Textiles in Context: Braemar Gallery 2016.

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.

Braemar Publication 11 - 2

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.

branch 1 branch 2 leaves


 

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.

drafting finished pattern shape


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……

 

card scale 35% wool colours


 

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……

lay outGecko lay out 2


 

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….

dress bk felt holes seam melding


 

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!!!

giftmelded dresscheck fit


 

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.

Earth gum incense smoke


 

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.

bush scents carpet snake colourstream


 

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.

spray water dropslarge leaf lay


 

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.

texture leafleaf shape leaf skirt


 

 

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.

leaf layout multi leaf makefulling leaves

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.

small leaves2 small leaves back leaves


 

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. 🌿

front leaffront placement

2: Waratah Crown

This Crown is the 1st of a series I am creating.I actually made this Crown back in November 2015 for a Wearable Art Show at Wentworthfalls school.

There is something magical about a Crown, 👑 circling the head rather than capping it……allowing your Crown chakra to be open while still wearing a head piece, I am also seeing crystals……plus one for the third eye chakra.

There is magic in the Waratah (Aboriginal word: Red flowering tree). This one is growing in my neighbours garden, he told me it was on his block when he built the house 50yrs ago……the bush is huge & stunning with many blooms.

Waratahs grow from a modified stem called a ‘lignotuber,’ which allows the plant to produce masses of shoots after bush fires, I love that about Australian plants…..lots of them need a fire cleans to regenerate & flourish.

Waratahwaratah2

The Red Waratah is a powerful energy for a head piece. The essence of courage with tenacity, being adaptable with strong faith in a positive outcome on your chosen path, plus enhancing your instinctual survival skills. The indigenous Australian peoples used this flower essence to strengthen children or cure them from disease. A powerful remedy and a powerful symbol.

Meditating on the flower, disappearing into the depth of it…it’s many tiny florets make up the whole bloom, opening from the base to the top & being protected by some red leaves at the base.


 

Laying out4 layers of the stunning marino wool deep red colour variations, creating darker depth in the petal shapes. My pattern has 35% shrinkage added…the middle pic: I’m checking it back to the base pattern. The buds are rolled like dreadlocks with wire inside to keep them standing.

1st shrink pieces


The sections are shaped on a hat block while still wet & pegged to hold the shape till dry. Machine & hand sewn into place around the circumference. Testing the fit around the head…& wrap hanging a raw Amethyst crystal over the brow chakra, with two double point clear quartz either side.

 

shaping stemsfinished


 

Green glass beads & Clear Quartz chip Crystals are hand stitched into the centre buds to hold them in a Circle over the crown chakra. I had been ‘seeing’ dreaming & ‘knowing that these crystals needed to happen………  The beautiful Goddess Grace at the photo shoot, Lincoln Rock Wentworthfalls, Blue mountains.   The Crown is complete. ❤️

beading grace split pic

3: Gloves & waterfall silk.

The Gloves hold the waterfall with the fibonacci spiralling at the base.  I am in awe of this mathematical equation that is found in nature, from Shells to Seed heads, the Milky Way, an Ocean Wave. a cyclone a Pine Cone…….  With this stitched together in three panels it will float & fan out when walking forward.

fibonacci seeds fibonacci spiral

With these 3 spiral panels stitched together, connecting together……….it will float & fan out when walking forward. We are connected to everything else.

I create a pattern piece with the spiral, place it on the silk, I can fit two panels on one 2.5mtr length of silk with next to no wastage….any scraps I keep, everything is needed.

Learn how to see


 

Starting work outside…….it’s 11:11am when I check the time……a magical repeating number sequence for me & many others on a guided path, I stop & listen……..  Pin to my frame & using soy wax with an organic tool called a Djanting, I freehand draw my design on to the silk, going with the flow of the wax.

Also making sure that I drink my juice the hipster jar with lid & straw……..not paint with it. the colour of beetroot is strong! ❤️

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I’ve done a watery mix for this silk dye, as I want the colours to be soft & really swish around with the revisit salts to crate that watery effect splashing down onto the Earth spirals.

 

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The cotton used for the gloves was a hem off cut from a long dress that I chopped off 20yrs ago …..CRAZYYYYYY…….. but I just new that I would use that for something special……..100% thick cotton knits are a keeper. This was painted with the same dye lots to match the waterfall.

After fixing the dye to the silk with a steaming technique, I cut & stitch the silk together, exciting to see it meld into one panel. Felted some moss, & stitched these pieces on around the base of the waterfall.

thumb_IMG_9331_1024sewing   thumb_IMG_9498_1024


 

The finished result…….after walking around with them & stitched it together at centre back, this kept the piece flowing straight, with out twisting & separating…….

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Photo session by Camille Walsh with the wings being lifted by the most beautiful breeze. 💫❤️ 💫

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