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Australia’s exciting magazine for fibres, yarns & textiles DOWN UNDER



Stylish stencils with glue guns

Top textile artist Felicity Griffin Clark

IssUe 11, 2013


Contemporary textile maps

Le a ✍ sU rn h np o rIn w t t o

AUS $9.95 / NZ $11.95


Quilters’ A d v e n t u re Take a textiles tour like no other! See, learn and do – and be amazed by traditional and modern textiles and the most interesting cultural places. Itineraries are specially developed by quilting experts for the ultimate quilt and fabric experiences.

A truly unique experience! Check out the fabulous quilt and textile itineraries

All Tours Feature:


Demonstrations Quilt & Textile collections and exhibitions Museums and Castles Local textile history Patchwork and fabric shops VISIT MAJOR INTERNATIONAL QUILT SHOWS

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C USA – in hina/Bali New York cluding Houston , and Lanc aster Co enquiries unty – dls1386 @me.com

PLUS: Air-conditioned Coach Travel, Bilingual Licensed Local Guides, Sightseeing, Entry to events and museums, 4-star accommodation, Some meals – all breakfasts.

England 1–12 August

Japan 3-17 November

Festival of Quilts V&A Museum Liberty of London Hampton Court The Quilt Museum and Gallery, York www.worldofquiltstravel.com/ festivalofquilts.htm

Quilt Week Yokohama Textile Town Weaving, Yuzen Dyeing Nishjin Textile Centre Arimatsu Shibori Itchiku Kubota Art Museum www.jtboi.com.au

Contact Deb textiletours@aol.com Deb Roberts’ Tours #209069440

Contact Kathy FREE CALL –1800 105 451 JTB Australia Pty Ltd #2TA001972


Debra (left) and Linda PS – We’ve just launched a new website, which makes buying back copies and subscriptions of DUT a breeze – check out our amazing special offers at www.moremags.com.au. And while you’re there, have a look at the other quality craft magazines in the Practical Publishingpo rtfolio!

Hello and welcome to a new issue of Down Under Textiles, and a new team working on your favourite fibres, yarns and textiles magazine. We’d like to thank Erica Spinks and Deborah Segaert for their fantastic work on the title and look forward to them continuing to stay involved as contributors. This issue Erica shares a project with us and starts a new column with her reflections on life and textiles. Our new commissioning editor is Linda Robertus, a textile artist with a particular passion for art quilting. We’ve featured Linda’s work in the magazine before and are delighted to welcome her aboard. We have loads of fabulous projects in this issue for you to try. We continue the second parts of our special features on screen printing, breakdown printing and using heat treatments to achieve gorgeous effects. We also show you how to create stencils using a glue gun, and explain the process of using sun printing for quick yet stunning results. And to inspire you, we have exhibitions from the Maps x 11 artists, Sue Dennis and the creative textile group of the Stirling Street Arts Centre in Bunbury. We meet Melbourne textile artist Felicity Griffin Clark, who gives us her insight on the artistic process. With all this as well as the usual tips, news, diary dates and book reviews, we’ll let you get started. Debra Hudson Managing Editor


EdiTorial Commissioning Editor: Linda Robertus linda.robertus@practicalpublishing.com.au Editorial Coordinator: Deborah Segaert Subeditor: Lorraine Moran Designer: Jo Martin Advertising Sales: Jan Saxon jan.saxton@practicalpublishing.com.au Tel: 07 3300 4022 SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscription Manager: Linzi Wilkinson linzi.wilkinson@practicalpublishing.com.au Online: www.practicalpublishing.com.au Tel: 07 3160 9940 PUBLISHING Managing Editor: Debra Hudson debra.hudson@practicalpublishing.com.au

Associate Publisher: Gavin Burrell gavin.burrell@practicalpublishing.com.au Finance Manager: Linda Constable linda.constable@practicalpublishing.com.au Group Publishing Director: Rob Wilkinson rob.wilkinson@practicalpublishing.com.au HEAD OFFICE AUSTRALIA Practical Publishing International Pty Ltd GPO Box 1457, Brisbane, Qld Australia 4001 Tel: 07 3300 4022 www.practicalpublishing.com.au EUROPEAN OFFICE Practical Publishing International Ltd St Christopher House, Stockport Cheshire, England SK2 6NG Tel: +44 (0) 844 561 1202 www.practicalpublishing.co.uk

Linda Robertus Commissioning Editor


DISTRIBUTION Australia: Gordon & Gotch Tel: 02 9972 8800 New Zealand: Gordon & Gotch Tel: +64 (0) 9979 3000 England: Comag Tel: +44 (0) 1895 433600 South Africa: Magscene Pty Ltd Tel: +27 11 805 502 Email: tarrynf@magscene.co.za Published by Practical Publishing International Pty Ltd. The style and mark of Down Under Textiles is used under license from Newlife Media Group Pty Ltd. See copyright and trademark notices below. ISSN 2201-3857. For overseas distribution enquiries please contact andrew randall Eight Point Distribution – Australia Andrew@eightpointdistribution.com.au Telephone: + 61 (0)2 9960 5710


The Editor reserves the right to include or not, any submissions or part thereof. All articles and projects are copyright of the author and must not be reproduced for commercial or financial gain without permission. Practical Publishing has taken reasonable steps to ensure that the copyright of each article/project resides with the contributing author. Practical Publishing relies on these warranties when asserting that the copyright is owned by the authors. The instructions for the included projects have been checked for accuracy and are published in good faith. However, we do not guarantee successful results and offer no warranty, either expressed or implied. The claims and statements made in any advertisements are not those of the publisher. Practical Publishing takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the content of any advertisements, advertorials or paid promotions. All information supplied in advertisements is the responsibility of the company who books and pays for the space. TRadEmaRks

Many of the brands and products mentioned in the news and projects pages in Down Under Textiles are trademarks of their respective companies. All companies and brands mentioned in the magazine are included for editorial purposes and all copyrights and trademarks are acknowledged.

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Let’s Create 18 Grab Your Glue Guns!

54 Breakdown Printing – Part II

28 Start Screen Printing – Part II

64 Turn up the Heat – Part II

Erica Spinks shows how to achieve great stencils using a glue gun

Sally Westcott explains about three more methods of printing an image onto fabric with a silk screen

46 Here Comes the Sun

Anne Mitchell reveals the quick and easy process of heliography – better known as sun printing!

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Dijanne Cevaal demonstrates how to create interesting fabrics using linocuts and over-printing

Heat Guns

Neroli Henderson shows how to use a heat gun to distort, melt, dissolve, create lacelike effects, seal edges and bubble materials

General 6 Bits n Pieces 74 Library 77 Blogroll 78 What’s On, When & Where 82 Next Issue




Features 10 Maps: You Are Here

70 Creative Vests

22 Meet a Textile Artist


Eleven artists created this travelling exhibition of maps in textiles and mixed media

Melbourne artist Felicity Griffin Clark shares her thoughts on her artistic process, her current focus and her plans for the future

38 Taking Leaf of my Senses

See the amazing wearable art that members of the Creative Textile Group of the Stirling Street Arts Centre in Bunbury, WA, made with scraps of fabric!

21 Down Under Textiles 37 Down Under Quilts


Enjoy the works from Sue Dennis’s 2012 solo exhibition at Warwick Art Gallery

53 Reflections

Columnist Erica Spinks ponders about textiles and history‌ www.downundertextiles.com | 5

Yarn BomBing Blackwood Street In March, Practical Publishing moved into our new offices in north west Brisbane. Imagine our delight when we discovered that there is a lot of textile art to be found in this street – in the form of yarn bombing! after some sleuthing on the internet we discovered the identity of the textile artist who got the ball rolling. She goes by the name of Joanda, and told us, ‘I have been yarn bombing the street for about four years (among other places, like Dunedin, New Zealand and Durban, South Africa), and the craze has now

started to take off. The two trees in front of the Bendigo Bank are the work of bank customers and staff. The owner of the Swiss restaurant has begun hosting a small craft group on Fridays and they have made the birds outside the restaurant. Also, there is a plan for an installation to celebrate World Wide Knit in Public Day in June. ‘My current work is towards the WWKIP installation – a surprise, in the ninja-like tradition of yarn bombing. Other recent work includes many small bunnies that I and a craft group helper made and scattered in the plants for children to find and take home with them. ‘The reason why I do it is to make people smile when they see my work.

That and the fun that it brings to the “coffee crowd kids”.’ Thanks for that Joanda, you certainly make us smile when we go for a coffee!

