Tuesday, 9 June 2020

New classes for New Zealand

Kotare Studio
I'm gradually emerging from my studio which has been my retreat for the last several weeks during the New Zealand lockdown. We are fortunate now to be in a position to get (almost) back to normal lives. There are many people around the world in a much more invidious position and I hope that any of you who are ill or in a precarious position have the support you need to get through.
I was able to run my first workshop the other week. This was slightly unexpected as I had made the assumption that it wouldn't be able to go ahead.
Selwyn College in Auckland have a wide ranging programme of non-vocational workshops, and I had an enthusiastic group willing to dive into techniques which involved processes and techniques which might be called unusual for textiles and stitch - but which we all call normal for contemporary textile art.
I simply aim to get those students who are new or new-ish to textiles to look at ideas and materials which are more of a stretch from any preconceived ideas. Even small steps and changes can make  traditional or previously encountered techniques more exciting. For instance, I do love traditional techniques such as blackwork and goldwork, but have always wanted to add a little of myself to the mix, so when I was learning embroidery I began by painting the background canvas before stitching my blackwork, or using different threads to change the scale of my 'Or Nue' couching. These small changes allowed me to personalise my works. Now I almost never seem to use fabric and if I have a name for a stitch, I probably avoid it. You know what I mean!
At Selwyn College we were a group of 8 students, 7 of whom had no idea what we were about to do but all had the best attitude - go with it, enjoy and see where the ideas take you.
Over 2 days we created waxed papers, stencilled papers, laminated papers including tissue and tea bags; dipped into techniques with Angelina fusible fibres; then talked about and worked on developing design in a collage style and stitching and beading.
Here are some of the surfaces created:

Student work from Contemporary Textile Art at Selwyn College, Auckland. Tutor Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Student work from Contemporary Textile Art at Selwyn College, Auckland. Tutor Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Student work from Contemporary Textile Art at Selwyn College, Auckland. Tutor Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Student work from Contemporary Textile Art at Selwyn College, Auckland. Tutor Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Student work from Contemporary Textile Art at Selwyn College, Auckland. Tutor Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Student work from Contemporary Textile Art at Selwyn College, Auckland. Tutor Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Student work from Contemporary Textile Art at Selwyn College, Auckland. Tutor Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Student work from Contemporary Textile Art at Selwyn College, Auckland. Tutor Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Student work from Contemporary Textile Art at Selwyn College, Auckland. Tutor Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Student work from Contemporary Textile Art at Selwyn College, Auckland. Tutor Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Student work from Contemporary Textile Art at Selwyn College, Auckland. Tutor Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Student work from Contemporary Textile Art at Selwyn College, Auckland. Tutor Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Student work from Contemporary Textile Art at Selwyn College, Auckland. Tutor Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Student work from Contemporary Textile Art at Selwyn College, Auckland. Tutor Alysn Midgelow-Marsden


Student work from Contemporary Textile Art at Selwyn College, Auckland. Tutor Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

A lovely weekend and a great start back to being able to enjoy being creative in groups.

Other opportunities are opening up again:

Regular weekly Tuesday morning classes will be starting again from 16th June. This is a small class with a relaxed pace and experimental attitude - we come, we try, we conquer!

NEWMonday afternoon classes
‘Obsessive Compulsive Textile Disorder’ 

 Expect these sessions to be the start of an obsession.  Dip into a selection of media, experiment then produce your own artworks using your new textile and mixed media skills. Work with fabrics and papers, in stitch and in beads to make creative art. You will learn to view almost anything as a creative tool, including a sewing machine, hammers, candles and more! This is a course for beginners and improvers alike led by an internationally experienced artist and author. These sessions are for anyone with an enthusiasm for textile and mixed media arts, from beginner to experienced. Any hard to find materials or ones which you need only a very small amount of are provided on a cost basis. Alysn has several sewing machines which you can borrow as required, though it would be fabulous to get you using your own machines if you have them. 
Contact me for full details or booking (takingtextilesfurther@gmail.com)

I also am still hoping that travel to Australia in August/September and the UK in October/November might still be possible, but will have to keep fingers and toes crossed and let you know as we get nearer the dates.

Keeping active during lockdown

Stay safe, stay happy, keep stitching and I hope to see you soon.





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