So very excited to be invited into this exhibition by Vanessa Taylor, after she saw my first Wearable Art piece. Along side very respected & admired local artists. The list of talented people involved is very inspiring: Kerry Beaumont, Pam de Groot, Inga Hunter, Michelle Snowdon, Annabelle Solomon, Christine Thompson, Elizabeth Bowe, Ellen King, Sadhana Peterson, Brigitte Sieber, Rosie Pascoe, Jillian Culey, Kellie Stockton, Saskia Everingham, Yvonne mattel, Petal Davies & Elanya Stuart.
I am just emerging from years away from the fashion industry, lead by inner vibrational Spirit guides, to express my visions into wearable textiles & skins. So grateful for the opportunity to be involved.
BRAEMARHOUSE & GALLERY: 104 Macquarie Rd, Springwood NSW 2777
TEXTILES IN CONTEXT, OFFICIAL OPENING: SATURDAY 9 APRIL, 5.30pm – 7 pm
GALLERY OPENING HOURS: Braemar Gallery is open to the public from Friday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm, for the duration of Textiles in Context. Braemar Gallery volunteers will supervise the exhibition when open to the public.
I am including the original Warratah Crown & silk Waterfall gloves from my first Wearable Art creation. As the dress was a size 14….to fit me (so I could wear it)……. I have created a new Lemon scented gum dress size 8-10 to fit my Womannequin, & hot off the press leg chaps for this show.
1: Let the creating begin, wet felted dress: Welcome to the Elementals, may you aid me in my creativity. Swishing Undine from the watery East, Salamander of the Northern Fires , Sylphs of the windy West, & Earthy Gnomes, wooden mushrooms of the South.
I have been mesmerised by the fallen branches & leaves of the Lemon scented gum, a tree in my back yard that my Dad planted close to 50 yrs ago, it also smells so uplifting, & lemony fresh when you walk through crunching the leaves under foot. The colours when you study it are many.
This trunk dress shape is; cowl neck halter, low back with a flared skirt. Lots of holes in the wet felt like the bark above. A hand painted cotton lycra dress worn under as the core of the tree.
Pattern takes shape & 35% shrinkage is added. Unlike my other dresses, I will use a resist to meld the sides & Centre back seams. Lets see how we go with that……I personally like to see the shape flat to compare back to my pattern, wanting to be in control……I will have to be more trusting in the wool. Lets pull a card to assist me with that.
I have a new card deck from Laura Bowen…..a Saltwater Deck. So far away from the ocean here, it will be like having a psychological dip in the sea. I’m attached to my Dreamtime deck, this is a refreshing change. Sea Shells; Guidance……I don’t have many gifts from the coast, but I do have a jar of tiny shells on my work desk, lets release them over the card to capture that vibration. (they don’t get out enough).
35% shrinkage added, traced with a Sharpie, select wool colours & weigh it out per 1/4 pattern piece.
Yes, need guidance from the Shells to hear the whispers from my Spirit guides…..trust them…….I have complete quiet today, peace to listen & meditate, as working with a resist & melding seams, haven’t done this for a dress before. Feeling; Intimidated & hesitant……
35-40deg C heat today, visited by a sweet thirsty Gecko, when this animal crosses your path the message is reinforcing me to listen to my intuition as the Sea Shell card first told me. Nothing like a direct reminder when you are laying all the fibres onto the resist pattern shape. Thanks little Gecko for helping me feel more confident in my technique.
Creating the linear interest in the dress, popping out the colours with some ‘off white’ roving.
Channelling the branches from the Lemon Scented Gum. Listening & being guided with the colours, lines, & openings. Keeping the big picture in my mind, having flashes of the finished dress moving on the body. Flare the skirt out this time……
The layering on the Left Back panel, using bubble wrap as the resist…..making ties for the Centre Back, also extending fibres from the side seam edge to attach to the front. The middle image is the Front, waist dart gaps, design holes, halter straps & ties. Rubbed down to meld the fibres together….
Side seam melding with the back panels….The front piece is flipped over & the back pieces are placed on with the resists together. The fluffy fibres are used to join the side seams, long coloured strands are wrapped around to the back to continue the design. I also melded the CBK seam……my intuition said “NO”.….but technically I wanted to push through & try the whole dress melded together as they describe in all the felting books.
Of course it proves more difficult to match back to the pattern to check shrinkage. Now I’ve tried it….I won’t do that again….. it’s become unenjoyable……….I listen to that…..& know that’s not the way for me.
You can actually see the struggle at the centre back seam….it’s buckled….
Nature gifts of gum leaves were quietly getting rolled into the felting….neat surprise…… Love that, the fibres are being given the essence of the gum. With the sides happily melded together, I remove the resist, rolled the long locks, & start to full the piece back to size 8-10. With my womanniquin covered in plastic I check the fit by placing the pattern back over it, pin closed the darts & sculpt the neckline. The locks are coiled up & pegged to set. It’s fab how wool has a memory!!!
On to the felted gum leaves……..Cleansing the space & bringing in the Elementals with dried Lemon Scented gum leaf incense. My hand carved wooden gum leaf, from a local carver, is placed in the South with the my Sun sign stone, a green agate, a raw Orange Calcite, & green Fluorite point for Earth ……
My Elfin leather cuff is from Pendragon Shoes & accessories, fine leather crafters from Queensland. I wear it on my left hand for receiving information from the universe. The scent from the leaves is beautiful & I feel blessed to have cleansed my space with these leaves, abundant in my yard.
Selecting wool colours from my Colour Streams stash……I’m using a single shade green & a hand dyed multi colour lot…….laying out the fibres, seeing the colours.
Starting with making some large leaves, to place around the neckline & at the back of the dress, I’ve been studying some textures, looking deep into the stems to see the colour variations. My guidance card today is Carpet Snake……”HOME” , how sweet, home sweet home. My Dad planted this tree so it surely does remind me of home.
Laying the fibres……..being mindful that the underside will be plain & the top contain all the interest. To not have any wastage I lay the shape of the leaves left to right with a yellow centre stem.
Added texture & surface details with wild cocoons, Wool Neeps & Curly Wool fibres. Using the machine I stitched a casing for wire through the centre…..this created a really great stem look running into the branch.
Using the leaves as a guide.…imagining them around the skirt of the dress. Constructed a plain pre-felt on my finely textured rubber mat, good for doing smaller fine pieces. When it was still wet I cut out the leaves like a jigsaw puzzle to use all the felt, then colour added for detail & stems.
Shaping the small gum leaves, spiralling the tips…….then hand stitching into place around the skirt.
Working with the large leaves bending at the back……the two ends look like wings.
The front leaf under the cowl neckline across the bust is bent into position, also spiral wet setting the dreadlocks around the neck & side seams. I’ll hand stitch into place at a few points so they can look quite floating, plus still be bent in different ways. 🌿