Textile travels

Mad for Sydney The Mad Quilters Gathering heads to Sydney from 2–4 August at the Penrith Panthers Exhibition Marquee. Highlights include all the latest in machine embroidery hosted by Echidna Sewing Products and loads of specialist vendors in patchwork and quilting supplies. The popular Committed Husbands’ Sanity Retreat area will also be available! For more information, visit the website: http://madquiltersgathering. com.au 6 | www.downundertextiles.com

Textile tourism has seen a boom in recent years, with more inquisitive travellers interested in learning and exploring beyond comfort zones. Active Travel’s Warp&Weft portfolio includes eight annual excursions that include Vietnam and Laos, Myanmar, Bhutan, Egypt, regions of India, West Timor and Flores and a new trip to Sri Lanka. The tours provide a learning experience from both sides – group guests as well as the local artisans. Each trip is accompanied by a qualified presenter and includes Valerie Kirk, Head of Textiles at the ANU School of Art, who has accompanied every excursion to Vietnam since the first in 1993. Other presenters include Ruth Hadlow, a renowned Indonesian specialist and educator, Cresside Collette, a tapestry weaver, Nancy Hoskins from the US who is an Egyptologist fascinated by Pharaoh textile techniques and Christine Pearson, a trained ceramicist who escorts tours in Bhutan. Apart from providing a worthwhile experience for paying guests who are rewarded with unique and unusual textile, cultural and personal insights, textile-focused journeys develop and foster excellent contacts in each destination. These contacts are very pleased to provide their knowledge and information regarding their relationship with traditional and contemporary textiles. Such people include museum curators, owners of small business, private collectors, and NGO or self esteem developers working in the field of women’s empowerment and economic sustainability. The encouragement of traditional textile production plays a key role in these endeavours.


n Pieces

The Blood Bag Project

The Blood Bag Project is a craft project that aims to raise awareness of the rare blood condition Diamond Blackfan Anaemia, of which there are thought to be only 700 sufferers worldwide. It was set up by British textile artist Leigh Bowser when her niece Chloe was found to have this condition. It means that Chloe’s bone marrow does not create new red blood cells, causing her to become severely anaemic very quickly. As a result, Chloe has blood transfusions every 4-5 weeks, receiving her first two whilst still in the womb. When Chloe reaches the age of ten, she will be strong enough to undergo chemotherapy and receive a bone marrow transplant. Until then, she will need more than 16 litres of blood and will have had around 120 transfusions to keep her alive. Chloe’s main source of help is through blood donation. However, Leigh is unable to give blood herself and understands she’s not alone. This project is for those who want to help the blood cause by donating in another way. By the end of April 2013 more than 200 textile blood bags had already been donated, but the project is ongoing. The submitted blood bags will be exhibited in some way, whether that be in a gallery setting or online. They will then be sold and 100% of the profits will be donated to The National Blood Donation Service, DBAUK and The Anthony Nolan Trust. Leigh has set up a website, where you can find a template for a blood bag. The bags must be made from textiles, of

Textile workshops Fibre Arts Australia organises five-day textile art workshops with famous Australian and international teachers in various locations all over Australia. Teachers include Christine Atkins, Loani Prior, Kim Thittichai (UK), Cherilyn Martin (Netherlands) and Kerr Grabowski (USA). Find out all the details and book on their website: www.fibrearts.jigsy.com.

Textile blood bag made by Jacque, Blood Bank Specialist and Textile Artist, St. Louis, USA

Made by Kerry, Batley School of Art

whatever kind the maker likes. The following information needs to be included: name, age, occupation, city, country. This can be included in any form, e.g. in/on the bag, on a tag connected to the bag, on a separate piece of paper. The bags may be embellished and filled as desired. www.wix.com/leighlalovesyou/thebloodbagproject

Tell Us: What Are You Creating? We love to hear about your textile adventures. Are you experimenting with new techniques or are you attempting to perfect an existing method? Part of the fun of creating is sharing the excitement with other likeminded people. That’s where we come in. Send us your photos and tell us your story – we promise to be excited, too! Email us: mail@ practicalpublishing.com.au or post on our Facebook page: www. facebook.com/downundertextiles

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Jumpers & Jazz 18 - 28 July

Queensland’s quirky winter festival happens in Warwick each July. A platform for the arts and a celebration of all that is wonderful about winter, the festival’s success is due to the community embracing the chill and the opportunity to be inspired by vibrant music and art. Jumpers and Jazz in July began in 2004, inspired by the art community’s desire to reclaim and personalise the cold winter streets with textile art. The quirky “tree jumper” project captured the imagination of the local community and the event grew into a 10-day arts festival that attracts visitors in droves. The Festival is a must do for any textile lover and the street art exhibition is guaranteed to inspire and enchant all

who see it. Several of the 150 tree jumpers travel from overseas and are lovingly installed by gallery volunteers. The Tree Jumper theme for 2013 is Mamma Mia. The Jazz program includes Dixieland, Swing and Mainstream Jazz performances throughout the festival with an abundance of free entertainment at Saturday’s Party on Palmerin and Sunday’s Picnic in the Park. Involve yourself in the creativity by joining an art workshop, attend an artist’s talk or design a tree jumper. Bring your knitting needles or crochet hooks – spontaneous acts of art in the streets, coffee shops and parks are encouraged!

Art On Legs 2013 Wearable art competition Art On Legs will be held on 14 September 2013 at the Farrall Centre at The Friends’ School in Hobart, Tasmania. Art on legs, previously known as australia’s Fashion Fantasia, was founded in 2002 by Rossy Roberts-Thomson and has always received outstanding reviews. For more information check the website: www.artonlegs.com.au. 8 | www.downundertextiles.com

1st Prize 2012: Plastique Fantastique by Diana Eaton

2nd Prize 2012: Queen of the Apple Isle by Sabrina Evans

Have you ever wanted to visit the amazing and colourful

Grand Bazaar in Istanbul?

Turkey, where ‘East meets West’, has something for everyone. This 3-week tour is a delight for all. Those interested in textiles, arts and crafts, photography and all things creative will be enthused and inspired. Travelling in Turkey is made easy with all the comforts of a luxury air-conditioned coach, comfortable accommodation and an English-speaking Turkish guide. A small group tour – maximum of 14 Would you like to visit the famous sites of Istanbul, shop in the Grand Bazaar, gaze at the wonder of the Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque, participate in a felt workshop – with a master felt maker, or walk through ancient Greek and Roman cities? Would you like to visit the magical fairy chimneys of Cappadocia and the archaeological site of Ephesus? Then why not spend 3 exciting weeks in Turkey? Join us on our Turkey Tour Depart Friday 20th September 2013 Return Sunday 13th October 2013 (This includes September school holidays) Hassle free all organized for you – even tipping included!

Travel with Pat and Virginia This tour of Turkey is the fifth tour organized by Pat Jones and Virginia Harrison (formerly of RMIT University). Backed by a Licensed Travel Agent – Neptune Travel Contact: Pat Jones pat.jones06@bigpond.com or Virginia Harrison varrison@yahoo.com.au

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You Are Here Text and photographs courtesy of the artists

Catherine McClellan, A Metaphorical Suitcase, 41cm(w) x 45cm(h) x 26cm(d) Cardboard suitcase, linen, silk, embroidery and other assorted materials. A personal atlas for my sister; this suitcase contains an embroidered globe, a sewing kit, a Palladio primer, a graph book of samples, a ‘soul food’ snack box, an embroidered luggage strap and an embroidered luggage tag.

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The 11 textile artists who make up ‘Maps X 11’ created works for Maps: You are Here, a travelling exhibition of maps in textiles and mixed media. The works are contemporary and range from personal to national, concrete to abstract. Each artist has interpreted ‘map’ in a different way – to explore the coastline that Captain Cook charted, to pursue personal memories of childhood, and to explore family journeys including immigration, settlement, travel and relocation. Exploration figures large in these works, be it an intense private search for enlightenment or a broader universal study. All of these works reflect the place these artists inhabit now, in a physical and abstract sense.

Diana Thomas, Aerial View, 50cm x 45cm Found fabrics, machine embroidery on paper. Landscape, when seen from an aeroplane, can reveal the most amazing and unexpected patterns and rhythms.


The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. Marcel Proust


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Annette Glare, L’Hexagone, 29cm x 35cm Paper-pieced hexagons, photos, cotton fabric and thread, cardboard, hand stitching. France is known as l’Hexagone because of its shape. In the news it is common to say “In l’Hexagone today...” in preference to “In France today...”. Fabrics from Provence and those with a French theme feature in this piece.

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Robin Kaltenbach, The Explorer’s Map, 220cm x 132cm Paper-pieced hexagons and circles of cotton fabric. The sea symbolises the declaration of Australia by Captain Cook and our island nation; it connects us to the world. The hexagons represent our diverse range of trees. This work is a tribute to the explorers’ courage, skills and challenges that were required to open up this land for my exploration.

Donna Caffrey, Surfers Paradise, 28cm x 20cm Acrylic paints, machine embroidery. Ship’s Log: Wednesday, 16 May, 1770. Saw more land to the no’ward. Bank’s Log: Wednesday, 16 May, 1770. Very low land which looked like an extensive plain … many fires. Surfers Paradise sits on the edge of the sea. The vista seen from the Endeavour no longer exists and the fires have been replaced by bright lights.

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Margaret Gollan, Malolo LaiLai Meanderings 37cm x 60cm Hand embroidered on cotton and silk. Cook passed through the islands of Fiji in 1774. The track of his journey is represented by Fijian symbols that would be used on tapa cloth and a tabua (whale’s tooth), which is highly prized in Fiji. The background colours characterise island sunsets.

Gina Sirabella, Here and There (Where Series) each piece: 11cm x 22cm Hand-dyed cotton, vintage silk and cotton threads. Migration movements triggered by acts of exploration opens up new pathways in the physical world resulting in temporary displacement. The eight panels of shibori grid work are overlaid with embroidered map markings, in orderly and chaotic boxes, in varying shades linked by a central binding chain. Displaced between here and there; where do we belong?

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Linda Tagleri, The Birth of a Map, 53cm x 66cm Wool/cashmere,c otton, rayon on canvas. Canvaswork in a Storm at Sea patchwork pattern. As the land materialises from the womb of the deep it can be mapped. My first memory as a child is of touching the coarse carpet on the sunroom floor at 140 Raglan Street, Mosman. That sunroom was my place – the starting point for many of my adventures as I explored my world.

