Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Getting Romantic at the Koala Convention

Spoiler alert - I'm not cheating on my husband, just spending time with more enthusiastic ladies at the Koala Convention.
Yesterday evening I sat in on a short workshop by the lovely Jane Nicholas. She was teaching a 2 signature, W-spine pamphlet with a stitched binding. Quite a challenge in an hour. It was obvious that she had worked really hard in advance to do the groundwork - cutting all the leaves and covers ready and preparing detailed stage by stage instructions. Everyone left very happy, and though I have made similar books, I learned a couple of awesome tricks to overcome the trickiest parts of the bookmaking process. Thanks Jane.

Bookmaking with Jane Nicholas

For the current workshop we have been taking inspiration from gilded Japanese kimonos (nuihaku) with romantic symbols stitched all over them as in my project for the 'Stitch, Fbre, Metal and Mixed Media' book.


For the project in the book I looked at designs which reflect romance and developed a paired chrysanthemum design. The flowers represent lovers and were often used in messages printed along with beautiful poetry onto knotted and folded handmade paper.   
Here is the starting point: 

Golden Romance project by Alysn Midgelow-Marsden
For this workshop, there was more focus on creating the waxed papers, two types of silk/fibre papers and five different versions of gilding. This gave great starting points for self designed projects by the participants. Having set the scene and taught my group the various techniques they needed, it was a creative free for all for the rest of day one and all of day two. 
Everyone developed wildly different responses to the same introduction and set of materials and ideas, which is always exciting for me as a tutor.
Here are today's stars:

Dale 1

Dale 2

Dale 3

Dale 4
As you can see, Dale was especially taken by the waxed papers and created a pile of starting points ready to stitch. 

Clare 1

Clare 2

Clare 3

Clare 4

Clare's project was inspired by the silk moths and the mulberry trees, and will have references to the leaves, cocoons, threads and moths once it is assembled. In delicate naturals with a hint of teal and perhaps a soft purple.

Charmaine 1

Charmaine 2

Charmaine 3
Charmaine decided to go large. Her piece will be around 1.2m long when complete, she took some elements of the class and added her unique stamp onto it. With a huge butterfly at the top and hand made papers, threads, beads, vintage textiles and many textured threads, this piece will be a real show stopper when completed. Go for it girl!

Now I have a short break and have the luxury of doing some sightseeing, and the clouds have gone away, so I am looking forward to doing something different. 

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