13 February, 2016

textured textiles

It's been a while.  I got caught up with school and basket making last year.  Although it was this last basket of mine which sparked something new.

 I loved where it was going at this stage, but I wanted to give it a bit more structure....

 I have learned so much over the last year about the texture and structures that can be obtained with textiles and fibres that a new idea began to formulate... and hence this project was born:
 It started simply enough.  A piece of raw canvas and stitching straight into it. I very soon became brave and started cutting into it, changing shapes and tension.

 The process is slow and each new stage requires some risk taking; lots of unknowns.
 Whilst from the beginning I dyed some of my own threads, this has become a major part of the process with many slight variations in colours and many many different types of fibres (plant and animal) being used.

At one point, I incorporated some weaving, and I love how it adds another texture to the cloth.

 It is still a work in progress, and it grows and changes on a daily basis as it obsesses my life right now.
 Not a day passes when I don't work on it.  A slight change here, an addition there.

 I have been lucky to find the fabulous string harvest and the lovely Cass quickly supplies my needs.  Not a small thing for me, living here in Singapore.

 It has taken on a bit of a life of it's own; like some kind of microbe or bacteria, slowly growing, changing and adapting.
 With new fibres, come new ideas.  New colours, spark new shapes, and contrasts.
 It is starting to remind me of a landscape from above, and there is still a long way to go....
 But my palette is full and I am just enjoying the process so much.
 After years of keeping art and craft as 2 distinct areas of my artistic repertoire, I feel such synergy in this piece.  I could not have created it without the years of "craft", but it is so much more than that, and evolves in the same way as an abstract painting (albeit much, MUCH slower).  So, if I'm not here blogging, you know where I will be.  Instagram with it's instant point, shoot, feedback loop has become a really important part of the creative process for me, and with a full time job that is more than full time (as all teaching ultimately is) I just don't have time for the slower reflective process of blogging.

06 November, 2015

And so....

Another monthly wrap up!

A lovely trip to Ubud in Bali staying at this fabulous air bnb

 After nearly 2 months of horrendous "haze" in Singapore it was just so lovely to sit out and enjoy the outside.  And where we were staying in Ubud, overlooking a rice field, had the most delightful breezes.

 While we were there we got to watch (from the luxury of the pool) women planting rice in the fields over a few days, a flock of 23 ducks trying their best to undo the good work (which had me leaning over the pool wall clapping my hands trying to scare the ducks away) and late one night the man standing out in the fields in the dark singing a blessing over the rice fields.
 There were cats to befriend...

 fabulous food....
 a gorgeous day at the beach snorkelling in the most divine water (while Matt made promises to come back and climb Agung the volcano)

Matt's goal in the distance.

My view from bed at 6am 

 Kit, Ella and I did a silversmithing workshop

Kit made this for me.

fabulous coffee

 I may have got a tattoo....this is the morning after while it was still quite sore
 I love it to pieces.
The pups were pleased to see us back....

And I had a few gifts for myself...
MEANWHILE, on the creative front:
more weaving
and basket making....which has evolved into these which I am rather obsessed with:
 Meanwhile at school:
In our screen printing after school activity we've been doing layers.  I'm so lucky to be working with my colleague and am learning as much as the kids right now.  This was my tester to make sure all the screens worked.  Next week I will mix my own colours as we start to do a repeated pattern on fabric.
 this year, as I have longer lessons with my students (80 minutes) I've instigated 15 minutes of silent focused drawing at the beginning of each lesson.  I find it calms the kids, gives them a chance to explore, work on what they like etc as it is their own work, time, and I don't grade that work at all. They love it and often moan when I ring the bell to stop.

I also love it as for the most part I draw when they do; if there's room I sit with them as I feel it's important to model.  I have a whole drawing resources section of my classroom with photos, "how to draw", colouring in sheets, old sneakers and other interesting bits and pieces that they can use.  I've been loving working through a series of photos I tore out of a national geographic years ago...
right by my drawing resources I've set up some textiles exploration tubs with weaving and sewing for students to "play" with if they finish early.  Last week I had six 5th grade boys getting right into it which makes me EXPLODE with happiness inside.
 Here's a fabulous piece they produced!
Also, I've been tagging along to a few of the grade 11 and 12 art student weekend field trips this year: the last one to a fabulous place called The Gillman Barracks .
We saw an intriguing exhibition with spider webs which really plays into my whole fascination with biomimicry

 We also found some other fabulous and inspiring work:

 Oh, and Halloween:
 And more scary house of horrors for the middle and high school with my wonderful friend Paola.
 and gorgeous cookies created by my wonderful and talented daughter...
 Who's also pretty awesome at redesigning a bedroom....