My friend and travelling companion on this trip made only one request whilst in Melbourne – to visit the Australian Tapestry Workshop in South Melbourne. We booked a guided tour of the workshop and made sure we arrived in plenty of time. The ATW is housed in a very beautiful old building that has had many past uses and is ideally suited to its current occupants – there is plenty of space for the huge tapestry weaving looms which has wonderful natural light – a dye studio – workshop and office space.
Our tour gave a basic insight into the extensive preparation and design for a tapestry, how the tapestries are woven, and their market. Fascinating to learn a little of this wonderful textile art, and even better to learn that it is wholly Australian – the ATW uses Australian Merino wool that it dyes specifically for each project.
At the moment there is an exhibition of the Dovecot tapestry woven in the UK using all natural coloured wool – the video shows the hills the sheep live on and the Dovecot tapestry weavers and there are pictures of the individual sheep wearing the fleeces used for the tapestry.
It was so interesting – I would urge anyone to visit if they are in the area.