When I arrived in Australia this time, I flew into Sydney and onto Canberra (seen to the left of the blue line). After teaching there for 3 days, Laura drove us from Canberra to Mogo. The blue line is the route we took when Jenny drove us to TAFTA from Mogo
Wish I'd taken more photographs during the weeklong workshop. It was such a dynamic time with so much going on every minute. And in addition to the multiple feltmaking techniques, each day I taught a beading stitch.
The first day we finished with a quick lesson in undulating tubular peyote. They made several bangle bracelets like those I'll teach in June at the Bead & Button Show,
foreground in photo.
Sandra placed her beadwork in the center of a felt rope to drape around her neck. She embroidered a spiral motif on the ends that reflect the spiral in the centerpiece beadwork. Gorgeous. (She made the felt hat and vest she is wearing too!)
Joan made a spiral felt cane and cut it into beads that looks so much like shells. One end of the cane became the pendant she is wearing, embellished with a cap of bead embroidery. Oh, and there are matching earrings too.
Zita is shown wearing her complex cane felt beads necklace and earrings, made day one.
This is Donna wearing one of her popular line of felted scarves. On our final day at TAFTA, students are invited to sell their work to other participants as well as the community, invited for this open house event. Additionally she sold sweet little booties that are not in the photo and these wonderful purses made of textured and lovely handcrafted fabrics and handbag frames. Some even boasted feather trims.
We were not new to each other. She had taken a workshop with me at Beads by Blanche when she'd been in the USA to visit her nephew. Donna assumed a real leadership role in the workshop; collecting materials fees, monitoring our samovar of hot water, helping to organize things that wanted organizing...coming as close to an assistant as I've ever had. She even worked at my display with me for the Tutors Bazaar. She has a real knack with people and made my work just fly off the table and onto people's necks and wrists.
Margaret was also selling her work, including some prize-winning felt pieces.
Margaret and I were also familars. She had been in my workshop when I taught here in 2008. What an honor to have her in workshop again this time.
Also in that 2008 workshop was Penel Bigg, a lampworker from Sydney. This is a snap from her website, Firebird Beads. We had some time to catch up at mealtimes. My workshop even enjoyed a preview of her beads, so we could use them during our week of production and creativity.
Pam wearing her fresh felt earrings.
Merryn's elegant rose bracelet with sterling silver stamens. This workshop explored felt as a jewelry component along with other mediums, felt married to metal, felt connected with chain, and as always, felt with glass and beads.
Penny made this elaborate neckpiece. She teaches textiles but is new to felting. She was one of the most intense and focused people I have worked with. She came to the second or third day of workshop with a sketched rendering of the piece she wished to make. I broke it down for her into steps: 1. Make the cane for surface design and pods 2. Felt the extensions but retain a dry "root" on each 3. Wire the beads for embedding...etc.
She set off to work and my attention was everywhere else for the next several hours. When I next checked in on her, this piece was well underway. She followed directions to the letter and had a singlemindedness that propelled her through all the steps to fruition.
By contrast, one of our lighthearted projects was Frances' "stubby holder". We made bubbly felt by using marbles. Her piece made her think of udders. She placed an "ice cube" bead in each ( to keep the stubby cold?). Using eyelets and rubber lashing, the holder laces onto the bottle. Not jewelry but, sometimes ya just gotta.
Documentary filmaker Katarzyna wasn't able to attend the last couple days. She was well on her way with this piece and I hope she will continue to work on it and send a picture. We got to see a portion of the video she was doing on this event. Hope she'll be able to complete that as well.
Rhonda's bangle was gorgeous. It was a simple cane that she carved in three places. The 3 removed portions became felt cabohons that she relocated on the bangle, lending it a square shape.
Here are some pictures of our display table during open house.
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