Prue Hill, My Journeys, 100cm x 46cm Silk, painted and embroidered. Cook travelled over the surface of the seas. I have flown around the world many times. To gauge where in the world I have been, I tracked my trips and embroidered my pathways on a globe flattened with the Fuller projection.

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Christene Boseley, Navigating, 76cm x 56cm Recycled maps collaged onto muslin, dyed and hand embroidered. Some of the instruments used in map making – the sextant, quadrant, plane table and the trundle wheel are represented.

Sheralie Woods, Earth History Map, 36cm(w) x 12cm(h) x 45cm(d) Vegetable and rust-dyed cotton and silk fabric, hand felted cross-bred fleece, bones, cotton thread. Areas of erosion at an old farm revealed rusted machinery in the layers below the surface. This was used with vegetation to dye the fabric. Bones found in a paddock, imagined aboriginal song lines, tracks of the old gold miners, farmers, sheep and birds have been embroidered onto the surface of this topographical map.

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L E T ’ S C R E AT E


Glue Guns! Text and photographs by Erica Spinks

Use your glue gun to create great stencils for use on fabric. Whether you prefer geometric designs or organic shapes, this technique can provide hours of creative fun.

I first saw this method of making stencils on Traci Bautista’s blog and immediately wanted to try it. Doodling with a hot glue gun appealed to me because I prefer wonky, simple shapes rather than precisely-drawn lines. Just as well, because it is quite a challenge to draw meticulous lines with a hot glue gun!

Materials Hot glue gun – choose a glue gun that takes glue sticks the thickness you want on your stencils Plenty of glue sticks Wooden board (I used a bread board) Baking paper

Safety note Before starting, read the manufacturer’s instructions on the hot glue gun label. A hot glue gun melts sticks of solid glue. These sticks are thermoplastics, which are plastics that melt and can be reshaped when they are heated (photo 1). You should always use them in a well-ventilated room so that the glue vapours are dissipated. Consider wearing a mask if necessary. Keep the hot glue gun away from flammable materials and don’t lay it on its side while hot. Use the metal safety stand to hold the hot glue gun when you are not using it to glue items. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions at all times.


Photo 1

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1. Insert a glue stick in the hot glue gun and turn on the gun. 2. Tear off a piece of baking paper and place it on the wooden board. 3. When the glue gun is ready (it usually takes about five minutes to heat up), draw shapes on the baking paper. I find that it is best to hold the point of the gun slightly above the paper as I move it. You may have to practise a few shapes before you get used to drawing a shape while applying the correct pressure to the gun’s trigger.

Photo 2 4. To create a successful stencil, you need to draw shapes that have crossing lines. You can see in photo 2 that I have made sure that all the pieces of the stencil join. 5. If your lines are too thin, go back over them with more glue. It is important to have lines that are thick enough to later peel off the baking paper.

6. If you find it difficult to use the glue gun to make the shapes you want, try drawing your shapes on a piece of photocopy paper. Place the drawing under the baking paper and then trace the shapes with the glue gun. 7. Place the baking paper aside and wait until the glue sets. 8. Carefully peel the glue stencil off the baking paper. If there are any fine ‘strings’ of glue that you don’t want on your stencil, carefully remove them with scissors. 9. Use the stencil on fabric with fabric paint to create patterns on cloth. The stencil is fragile, so take care when placing or lifting it. Paint will easily wash off the glue stencils once they are removed. 10. Photos 3, 4 and 5 show a few of the stencils I made with my glue gun. Enjoy creating your own hot glue gun shapes!

To see Traci Bautista’s post on hot glue gun stencils, visit her blog kollaj.typepad.com/kollaj/2012/07/ artjournaling-daily-hot-glue-handmade-stencils.html

Photo 3

Photo 4

Photo 5

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Here are some fabrics I patterned with my hot glue gun stencils.

Hand-dyed base fabric with diluted shimmer jet-black Setacolor opaque fabric paint sprayed over the stencil.

Hand-dyed base fabric with diluted shimmer jet-black Setacolor opaque fabric paint sprayed over the stencil.

Sun dyed with violet and grevillea Sun Dyes fabric paint and stencil.

Sun dyed with sky Sun Dyes fabric paint and stencil. I also used the stencil to cut a shape from a piece of painted fusible webbing and fused it to the fabric.

Erica Spinks may be contacted through her blog creativedabbling.blogspot.com

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The latest techniques, tools and products; colour, design and composition theory; galleries, profiles and lots more.

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M E E T A T E x T I L E A RT I S T

Felicity Griffin Clark Photographs by William Paul

Melbourne textile artist Felicity Griffin Clark makes works that are personal, thoughtful and expressive. We asked her to share her insights on her artistic process and the inspiration behind her current focus on hand-stitched three-dimensional textile pieces.

Ormer Ecstasy, Felicity Griffin Clark 2011

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Detail of Ormer Ecstasy, Felicity Griffin Clark 2011

DUT: Why did you choose textiles as the focus of your art? And have you always been in the creative field? I’ve always loved art and felt moved by colour and form. I learned to knit and sew when I was a teenager and later made my own and my babies’ clothes. I tried quilting in my 20s but was never very confident about being exact in measuring and cutting – I still find that sort of precision stressful! I remember the Amish quilts exhibition that came to Australia in the mid ’90s and being bowled over by the sophisticated use of colour and stitch to create mood. I started quilting again in the early 2000s but again felt a failure when I wasn’t good at matching points, and I found out early on that I loathed binding. I found online groups really supportive and helpful especially once I discovered art quilting and joined in challenges. The journal quilt freed me from the anxiety of “ruining” materials because it was small format so you never wasted much and it was supposed to be a challenge to try new techniques. In terms of professional background, I was a social policy researcher for over 20 years, specialising in Indigenous policy, and now I have gone back to uni

Note to Self, Felicity Griffin Clark 2012

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Lumen, Felicity Griffin Clark 2012 Detail below

Talismans 1-8, Felicity Griffin Clark 2012 to do my MA in Renaissance history. I have no formal artist training at all and am still a dismal drawer! DUT: Your work is informed by a beautiful mix of colour and texture. What comes first for you – or is it a package? Oddly enough words come first – my sketchbooks are full of words – some

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images, but mainly words. I think this is because my work is foremost about trying to convey a feeling or to work through something. When I’m thinking about a piece I will see an impression of it in my mind but I’m never too hung up about trying to capture a final image. My pieces always evolve. But I usually think of the image in terms of colours, textures and forms

and then with some ideas of how I might achieve the effect. For example, when I am making my current series of cocoons, I started with a sort of brainstorm of all the images and impressions I want to evoke: pods, cocoons, split, layers, husks, shards, silk, mulberry bark, stitch. Then my mind turns to the problems I need to solve to make the project work – especially for three-dimensional pieces. Do I use armatures, fabric stiffeners, plaster, wax, rods or sticks or a combination? And now I’m in the process of making and seeing how the pieces evolve. You have to let the piece lead you – forcing or having too fixed an idea of your final “product” can lead to all sorts of problems. DUT: What is the project that you are most satisfied with? What did it involve? Lumen marked my movement into three-dimensional textile art. It still uses fabric, colour, texture and stitch but takes it all a step further. It started as a way of playing with an experimental dyed and stitched piece of fabric but turned into a way

Time, Felicity Griffin Clark 2012 Detail at right

for me to process my husband’s heart attack 18 months ago. I didn’t realize this until I was well into the process, when I suddenly realized I was making an artery! Like the Talismans series which commemorates my eight miscarriages, making Lumen allowed me quiet, creative space to think about the sadness and fear of looking at death. Winning the inaugural Buda Textile Award in 2008 was a huge boost to my confidence as an artist. This was followed by being asked to contribute to Dijanne Cevaal’s Southern Lands exhibition. This was a leap of faith on Dijanne’s part as I am very much an “early career” textile artist and the other participants are all established, well-respected artists. Making the pieces really focused my attention on working to a theme and doing my best possible work and of course it was a fantastic opportunity to have my work exhibited overseas.

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Land Sea Alchemy, Felicity Griffin Clark 2009 Detail at left

DUT: What is your current focus? We notice on your blog that you are now spinning; how is that influencing your work? My mother taught me to spin when I was about 11 or 12 and I have her old spinning wheel – it’s a great skill that connects you to women back through history. And there’s a magic in turning fleece or fibre into thread. Learning to use a drop spindle has been huge fun and much easier on my back than using a wheel! I like being able to make my own materials and not be dependent on commercial fabrics and threads. After a month of using a spindle I find I love spinning silk and am trying to make a fine even thread that I can use for stitching. Eventually I hope to spin flax for linen but that’s a way off yet.

