Wow! I am killing time and wandered over the WAFTA’s page – surprised and delighted to read their blog post – you can read it here http://wafta.com.au/jane-flower-eco-dyeing-workshop/
I have just spent two wonderful days teaching an eco dyeing workshop for the Western Australian Fibre and Textile Association http://wafta.com.au
They are based (along with many other textile related groups) at Alexander Park Craft House – a really lovely venue in Menora.
I was extremely flattered when the workshop sold out within days of being advertised way back in April and very keen to meet a group of fellow textile artists interested in exploring ways of using plants to dye fabric.
I was too busy to take photos during the workshop so these pics come courtesy of workshop facilitator and my wonderful host Margaret Ford – you can see her recent work here: http://waftatwentyoneplus.com.au
There were some fabulous dyed pieces revealed over the course of two days.
I really enjoyed my stay in the city – including being able to walk a short distance on the last evening to peruse the myriad restaurants along Beaufort Street – ending up in a Nepalese/Himalayan restaurant and eating the most divine goat curry and a delicious chicken dish cooked in a tandoori oven.
I surprised myself at the ease of getting back on to the freeway thanks to Margaret’s excellent directions and had an easy drive home.
Goodness me I have been very remiss and not posted here for a very long time. I have been busy with a variety of projects and taught some really lovely workshops which you have probably read about over on the Facebook page.
I was determined to try and get back to the blog and my recent week in Northcliffe in the beautiful Southern Forest Region of Southwestern Australia is a good place to start. I was artist in residence at the Painted Tree Gallery in Northcliffe for a week at the end of August and scheduled a variety of book making workshops. An ideal activity for winter in WA!
The Painted Tree Gallery is now administered by Southern Forest Arts and is a beautiful space nestled between the Northcliffe Visitor Centre, the Library and the Community Resource Centre. It is a rammed earth structure which blends into the landscape perfectly and the wide timber verandahs at the back of the building overlook the start of the Understory Sculpture Walk.
The beautiful view from the Painted Tree Gallery.
Aside from the beauty of the forest and the bush the sense of community and friendliness in Northcliffe is immediately apparent. Story time for mums and bubs at the library was well attended, lots of visitors called in to see what was happening and have a chat about the books. The Community Resource Centre seemed to be busy all day and provide an amazing amount of services to the community. I really appreciated the coffee machine – great coffee for a gold coin donation. Oh and a local wildlife carer brought in a couple of orphaned joeys most days to the visitor centre – so I got to cuddle a kangaroo. I was also invited to the local book club meeting and made to feel very welcome in lots of ways.
The karri trees are amazing but unless you are there you cannot really get a sense of how large they are – maybe you can get a better idea of the sheer size in the next picture.
The workshop participants made a variety of lovely books – including one very special artist’s journal with Arches watercolour paper pages. We shared a great morning (actually it turned into most of the day) dyeing paper with plants and got some spectacular and painterly results as well as some wonderful subtle and sensitive prints. I spent a great couple of hours over at the District High School with an innovative and engaged group of students who had a great sense of humour.
And although I didn’t get to personally meet her this trip I participated in a collaboration with Northcliffe artist Aimee Dickson who is currently exploring marbling on paper – here is our little journal
All this would not have been possible without the wonderful support from my friends Anne and Lizzie who put me up (put up with me!), and assisted with setting up and packing up (I’m suffering with a very sore shoulder at present).
To celebrate this enriching week we went to dine at Foragers on Saturday evening. It is somewhere I have wanted to visit for a very long time – open for dinner only one evening a week it is in high demand. The venue holds 50 guests in a long table setting and is welcoming and friendly. Beautiful local food, great service, and a truly enjoyable evening. I loved it! I met the gorgeous Sophie and she graciously signed a copy of her lovely book for me. http://foragers.com.au
Northcliffe is a great place to visit and I was very surprised at the amount of visitors there were in the middle of winter – some Bibblemum track walkers, many caravans and rv occupants and the odd backpacker or two. The town is now gearing up for the wildflower season – there are some spectacular native orchids down there I am told. One day I hope to get back there with my camera in wildflower season.
Last weekend I travelled south to Northcliffe – DH and I combined a short camping trip, a visit to friends and a couple of book making workshops. It’s been a while since we took our tent away so we were a little like camping “newbies”. We stayed at Northcliffe’s newest accommodation “Sid’s Campground” which is a short drive from the town centre. Instructions were to set up anywhere you like and there were plenty of places to choose from where you did not have to be on top of anyone else. We chose “handbrake hill” and after pitching the tent and getting organised we realised we had left a few items at home. DH posted our lack of pillows on FB before we visited a friend for dinner and like magic, before bedtime, the pillow fairy had left pillows on our swags! It obviously pays to make your first camping trip in a long while to a town where you have friends! Both afternoons we sat with a cup of tea enjoying the sound of silence and the company of the many splendid fairy wrens at the camp ground.
There is everything you need at Sids Campground – we are in awe of Sid’s ingenuity and especially loved the shower – the top half of which is a ute canopy making for a light and airy yet private shower experience. This shower has a guardian frog who greets you when you visit after dark – very special. Details of Sid’s Campground can be found here http://northcliffe.org.au/accom.htm
On Saturday I taught a simple book structure with a hard cover and long stitch binding. We used canvas for the spine covering and some yummy handmade papers for the front and back cover. I was spoilt with a shared lunch – lots of delicious home made goodies and some especially nice bread baked in Northcliffe – must try to get down there again soon and purchase some. There were some lovely smiles at the end of the day as everyone finished their journals. Saturday evening we were invited to a BBQ – lots of fresh salads and a cheese platter, some sparkling red wine and convivial company made it a lovely evening under the stars.
Artist Tony Windberg was kind enough to allow us to use his space at the Windmill Gallery in Northcliffe for the workshops. Tony is a well known, multi award winning artist who resides in Northcliffe – you can find out more about Tony here http://www.watermarkkilns.com.au/windberg.html
On Sunday morning we made a useful sized pamphlet sewn book, met some new people, enjoyed a coffee at the Hollowbutt Cafe and headed home with a resolve to give the tent more frequent outings and put the forgotten items back into the “camping kit”.
Oh my goodness what a long time since I posted here. I have been busy with various projects, workshops and teaching at Bunbury Summer School.
Recently I have been planning and organising my “pod” space for A Swell Day Out in Mandurah. This free event showcases hand made products from the South West of Western Australia.
The pods are to be set up in the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre on Sunday 21st February 2016. I am really looking forward to this event and hope to see some of you there.
Once again I have been closeted in my studio working towards this event in Balingup, Western Australia. The pop up shop is the dream of Deanna from Balingup Bliss Retreat
Blissful Perspectives will take place in the main street in Balingup next to Teede Realty’s office. From June 18th – 21st 2015 opening hours 9am until 4pm.
There will be an eclectic selection of art and gifts for sale with 10% of the sale value donated to a Balingup community project.
Saturday only 11am – 4pm author Ian Andrew will be in attendance.
Folios and Fibre will have work there on all four days and I will be there on a couple of the days – I hope to see some of you in the picturesque Blackwood area – its a great time of the year to visit