching'. Some of the others are working on William Morris needlepoint tapestries but I have a soft spot for this style of cross-stitch. I started this in November last year and it will probably take me the whole year to finish it.

I wound a new (3.5m) warp ready to go on the loom tomorrow night. It is to be a colour-weave pattern and is of 2-ply Bendigo Classic pure wool. This should be enough for a couple of samples and maybe a scarf length.

A wonderful Christmas gift that will come in handy with that 5 kg of Damson plums that my cousin dropped off one evening - it will be a jamming weekend. Why does Damson always ripen on the hottest days?