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Creatively my current focus is making three-dimensional textile pieces and using a lot of hand stitch. I used to use my machine for nearly all of my work but I’ve moved away from that for a while. I made a lot of “burnt quilts” and risked that becoming a default method of working and it wasn’t challenging enough. There was also the OH&S aspect – even though I used a professional respirator and did the burning outside, I was still getting headaches. Hand stitch is very meditative and of course is more portable. DUT: Do you have a dedicated studio space? And how do you work – everyday, or in bursts? After years of working on the kitchen table I am lucky enough to have a large studio (technically the laundry). We also have a lot of storage space under the roof where some of my vast stash lives. I have a creative groove running in my head all the time, so I have notebooks all over the place – handbag, car, by the computer. Or if I’m stuck somewhere or it’s the middle of the night I make a note on my phone – inspiration can strike at some very inconvenient times! Concerts are especially fertile for creative thinking. So I have creative bursts where I spend hours in the studio working on pieces, playing with dyes, doing some experimental stitching and I’m thinking of work in progress or new ideas all the time. DUT: What advice would you give someone who is working towards becoming a textile artist? Two main things – never stop playing and never stop learning. The internet is your friend – it’s full of generous people who will share their work and their expertise. Join internet groups and participate in challenges. It’s also important that you learn the fundamentals – my work is unconventional but is based on the traditional techniques of working with fabric and stitch. I use running stitch, sorbello stitch, cross stitch and French knots all the time in my work. I don’t

Jealousy, Felicity Griffin Clark 2010

put bindings on my work because it doesn’t suit my style of art. And don’t throw anything out! I have a drawer full of experimental bits and “failures” that I go back to and use in new pieces. DUT: What are your plans for the future? I want to learn more! This weekend I’m doing a workshop on basket weaving and I really want to learn to draw. It’s my artistic Achilles’ heel. I’m still trying to find my exhibiting niche – my work is not quilting and it’s not painting so it doesn’t fit neatly. But I have some pieces in Incube8r here in Melbourne and that gives me some exposure in a different sphere.

Later this year I hope to have an exhibition in collaboration with my stepson who is a very talented composer, so that’s an exciting prospect combining sounds and music with my work. Last year I was commissioned to make a piece for Seth Apter’s next book. Seth is a New York-based multimedia artist. “The Mixed Media Artist – Art Tips, Tricks, Secrets and Desires from over 40 Amazing Artists” will be published in October this year.

See more of Felicity’s work on her website www.counterweave.com/ felicitygriffinclark.com and on her blog textileseahorse.blogspot.com

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L E T ’ S C R E AT E

Start Screen Printing PART II

Text and photographs by Sally Westcott

There are four common methods of printing an image onto fabric with a silk screen. In the last issue of Down Under Textiles, we learnt how to make paper stencils that create temporary designs. Paper stencils are the most immediate but least permanent, as the stencil is destroyed as it is removed from the frame.

In this issue, we look at three other methods: using screen filler, combining drawing fluid with screen filler, and the photographic emulsion method. These techniques create patterns on screens that last longer and can be used to create multi-layered and -coloured images using registration points. Some of these screens can even be re-used over a period of years. These three techniques are not as spontaneous or immediate as using paper stencils, but they offer the ability to create fine lines and allow for designs that, if cut as a stencil, would require placement of many little pieces of stencil to create the image. These techniques are perfect for line drawings.

Prepare the screen Proper preparation of a new screen is vitally important to success. There are two types of screen available on the market at present – a timber-framed screen and an

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aluminium-framed screen. The initial preparation of both these types of screen is time consuming, but once done it will never have to be done again. Cleaning – The fabric on the new frame will be full of fillers and starch to protect it. These must be thoroughly removed before you can start to print. Scrub the screen on both sides of the screen fabric with a bristle or nylon brush and trisodium phosphate (sold in Australia as sugar soap) and water, or dishwashing powder and water. As you scrub and rinse, hold the screen to the light to check that the mesh is clear. Repeat the scrubbing process until the screen is clear. Rinse it thoroughly and allow it to completely dry. Do not be tempted to use a hair drier to speed up the process as the heat may create holes in the screen. Taping – Taping the screen serves three purposes. It maintains a tight screen, it creates a well to take the paint used to print and it prevents the paint from leaking under the frame during printing so as to keep the prints clean. I use duct tape to seal my screens.

Printed fabric, painted with colour and then layered and stitched

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of the frame to be sure of no leaks. Once again, leave the tape to cure for 24 hours. The screen should rarely need retaping – only if it starts to become tatty. If you look after you screen well, it should last you a long time.

The printing process Before you start to print, you will need to prime the screen. The first two or three prints are usually a bit blotchy as the paint permeates the screen fabric. I use a piece of ‘failed’ dyed fabric for these prints, which can often give it a new life. Place a piece of prepared fabric on the printing surface. Position the stencil onto the section of fabric where you want the print. Carefully place the frame over the stencil, with the well at the top. The first few times you do this, a second pair of hands can be very helpful to stop the screen moving. If you don’t have another person to assist, just relax and have fun. Load the well with the fabric paint you want to use. While firmly holding the screen down, use the squeegee to draw the paint across the screen. This forces the paint through the mesh onto the fabric. Do not draw the squeegee across the screen any more than necessary to obtain a clear print.

Cleaning the screen between print sessions

Wall-hanging screen-printed with white paint on black linen and then appliquéd.

do not let the paint dry on the screen. That will break your heart and you will then have to learn how to re-mesh your screen.

When taping a timber frame it is important to seal the inside of the frame to prevent the paint from running between the timber and the screen. Securing the corners is very important. I run duct tape onto the screen fabric at least 1cm on three of the edges. On one of the short edges, run it in about 3cm to create a well for the paint. I also tape the underside of the frame to cover the staples. Place the tape on the frame and the screen so that it matches on both sides. Allow 24 hours for the tape to cure. This should ensure that the tape does not lift later during the printing process. An aluminium frame will also need to be taped thoroughly, although because the mesh is glued to the frame it really only needs duct tape underneath, but I also tape the inside

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Do not let the paint dry on the screen. That will break your heart and you will then have to learn how to re-mesh your screen. Fabric paint is very difficult to remove once it has dried. Scrub the screen under fresh flowing water. The fabric paint should wash out easily without rubbing. Allow the screen to dry and then it is ready for your next printing session.

Heat-set the prints When your prints are dry, set the paint according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This usually involves heatsetting them with an iron. Now that you have the tools, you are only limited by your imagination and the amount of room you have to dry the prints!

Cleaning the filler and emulsion from the screen These three methods of screen preparation allow you to create many dozens of prints. If you don’t want the screens to be permanent, clean the screen with screen cleaner as soon as you have finished printing. I use Speedball screen cleaner to remove the photo emulsion and screen filler. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the bottle for the particular screen cleaner that you use. It may take a little practice to get perfect prints, but even the dodgy prints can be used for something – even if they end up in your scrap bin to be cut up and used in a scrappy quilt!

Screen-filler method

Materials Lead pencil or waterproof pen (optional) Screen-printing frame Screen filler – I used Speedball brand Washed and ironed cotton or linen fabric Squeegee Fabric paint, printing ink or thickened fabric dye Artwork/design on copy paper

The screen-filler method is the simplest of the three. It is a direct block-out method. The aim is to cover the parts of the screen that you do not want to print with screen filler to stop the transfer of the paint onto the fabric.


Photo 1

Lay the screen over the design and trace your design directly onto the screen using a lead pencil or a waterproof pen. Note that a pen is easier to control as the grip of the mesh tries to change the direction of the pencil. Prop your screen at about a 30-degree angle so that the mesh is not touching anything. Stir the screen filler until it is very smooth. Using a paintbrush, paint the filler onto the screen, leaving your design uncovered. Your aim is to cover all the parts of the screen that you do not want to print. When you have finished, turn the screen over and, with your paintbrush, smooth the back to remove any excess

screen filler. Leave the screen to dry in a horizontal position with the corners of the screen propped so that the mesh is elevated off the surface. Allow the screen to dry overnight. Once the screen is dry, hold it up to the light and check for any pinholes. If you find any, paint over them with more screen filler and once again allow the screen to dry thoroughly. You are now ready to tape the screen and start to print. Photo 1 shows the first print from this screen. Gold paint has been used to print on an old cleaning cloth.

Photo 2

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Drawing-fluid & screen-filler method

For this method you paint the drawing fluid onto your design, covering the areas you do want to print. Materials Lead pencil or waterproof pen (optional) Screen-printing frame Screen filler Drawing fluid Washed and ironed cotton or linen fabric

Method As with the screen-filler method, transfer your artwork to the screen using a waterproof pen or a lead pencil, or skip the tracing if you feel confident to paint your design directly without guides. Prop the screen so that the mesh is not touching anything. Trace over or freehand the design onto the screen using drawing fluid. Allow the drawing fluid to thoroughly dry, with the screen horizontal but not touching the work surface (photo 3). Stir the screen filler until it is smooth. With the screen still propped, spoon the screen filler onto the mesh on the same side as the drawing fluid. Using the squeegee, pull the filler across the screen (photo 4). If done very carefully one pass should be enough. If you make too many passes with the screen filler, you will dissolve the drawing fluid and you will not be able to rinse it away to reveal the image. Allow the screen filler to completely dry overnight in a horizontal position with the mesh not touching anything.

Squeegee Fabric paint, printing ink or thickened fabric dye Artwork on copy paper (optional)

Photo 3

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Photo 4

Photo-emulsion method

Materials Screen-printing frame Photo emulsion and sensitiser (Speedball Diazo system) Washed and ironed cotton or linen fabric Squeegee Fabric paint, printing ink or thickened fabric dye Artwork/design on an acetate sheet or a black stencil Sheet of glass a little larger than the screen Light source – such as a 150-watt clear light globe Dark room or a dark cupboard

Photo 5 When the screen filler is thoroughly dry, wash the screen with cold water (photo 5). It is important that you do not use hot water. Slowly, the drawing fluid will wash out, leaving the mesh open to print. If the drawing fluid is a little reluctant to dissolve, gently rub with a nylon brush to dissolve it. Allow the screen to dry thoroughly again. You are now ready to tape the screen and start to print. Photo 6 shows the first prints from this screen. I have handpainted one of these prints and used it to make a journal cover (see page 11).

