Monday, July 26, 2010

technical beauty

In my hubby's workspace I often get a glimpse of what ECUs, microchips and circuit boards look like. I'm not the least bit technically minded but I'm drawn to his things just because they look so interesting. This last object I spotted is made out of copper, and I just love the way the pattern repeats itself with slight irregularity...

nature weaving

Yesterday I returned to Fairfield house (where I did the India Flint workshop last year) to celebrate "Day Out of Time", a special day in the old Mayan calendar. I took my girls along. To my delight they found some fibre that had shed from the palm trees in front of the property. The pieces are like woven by Mother Nature, beautiful, so we collected quite a few. Now I want to find a way to use it, since there's no point collecting stuff just to have it sitting stashed up in some dark corner. Any ideas?

paisley twirl

I found these beautiful hand carved hardwood printing blocks in my local Trade Aid shop. The paisley pattern makes me always think about a colourful quilt blanket my grandma had on her bed. I remember lying on it completely lost in the paisley pattern. The old fashioned twirly wallpaper added to the experience... Eventually I added my own artistic touch to the wallpaper with some colourful crayons. I don't think it was very appreciated.

Perhaps I could create something more acceptable with these blocks. I've got some textile colours that have been sitting unused in my stash since my Stockholm days. Little signature prints on clothes? Arranged as bigger patterns on a t-shirt? Greeting cards, gift wrap? Dare I put any colour on these beautiful blocks at all!

The shop has actually quite a selection of patterns. Some of the bigger square blocks full of fine details were clearly familiar from Indian saris.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

pompom beanie

A quick winter warmer for junior...


A snowy update 09.07.2010

We took a toboggan and other snow toys to Rainbow. My girls were spreading joy with their beanies on, judging by quite a few lovely comments.

Maya found this colourful yarn when we were at Spotlight and asked me to make her a "crazy hat". I had to bend my normal rule to only work on natural materials, but fun is good for the soul.

Monday, May 31, 2010


You should go and see the window of Page & Blackmore, our wonderful Nelson book store. This weekend they made a very colourful display of all the entries to their "Wild Tea Cosies" competition. You might recognise my entry under way in a previous post. I've been busy with anything geometric this year and so far pyramids have ruled the roost.

These Real Wild Cosies will be on display until the end of June.


11 June 2010

 My spiky cosy was selected as a runner-up in the contest. There were actually two winners and three runner-ups. It's been fun how many people have spotted my work in the window or read about it in the paper. A little bit of winter cheer.



Saturday, March 20, 2010

Changing Threads

I was overjoyed to have two fibre art pieces accepted to the Changing Threads 2010 exhibition. One of them is a recent piece that features eco-dyeing on silk. It is a three dimensional sculpture suspended in space. I named it 
Incantations of Unity

My other featured piece was created three years ago, when I had just learned felting after my first girl was born. The name refers to one of my regular times of night to be up with Maya, contemplating my new life as a mum.

This entry was a runner up to the new entrant prize at the Creative Fibre National Exhibition 2007 and now got a special mention in the category "Excellence in contemporary interpretation of work featuring traditional techniques".

Wheeling 4am

This photo is from the exhibition.

The handmade felt is 98% Romney and 2% Corriedale, cut and folded to create a two sided effect.

The reverse.  

I am very proud to be included in this fine company. What a beautiful exhibition!

Monday, January 18, 2010

work in progress

I've been working with different types of silk to test the dye possibilities my garden has to offer.

Coloured silk threads are a great by-product.


An old cotton scarf got thrown in some left over dye.

Pleating with metal clips.

Stitching and folding.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

the box

I keep writing about dyeing, but the work that makes most steady progress lives in a box. This is what the box looks like right now.

We are TV-free, but usually go through a few DVDs every week. When the film starts, on one side sits hubby, on the other: the box.

Also when the whole family travels somewhere further, read more than 20 minutes in the car, the box comes along, since I don't fancy sitting idle on the passenger's seat. In some curious way I can happily knit while hubby negotiates hills and bends, but if I was reading I'd be carsick.

The contents are without fail some yarn and dpn knitting needles, crochet hook, needles and scissors. I always seem to knit in the round. And when it's crochet, mostly that goes round in circles too.

The box produces mundane items for various people I care about, things to keep feet, heads and hearts warm.

I think about filling the box with silk, felt, thread and needles, but somehow that doesn't happen. My myopic eyes get the blame.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

growing colour

In August I ordered seeds for some interesting dyeplants. Weld (Reseda luteola) seeds separately, and woad (Isatis tinctoria), Hopi Amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus x powellii), Dyer's Chamomile (Anthemis tinctoria) and Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis) in a "dyer's seed mix" packet.

The mixed dyeplants were truly mixed. It was a tiny pack of seeds where four kinds were supposedly found, but I could frustratingly only tell apart three kinds of seeds. The little red amaranth grains seemed obvious, and this is what they have become:

These plants look nice and strong and are supposed to produce a red dye. I'm starting to itch to harvest some for the first test. Too early yet? I wish I knew.

The rest of the mixed bag resulted in one big weed (black nightshade) and some little woad seedlings that are fighting for their lives in the greenhouse, poor mother as I have been. They need some more soil and water NOW. Maybe tomorrow.

Weld plants are still quite small. I kept them in punnets in the greenhouse a bit too long, but they have acclimatised and survived despite a shift to the harsh midsummer sun. I'm determined not to lose them for drought (they are outside our irrigation zone) so I have been pampering these babies with special attention.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Eco Colour Odyssey

Life has thrown new challenges and responsibilities my way to a very enjoyable effect. I haven't forgotten fibrefingering in the meantime, but the blog has hibernated for a few months.

So finally I will mention that I had two pieces in our "Eco Color Odyssey" exhibition at Fibre Spectrum. Neither of them was specifically made with an exhibition in mind, but suited the context. I was delighted just to be able to say that I had something in an exhibition!

It's been so long since the last time I've shown my work in public, well actually just a year and a half, but it feels like a beginning of a new era. My visual language is only now starting to develop into a direction that accommodates the thoughts and feelings I want to express. Learning to put my favourite techniques together is a work in progress, greatly aided by some very inspiring people I've had the honour to work with recently. I must also celebrate a few meetings in cyberspace with like minded beings. Blessings to all of you sisters in stitch!

"Heart Tracks"

Merino felt, fragments of silk cloth, silk fibre, wool yarn, human hair.

Dyed in Helichrysum petiolare (Licorice Plant) with scrap iron.

"Heart Tracks" is a meditation on the marks left in our hearts by the people we meet and places we go to. A lot of emotion is stored in our hearts, affecting us even when we are not aware of it.
This heart got boiled with a medicinal plant, used for healing nervous disorders, high blood pressure, headache and weak heart among other things. We can marinate ourselves in acceptance and compassion to the same healing effect!

"Juicy Junk Jumper"

Silk smock, dyed in Dodonaea viscosa (Green Akeake) with scrap metals.

The dye bath was left over from another project and left to mature for several weeks.

This resulted in a change in colour, with found objects, junk metal, paper clips, clamping and tying producing patterns.

I adore process photos, since the whole act of wrapping and unwrapping is so magical. It's harder to get good shots of the finished products though. (I hope to update with better ones soon, sigh)