This is the most permanent of these techniques. A screen prepared this way can be used for up to 300 prints. As this is a light-sensitive process, and I don’t have a dark room, I find it easier to tape the screen before I apply the emulsion. If you have a dark room available, you can tape after the screen preparation and before exposure of the screen, in a red-light environment. Note that it is easier to spread the emulsion without the tape in place.

Photo 6

Photo 7

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Screen size

Lamp height above screen

Exposure Time

8in x 10in


45 mins

10in x 14in


45 mins

12in x 18in


1 hour 14 mins

16in x 20in


1 hour 32 mins

18in x 20in


1 hour 32 mins

Method Set up your workstation with the screen on an angle. Pour a bead of emulsion onto the screen and pull it across the screen with a squeegee. Repeat until the screen is evenly covered. Turn the screen over and apply emulsion to the back. You need a thin, even coating on both sides of the screen (photo 7). You can return the excess emulsion to the bottle. Allow the screen to dry thoroughly in a dark cool place, such as a cupboard, under a box or even in a drawer, just as long as there is no light. The screen needs to be horizontal with the bottom of the screen facing down and the mesh not touching anything. Prop the corners of the screen to hold it up. I leave my screens overnight to make sure they are thoroughly dry.

While the screen is drying, prepare your image. The beauty of this technique is that you can use very fine lines and achieve great detail. The image needs to be high contrast. Photo 8 shows my drawn image, ready to be printed on an acetate sheet. Use black and white – grey scale will not work. Print the image onto an acetate sheet that will fit inside your screen. Set up a light station with a 150-watt clear incandescent bulb with a reflector. You can use an aluminium pie dish as a reflector if you don’t own a standard reflector. With the screen upside down, place the acetate sheet with the artwork onto the dry emulsion, and then cover this with a sheet of very clean glass and place under the light (photo 9). Depending on the size of your screen, follow the guide above for the height of the lamp above the screen and the exposure time.

Photo 8

Photo 9

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When the exposure is complete, take the screen to the sink and use a cold-water spray to rinse the screen. Concentrate the water on the area of your image. Keep rinsing until all the unexposed emulsion has rinsed away. Dry the screen thoroughly in a horizontal position. As with the screenfiller method, check the screen for pinholes. These can be covered with screen filler or masking tape. Photo 10 shows a screen after the emulsion has been washed out and sections repaired with screen filler. I was too vigorous with my scrubbing, as you can see in photo 11, which shows the first prints before the screen was repaired. After I repaired the screen, I overprinted the original print with silver paint (photo 12). The print was then layered and stitched – ready to use as a cushion cover or several journal covers (photo 13).

Contact Sally Westcott swe@hutchins.tas.edu.au sallydunn.blogspot.com

Photo 10

Photo 12

Photo 11

Photo 13

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Taking Leaf

of my Senses Text by Sue Dennis Photographs by Bob Dennis

When an exhibition is finally hung and you stand back to view it, it is with a sense of relief and satisfaction that the hard work was worth it.

Sue Dennis standing between two of the Leaf Song panels

Detail of Leaf Song #1, 33cm x 328cm

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Detail of Leaf Song #2, 37cm x 326cm

Detail of Leaf Song #3, 34.5cm x 333cm

Scape, 97cm x 61cm Detail at right

My exhibition, Taking Leaf of my Senses, began taking shape well before the opening night of 4 July last year at the Warwick Art Gallery, Queensland. The technique of direct printing with foliage is one I fell in love with many years ago, so work from 2006 to 2012 was shown and both Australian and North American flora were represented. Not only my travels, but also my garden is my inspiration. Shake the Tree uses the custard apple tree leaves from my garden that the insects love to eat, resulting in lacy patterns. These

humble leaves are transformed via paint, fabric and stitch into a unique snapshot of place and time. Twenty-three pieces – 11 art quilts, nine framed pieces from the Necklace series, a three-panel installation – and a video made up the exhibition. Janet De Boer opened the exhibition and asked the audience to “... do something I call ‘slow viewing’; kind of an adaptation of slow cooking. Take your time. Look into the surfaces, let them do their work on you just as they did when Sue was creating

them, responding to the blending of colours, the emergence of images, the impact of the immediate in her surroundings. Sue understands how to transform materials into images that engage with the viewer”. I invite you to do some slow viewing of your own.

Contact Sue Dennis www.suedennis.com www.suedennisartquilts. blogspot.com www.downundertextiles.com | 39

In the Moonlight (triptych), 133.5cm x 137.5cm Detail at left

Detail of In the Moonlight (triptych), 133.5cm x 137.5cm

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Shake the Tree, 89cm x 98cm Detail at right

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Not only my travels, but also my garden is my inspiration.

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Grassland, 99cm x 48.5cm Detail at right

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Contemplation, 65cm x 85cm Detail at left

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L E T ’ S C R E AT E

Here Comes



Text by Anne Mitchell Photographs by Margaret Mitchell and Anne Mitchell

Often referred to as heliography (from the Greek words helios for sun and grapho for writing or drawing), the sun printing technique allows you to create designs on fabric quickly and simply. It is a wonderful way to make theme-based fabrics and is especially useful for individualising quilting and patchwork projects – even for people who are unable to draw (like me!) In a nutshell, we are going to apply Liquid Radiance colours to the fabric, place objects onto it to form the design, and then put it in the sun to dry. The UV rays of the sun will act on the colours so that the areas under the objects will become lighter while the fabric around them will become darker. When the objects are removed, the design is revealed.

liquid radiance tips Excess is the enemy – Due to the unique formula of Liquid Radiance, it is vital to apply to the fabric only what it will absorb. Fabrics should not feel sloppy or drippy when colours are applied as this can result in overload that will make the fabric heavy and stiff when the colours are dry. While there’s moisture, there’s movement – After the fabric has been coloured, the colours will continue to move through the fabric while they are still wet. Form the pattern to create the end result, and then leave

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the fabric alone until it is dry. Do not fiddle with it. During the drying time, the way you have handled the fabric will create the final patterning and you will not see that result until the colours are completely dry. The difference between wet and dry is amazing. What is exposed to the air will become darker, while what is enclosed in the folds or scrunches will become lighter. Non-toxic and non-polluting – Liquid Radiance colours are safe to get on your skin and wash off easily

with soap and water. It is safe to put them into household drains. It is safe to use utensils from your kitchen cupboards in designing techniques. Whatever you use from your kitchen cupboards can be washed up in the normal way for use with food afterwards. Permanence in fabric – When Liquid Radiance is dry in the fabric; it is stable and cannot be removed from the fabric. It is heat-set to maximise its washability and colourfastness when it is dry.

Materials Fabric – made from any fibre. Cotton fabrics should be prewashed before colouring to remove any sizing. Do not use fabric softener in the rinse water. Bowl of water – to wet the fabric. Objects – flat or flattish items will give a better impression than those that sit away from the fabric. Liquid Radiance Colours – See Liquid Radiance Tips on previous page. Dispenser bottles – to apply the colours. Plastic – to protect the work area, plastic-covered cardboard is handy for this, too. Using black plastic is important for best heliographic effects. An old sheet – placed on the worktable.

Important Tips – Items that sit flat on the fabric will give the best impression of that shape. – A sunny day will give the best results – but if the sun doesn’t shine, a halogen light (or even a fluorescent light) will produce good results. – Work on black plastic to maximise the UV effects from the sun and heat up the drying process. – The best time of day for heliography is when the sun is at its highest overhead. An hour or two each side of midday is perfect. – On a breezy day, have something handy to hold the fabric in place while it is drying. Masking tape, stones or shoes; use whatever you can find that doesn’t interrupt the design or throw shadows across your work.

Finding useful items to create patterns In the pantry – rice, pasta spaghetti, fettuccini, lentils, and popping corn – see what else you can find. Spaghetti and fettuccini can be broken up to form all sorts of fun patterns. Note that things that dissolve, such as salt or sugar are not suitable for this heliography technique.

Photo 1

In the sewing room – pinwheels, scissors, buttons, safety pins, plastic headed pins. In the toy box – foam shapes or blocks – it’s a treasure trove of goodies in there. And there’s more – coins, plastic or fabric lace, doilies, pens, pegs, stencil shapes, leaves, flowers, rubber bands. Photo 1 shows a range of items that can be used to create patterns on fabric. Look for those little bags of sparkly things and sequins in the discount shops. If you want to use freshly picked flowers or leaves, press them between heavy books for a short time to flatten them.

General method 1. Wet the fabric and squeeze out excess water until no drips come out. Blot the fabric gently in a towel if you are unable to squeeze firmly. 2. Colour the fabric by your chosen method. The method you choose will depend on the look you are aiming for. Refer to the two specific techniques explained below. 3. Spread the wet fabric evenly onto black plastic. 4. Place objects onto the fabric while the colours are still wet. 5. Put it in the sun to dry. Make sure you put it out of the wind, as the objects need to stay in place until everything is completely dry. 6. Remove objects when the fabric is totally dry. 7. Iron fabric to heat-set the colours (see detailed instructions).

Drawing multi-colours onto fabric I call this the ‘Five Finger Foam Brush’ technique because it is quicker and simpler to work this way, rather than with real foam brushes. Besides, it is much easier to throw out a pair of disposable gloves at the end of the technique, than to clean a basin full of foam brushes. This method is nondrippy and keeps the colours exactly where they are needed – that is, in the fabric. This method is suitable for medium to heavy-weight fabrics such as homespun, calico, polycotton sheeting or poplin.

1. Prepare the colours Pour a small amount of Liquid Radiance concentrate into a dispenser bottle and add water to fill the bottle. For heliography techniques, a ratio of somewhere between 1:3 and 1:15 concentrate to water will give good results. You can mark the sides of the bottle with a felt pen if you wish – or just guess (my chosen method). You really cannot go wrong with this. Place a piece of old stocking over the neck of the bottle, then screw the dispenser cap over this. The stocking will strain out any sediment that may collect during periods of storage. Pre-diluted colours can be stored for months. It also helps you identify the diluted colour from the concentrate when using pre-loved bottles (with the labels still on them) for the diluted colours. When you are ready to use the colours, open the cap by turning it anticlockwise as far as it will go. Close it again when your project is finished, and wipe the cap with a piece of damp rag or tissue.

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2. Prepare the fabric Wet the fabric in water and squeeze out all excess water (photo 2). Place the fabric on plastic ready to colour. Secure the plastic to the table surface with masking tape so it does not move around while you are applying the colour, or work on plastic-covered cardboard (photo 3).

Photo 4

Photo 2

Photo 5 Check for excess colour: if the fabric looks sloppy, or feels very wet, use a piece of dry lightweight absorbent fabric (eg silk or lightweight cotton) to mop up the excess colour. Lay this fabric on top of the base fabric and blot out the extra wetness by gently touching the top fabric all over with your fingertips (photo 6).

5. Add the objects Photo 3

3. Apply the colour Draw your chosen colours onto the fabric by resting the dispenser cap on the fabric and working the colour across it, in the same way that you would use a pen (photo 4). You can draw stripes, wavy lines, random patterns, circles – whatever suits the design you are planning. Hold the dispenser bottle at an angle to the fabric as you work. Apply the colours so that they almost meet side by side to minimise the possibility of overload. A gap of about 1cm between colours is recommended. You will work the colours together during the next step.

While the fabric is still wet, place your chosen objects onto the fabric (photo 7) and proceed as for steps 5 to 7 as described under General Method. Note that if you use a mop-up fabric, this can also be used to create a design with the heliography technique (photo 8).

4. Spread the colours Put on a pair of rubber gloves and use your fingers to spread the colours (photo 5). You can, of course, use a foam brush to spread the colours evenly. However, the ‘Five Finger’ method will save you having to clean the foam brushes, and is wonderfully tactile – and quick.

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Photo 6

Photo 7

Photo 10

Photo 8

such as silk or fine polycotton, and a little more for really heavy fabrics such as denim. This colouring method can be worked on a plastic sheet for small pieces (up to a quarter of a metre) or in a small vessel such as an ice cream container or small dish for larger pieces. Note that Liquid Radiance colours are non-toxic, so it is safe to use bowls from the kitchen when colouring your fabrics. Colours will also wash off your skin easily with soap and water. To check the colour strength, dab a little colour onto a white tissue or paper towel (photo 10). Add more concentrate colour to reach the desired strength. Remember that, in our heliography technique, the colour will strengthen in the sunlight.

Using one colour

2. Prepare the fabric

This is also called the dunking method. It is suitable for any type of fabric.

Wet the fabric and squeeze out all excess water until no drips come out of the fabric.

1. Prepare the colour

3. Apply the colour

Prepare diluted colour to the required strength by adding Liquid Radiance concentrate to water (photo 9). It takes six to eight teaspoons of prepared colour (30–40mls) to colour a fat quarter or a quarter of a metre of damp cotton fabric such as homespun or calico. It will take less for finer fabrics

Dunk or dip the fabric into the colour. It should absorb most of the colour. Squeeze the fabric to remove the excess, then dip and squeeze again, kneading the colour through the fabric. Continue dunking and kneading until the fabric is evenly covered with colour (photo 11).

Photo 9

Photo 11

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Photo 12

4. Add the objects Lay the coloured fabric onto black plastic. While the fabric is still wet, place your chosen objects onto the fabric (photo 12) and proceed as for steps 5 to 7 as described under General Method.

Heat Setting Although Liquid Radiance is stable in the fabric when it is dry and cannot be removed, it must be heat-set to ensure its permanence for washability and colourfastness. You will notice the fabric will feel a little stiff when it is dry. This is normal. The heat-setting process will relax the fibres and return the fabric to its normal hand. If the fabric is still stiff after ironing it, it is an indication that too much colour was applied to the fibres. 1. When the fabric is completely dry, spray it with water to remove the wrinkles left from forming the pattern (photo 13). It will be so much easier to iron when dampened with water.

Photo 14

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Photo 13 2. Lay the fabric on the ironing board and stretch it to flatten it out. 3. With the iron set on a temperature suitable for the fabric, iron for 30 seconds to two minutes per section in front of you on the ironing board (photo 14). Move on to the next section and then the next when heat setting larger pieces of fabric. The paler the colour the longer you need to iron. Using the iron on steam setting will also simplify the heat-setting process. 4. Ironing the fabrics is the exciting part. You are revealing the patterns you have created while heat setting your fabric for colourfastness at the same time (photo 15).

Contact Anne Mitchell anne@genesiscreations.com.au Visit the website www.genesiscreations.com.au for more information about Liquid Radiance.

Photo 15


Gallery The finished underwater scene.

Dinosaur and star shapes create a prehistoric scene.

Stencils and cut-outs create lizard patterns.

Non-slip bath stickers create flower patterns.

Pieces of plastic lace create intricate patterns.

Rubber bands make floating bubble shapes.

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Reflections “

That’s why textiles fascinate us: they tell the tales of ordinary people’s lives. Not only the stories about how the cloth was made or where it originated but also those of the makers

By Erica Spinks I guess you are reading this magazine because you are a maker and want to see what other people have made. You may want to learn a new technique or pick up a tip. Perhaps you want to read about textile-related travels in a different country. I doubt, though, that you think of yourself as making history. Let me persuade you that history is neither dusty nor only for students. My definition of history is simply actions that have gone before us. History is made up of what we leave behind from these actions, that is, the consequences. Even the activities we undertake today become tomorrow’s past. You and I do this every day. We make history as individuals and as groups. One of my favourite quotes is by writer, Anne Bartlett. In one of her novels, she says: “And in the act of making things, just by living their daily lives, they also make history.” This is so wise, isn’t it? Do you think we all realise that by making things – houses, clothes, visual art or textiles – the result is combined values, cultural traditions and treasured objects? I believe it is the collective experience of ordinary people that makes history. That’s why textiles fascinate us: they tell the tales of ordinary people’s lives. Not only the stories about how the cloth was made or where it originated but also those of the makers. Who was this person? Where did they live? Where did they get their ideas? What skills did they employ? How

did they learn to make this material? What was the purpose of creating this object? These are the same questions we want answered every time we fondle a piece of cloth, see a photograph of an ancient textile or gasp in admiration at an exhibition. We may fall in love with the object but it’s the story behind it we long to share. I think that’s part of being human, having curiosity and wanting to learn. Sometimes we aren’t aware of what we want to know and that’s why being open to the past can be so illuminating. Some of us may laugh when we see colours and patterns of our childhoods making a comeback and being presented as current fashion yet, to a younger person, they are fresh and new. It all depends on how much we know of the past. It’s important to remember that our personal histories, when combined, make the world a richer place. That common idiom ‘It is all part of life’s rich tapestry’ refers to the weaving together of all our interesting experiences and other components that make up full lives. So, stitch your story into cloth, knit it into a garment or weave it into a hanging. Paint your tale with colour and embellish it with flair – it is your story that will become part of history.

Read Erica’s blog at creativedabbling.blogspot.com

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L E T ’ S C R E AT E

Breakdown Printing PART II

Text and photographs by Dijanne Cevaal

in the last issue of Down Under Textiles, i discussed the method of breakdown printing working with an image to create printed cloth. In this article, I discuss variations that are possible with breakdown printing to create interesting fabrics by printing with linocuts and over-printing. Materials Cotton cloth – prepared by soaking in water mixed with electric soda or soda ash (two cups of soda mixed with half a bucket of water) and then allowed to dry. Make sure to iron the fabric to remove all the creases. Print paste* – Ingredients: Four cups of warm water one cup of painting powder Jug and stirrer a few drops of methylated spirits Two heaped tablespoons of Manutex RS (you can use a little more for thicker paste or a little less for thinner paste) Bottle in which to mix the print paste. Procion MX dyes – you will need various colours, see Colour Mixing Rules Paintbrushes Squeeze bottles Screen/s Squeegee Drip tray or drip cloth – to collect the dye that that drips through the screen Gloves – to protect your hands (wear old clothes) Items to make impressions – such as bubble wrap or stamps

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Prepare the print paste* Mix the warm water and painting powder in a jug and stir until the painting powder is dissolved. Add the methylated spirits, which helps stop the Manutex coagulating and also helps preserve the print paste. Then add the Manutex and stir to dissolve as many of the lumps as possible. (If it seems really lumpy, don’t worry as it will dissolve further in the next step.) Pour the mixture into a bottle, put the lid on the bottle and shake vigorously for several minutes (alternatively you can use a blender for this process, but remember if you use a blender do not use it again for food). Place the bottle aside. You will notice that the paste will smooth out more the longer you leave it. If it is too runny you can add some more Manutex RS, but I find that this can create lumps that are difficult to dissolve, so it is best to place the Manutex RS into the mixture at the start. Do not use hot water because that will also create big lumps. Coloured dyes are added to this thickened print paste mixture prior to applying to the screen. First mix the dye by dissolving the dye powder in a little hot water and then add it to the thickened print paste. Prepare your colours and put into squeeze bottles or jugs ready to apply to the screen.

Chartres #2, 38cm x 58cm. The background fabric was created using the breakdown printing method. The Chartres figures were printed on fabric coated with Inkaid and then appliquĂŠd in place. This piece was exhibited in France earlier this year.

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Colour Mixing Rules – Yellows mixed with turquoise or other blues will give a great variety of greens. – Yellows mixed with reds will give a range of red through to orange, depending on how much red you use. – Blues mixed with reds will give a range of purples, ranging form dark to lilac.

Method Place the screen, flat side facing up, over a drip tray or cloth. Smear some coloured thickened print paste onto the screen and use bubble wrap to make prints on the screen with the coloured thickened print paste (photos 1 and 2).

Photo 3

Photo 1

Lay the screen, flat side down, on the prepared cloth (which has been placed on the printing surface). I make a printing surface by using a thick cloth the consistency of felt, covered with plastic. It is best to tape the cloth on which you are printing in place, to stop it from moving. You can see (in photo 4) there are quite a few areas where there is no coloured thickened print paste on this screen, so I used yellow-coloured thickened print paste to make the prints onto the fabric. Place the coloured thickened print paste in the well of the screen. Pull the squeegee across the surface of the screen a number of times – it takes some effort to get the print paste to push through the screen. You can check the progress of the thickened print paste through the screen by lifting a corner to see what has happened. It depends on the thickness of the print paste as to how well it pushes through

Photo 2 After printing the reddish-coloured print paste, add violet-coloured thickened print paste, and printed that over the top (photo 3). Note that the coloured thickened print paste has not been applied very thickly. Allow this to completely dry.

Printing the fabric It is recommended that you re-read the article from issue 10 before following any of these instructions, as it outlines all the recipes, processes and preparations you need to undertake in order to create a breakdown print.

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Photo 4

Photo 7

Photo 5

Photo 6

the screen. Generally speaking, the thicker the print paste the more times you have to pull the squeegee across the screen and the more print paste you will have to use to help in the breaking down process. Three prints were made from the same screen. The first print (photo 5) shows quite a lot of resistance to breaking down, hence the whitish splotches. The second print (photo 6) has fewer white splotches. For the third print, a new colour – violet – was added to the thickened print paste, and you can see there are fewer white splotches (photo 7). Photo 8 shows the screen after it has started to break down once the violet thickened print paste was added.

Photo 8

A variation on the same theme Squeeze or squirt coloured thickened print paste onto the screen. Cover it entirely with different depths and thicknesses of the coloured thickened print paste and in different colours. It will break down at different rates, adding variation to the finished fabric.

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You can see in photo 9 that two different coloured thickened print pastes has been squirted onto the screen, and then spread out a little. Be careful with the colours you use with this method because it is easy for the colours to mix and become ‘muddy’, especially if you have one colour from each of the primary colours, yellow, red and blue. I tend to stick to two colours with maybe only a touch of something else in the last stage of the process. Place stamps or other objects to make impressions or marks on the screen. Leave the items in place until the

screen is completely dry, and then carefully peel them off. Photo 10 shows impressions made in the print paste on the screen by a linocut and bubble wrap. At this stage I was very excited by the way the screen looked because the impressions were so clear. However, the resulting print did not have the same definition because the thickened print paste was applied to the screen in different thicknesses and therefore broke down at different, inconsistent rates. This is, of course, part of the serendipitous process and you never quite know what you will get, which is half the fun.

Photo 9

This is the final cured fabric, showing the print sequence from top to bottom.

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Photo 10

screen, but not enough to entirely drop off, creating blobs on the back of the screen. If you do not like this effect, you can prevent it by using a thicker print paste that does not drip through the screen.

Working with unthickened dye

For this screen, I also added some uncoloured thickened print paste into the well of the screen. You will need to put in quite a lot of thickened print paste at this stage as the already dried-on print paste will require a number of pulls before it will let go of the screen. Photo 11 shows where I printed the screen three times. The whitish areas on the left print show where the print paste was applied the thickest. If you look carefully at the photo, you can see the coffee cup from the linocut. The dots you can see on many of these prints are where the coloured thickened print paste has dripped through the

In this variation I have printed colour onto the screen with a linocut. I dissolved some dye with hot water and applied it directly to the linocut with a brush (photo 12), then place it face down upon the screen. I find I get better prints by not thickening the dye with thickened print paste in this variation. You are only able to get one print using this method because there is no resist in the dye painted or printed onto the screen in this way. Photo 13 shows the linocut applied to the screen multiple times. Once the print is thoroughly dry, this screen is then placed onto the prepared fabric and printed with lightgreen coloured thickened print paste (photo 14). You can see the printed fabric before curing in photo 15. You achieve good definition of the print using this method because there is no dried thickened print paste on the screen to resist the printing process.

Photo 12

Photo 14

Photo 13

Photo 15

Photo 11

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Photo 16

Working with uncoloured thickened print paste If you love white areas in the cloth, consider using uncoloured thickened print paste on the screen to create shapes. Working with coloured thickened print paste gives a halo affect as you print, and as the screen breaks down the colour starts to move. You do get some halo effect working with uncoloured thickened print paste, but it is not as pronounced as working with coloured thickened print paste. If you want a more evenly-patterned print, this is probably the best way to do it apart from repeat printing (a completely different process). Photo 18 shows a rough doodle I made by dribbling uncoloured thickened print paste over the screen. I added some colour to the Eiffel Tower for definition.

Photo 19 Photo 17 This printing process is very much like screen printing with normal textile printing inks, but it does not change the hand of the fabric, which textile printing ink does because it sits on the top of the fabric. In this process the fabric stays soft and supple. Photos 16 and 17 show how dissimilar the different prints can look by using two different greens.

Photo 18

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Photo 20

I printed this screen with orange-coloured thickened print paste (photo 19). The areas where the uncoloured print paste was dried onto the screen have remained white. This is a great way to create writing on fabric – however, you need to write on the inside of the screen rather than on the flat surface or the writing will print reversed. Photo 20 shows another piece of cloth created by drizzling different coloured thickened print pastes over the screen, and allowing them to dry. I then printed with a yellowcoloured thickened print paste. You can see the screen ‘greying-up’ with each subsequent print as the colours mingle.

Photo 23

What to do if you don’t like your print

Photo 21

Photo 22

There are several ways of dealing with a print that you may not like. One way is to simply overdye the print with a normal dyeing process. Remember that the colours will interact with each other and change. Another way is to paint-in different colours with a paintbrush. Photo 21 shows a print that I did not particularly like. I tried printing it twice, once vertically and then the same screen placed across the print horizontally. I still did not like the resulting print because the large white areas did not appeal to me. I used a paintbrush to paint in the areas I didn’t like (photo 22). I used blue-coloured thickened print paste, as this stops the dye from spreading too rapidly (remember the fabric must be pre-soaked in soda ash and dried before this process). Another way of dealing with a ‘failed’ print (remember that something that I think has failed another person might love and vice versa) is to double-print it to see what happens. This works well if you have used bright clear colours in the first print. Photo 23 shows my failed piece printed one way first and then printed the opposite way (horizontally). I still did not like the print, though I did like the colours.

Photo 24

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Photo 25 I then created another screen with a pattern (photo 24) to place over the top of the printed fabric that I had soaked in soda ash first (because I had already fixed the original print). I used an uncoloured thickened print paste to print, hoping that the black dye on the screen would break down and become greyish, thus making the white areas of the original print become grey. The resulting printed cloth (photo 25) has become a complex pattern, although it is still possible to pick out the four-leafed flower pattern here and there, and most of the white has gone (photo 26).

The drop cloth

Photo 26

I usually paint and print my screens over another piece of cloth so that the drop cloth also acquires colour and lots of different imprints from the dripped thickened print paste. Sometimes this does not result in anything much, but it can be interesting fabric to use for another purpose. Occasionally you end up with a piece of cloth that offers possibilities (photo 27). I did add some extra printed grape vine linocut prints to the edges to take away the white, but otherwise this was the way the drop cloth looked.

Fixing the fabric You will need to fix the dye in the fabric by steaming before washing and using it. I usually roll my fabric, once it is dry, in another piece of cloth and then wrap it in foil so that moisture cannot get into the parcel. I then place the foil parcel in a bamboo steamer placed over a wok and steam the parcel for 45 minutes. Make sure the water does not boil away in the wok. Once the dye has been fixed, rinse the cloth and then wash it in a normal washing cycle – there are detailed washing instructions in issue 10.

Photo 27

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Contact Dijanne Cevaal, email: dcevaal@gmail.com, blog: origidij.blogspot.com

On sale now at all good newsagents or order online at www.moremags.com.au

Turn up the Heat – ParT II Heat Guns Text and photographs by Neroli Henderson

Heat tools can provide amazing effects when used with synthetic fabrics, felts, Tyvek, iridescent films and even painted fusible webs.

In the last issue of Down Under Textiles, I discussed how to create effects with a soldering iron. In this article, I will show how to use a heat gun to distort, melt, dissolve, create lacelike effects, seal edges and bubble materials. All of these effects can be created before or after stitching – or both!

Safety note as with all heat tools used on synthetics, you are essentially melting plastic so it is recommended that you work in a well-ventilated area. As well, I always wear a disposable mask with an inbuilt filter rated for toxic fumes. If you find you are getting a headache – stop! Since we are unable to know what chemicals went into every piece of plastic or fabric, it is important to protect yourself.

Tools To get started, you will need a heat gun (sometimes called a hot-air gun). You can purchase heat guns from craft stores or hardware stores. The latter tend to be more powerful and can produce more air, blowing your work around more. If you get one of these, find one with two speeds. This will allow you to use the slower speed for more delicate work. I bought mine for about $30 (photo 1).

Photo 1

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You will also need a heatproof surface. An old woollen blanket or towel under a piece of glass or layers of Teflon or baking paper will do. Check regularly to ensure you are not burning the blanket or towel while you work. Heatprotective gloves can be useful. You will also need a wooden spoon or other heat-resistant, long-handled device to hold your work in place while you apply heat.

Creating distortion Apply heat to a single, sheer piece of fabric or layered sheers to create distortion and disintegration. Photo 2 shows a single piece of organza that has been very lightly treated with air from the heat gun. Photo 3 shows the same piece after slowly using further hot air to create more distortion and a lacy texture. As more heat was applied to the right-hand side of the fabric, further distortion and erosion was achieved. Photo 4 shows two additional layers of fabric that have been previously joined with a soldering iron. Photo 5 shows the layers from the back. The two layers of royalblue organza show through the slightly thicker sheer pink synthetic fabric. This technique can create lovely ‘peekaboo’ effects.

Stitching and painting Stitching and painting can act as heat retarders. If you have both densely stitched and open areas in the one piece, more melting and dissolving will occur on the open areas. You can design your stitching to make this resist work for you. My Pushing Up Daisies work (photo 6) has a densely stitched and lightly-painted background because I wanted the heat to centre on the open flower petals and stems, and have those bits melt away exposing the background layers. I completed dense background stitching and then overpainted it with Shiva Paintstiks. Oil-based paints will always produce more fumes than water-based ones, so use them sparingly and make sure you always wear a mask and work outside when heating them.

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4

Photo 5

Photo 6

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Using Tyvek Tyvek is a brand of flash spun high-density polyethylene fibres. Try painting and stitching into it before applying heat to create organic effects. The stitching will act as a deterrent to the heat and the Tyvek will run back to the stitched lines. The high mica content in acrylic paints, like the Lumiere brand, reacts wonderfully to the heat gun, too. The mica particles (mica is a shiny silicate mineral that adds shimmer)

move away from the heat and group together. When melted back enough it can seem to create some gilding in areas. Different effects created on Tyvek are shown in photo 7. The top left-hand sample shows painted Tyvek with an image printed from an inkjet printer and then stitched and ironed. The top right-hand sample was painted and stitched Tyvek, with circles cut out from parts of the stitching with a soldering iron and then heated with the heat gun. The bottom right-hand piece is Tyvek painted with organza scraps that were adhered with fusible web and then heated. The last sample is painted and stitched Tyvek that was heated with the heat gun and flattened while still warm.

Making leaves Shapes can be easily made from Tyvek. Photo 8 shows painted and stitched Tyvek in leaf shapes before hot air is applied. To ensure the leaf doesn’t blow around while the heat gun is used, pin it in place (photo 9). This will also make it easier to aim the hot air exactly where required. After the leaf has been heated, the mica in the Lumiere paint has travelled and grouped, creating some gilded looking areas. Also note how, in most areas, the stitching has acted as a barrier for the Tyvek shrinking. The areas with the stitching closest together are least affected by heat (photo 10). Photo 11 shows the leaves in place on a background.

Photo 7

Photo 10 Photo 8

Photo 9

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Photo 11

Photo 12

Photo 13

Photo 14

Creating layers Interesting effects can be obtained by layering synthetic fabrics and stitching them before heating. I like to use acrylic felt as backing. Add snippets of other fabrics such as metal leaf, ribbons, yarns, Angelina fibres, Textiva to the layers. Be sure to include enough stitching to hold all the snippets in place or, alternatively, use only synthetics and score them with your soldering iron to secure. You can see in photo 12 that I have layered various synthetics on felt and stitched them ready for heating. After

using the heat gun on this sandwich, the work has been transformed into a much more interesting piece (photo 13). With felt and any other thick or multi-layered synthetics, the more you melt the harder and more brittle the finished product will be after it has cooled. Remember that synthetic fabrics are a form of plastic, so if you want to add stitch later it is best not to melt the materials too much. There are many materials that can be combined to create interesting effects. Try heating Angelina fibre, painted fusible web and iridescent films. Photo 14 shows layered synthetics, painted fusible webbing and metal flakes on acrylic felt. The

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Photo 15

Photo 16

Photo 17 piece has been stitched and is ready for heating. Photo 15 shows the same piece after hot air has been used on it.

Finishing the edges When you have finished your stitched, layered and heatgunned piece, try finishing the edges off. Trim the edges to 1cm or so from the stitched outline and then apply hot air, allowing the edges to melt and roll back to the stitching. Photo 16 shows Pushing Up Daisies before edging, and photo 17 shows it after heating the edges with a heat gun.

Final advice It is always a good idea to test your fabrics before starting a piece of work that you will spend a lot of time on. Some

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fabrics marked as synthetic have an amount of natural fibres inhibiting their ability to melt. If you’re unsure about a fabric, test it. If it goes brown rather than melting there is an element of natural fibre. If there is no melting, stop immediately as the fabric may catch fire. Even if there’s only a little discolouration and the fabric seems to be distorting and melting, always proceed with caution. It is always a good idea to work with heat tools in a fire-safe area and have some water nearby. I hope I have inspired you to have fun with your heat tools!

Contact Neroli Henderson eiloren.blogspot.com.au www.facebook.com/nerolihenderson

Neroli Henderson, Moulin Rouge A heat gun has been used to burn away layers of material to create texture.

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Creative Vests Photographs courtesy of Creative Textile Group, Bunbury

Chris McDonald, a member of the Creative Textile Group of the Stirling Street Arts Centre in Bunbury, WA, decided it was easier to give away all her fabric scraps rather than sort through them. She took them to a meeting and the group spent an entire day sorting through 20 large garbage bags of fabric scraps to make up small mixed bags for gifts and for sale.

The group leader, Margaret Kelly, suggested a challenge while the sorting was taking place. Each member would create a vest from the fabric scraps in the gift bag she received at the Christmas party. Margaret helped create a fitted pattern and then it was up to each member to create the surface of a vest from the scraps within the following month. As the photographs show, many fabulous designs were made. There were 18 completed vests and we share a few of them here.

The Creative Textile Group may be contacted through the Stirling Street Arts Centre website http://stirlingartsmy southwest.com.au/

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The Creative Textile Group

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the library

Mixed-Media Master Class This book by Sherrill Kahn features more than 50 surface design techniques for fabric and paper, divided in six sections: Creating Surfaces, Media, Resists, Textures, Rubbings and Printmaking. Materials used include paint, foam, gesso, Inktense pencils, wax crayons and glue. The last chapter is called ‘Putting it all together’ and includes a gallery of finished pieces with notes about the techniques used. This is a good reference book to go back to time and again. Also very useful for beginning art quilters and mixed media artists. Published by C&T.

Crochet Boutique Rachael Oglesby has 30 on-trend projects that will appeal to the beginner through to the more experienced crafter. There are beanies and berets for the most fashion-forward hipster, scarves and cowls as well as bags and a laptop cover. rachael also has designs for home décor items, such as a throw, lamp shape, garland and cushion. The book includes basic crochet stitches and techniques and usefully large images of completed projects. Published by Lark Crafts, distributed in Australia by Capricorn Link.

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Inspired to Design

Art Quilt Portfolio: People and Portraits

There are a lot of design books for art quilters out there, but this one really stands out. Master art quilter Elizabeth Barton takes you in seven steps from finding inspiration and making simple sketches to constructing the actual quilt. Along the way there is a lot of information about elements such as structure, perspective, focal points, value and colour. Drawings, diagrams and lots of photos of her own award-winning quilts are used to illustrate the design elements. The book is easy to read and has many references to the way famous artists have used the elements described. Over 20 design exercises are added, each easy to do with basic supplies such as paper and pencil or a few scraps of fabric. Highly recommended. Published by C&T.

This second book in the Art Quilt Portfolio series, curated by Martha Sielman, the Executive Director of Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc. (SAQA), celebrates the expressiveness of the human face in stunning quilts created by an international array of artists. The diverse designs are divided into seven categories: happiness; contemplation; community; icons; family and friends; work and play. Gallery sections display the work of more than 100 quilters, while 21 featured artists, including Australian master quilter Jenny Bowker, receive in-depth treatment with images of their finest pieces and interviews. Published by Lark Crafts.

Stitch New York Lauren O’Farrell has created a quirky ode to the city that never stops stitching. This book is subtitled “20 kooky ways to knit the city and more” and all the cultural icons that you associate with New York are ready to be stitched – there’s Woody Allen and Holly Golightly dolls, Seinfeld-inspired pretzels, a yellow taxi, the Empire State and Lady Liberty, burgers, hot dogs and cocktails. City critters are represented with an angry ape, an alley cat, cockroach and sewer alligator. This is a cute, fun book with a fabulous sense of place. Published by David & Charles, distributed in Australia by Capricorn Link.

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Knit Your Heart Out The title describes the content of this book perfectly – it includes more than 30 patterns for knitting hearts for loved ones. Norwegian designer Bente Presterud Røvik says she let herself get carried away by the endless possibilities, and she does seem to have covered everything – there are project sections for Everyday Hearts, Young Hearts, Love Hearts, Winter Hearts and Your Own Heart, which includes useful information, templates and a learn to knit class. This is a gorgeous book, beautifully presented with easy-tofollow instructions and tips. It wins our heart. Published by David & Charles, distributed in Australia by Capricorn Link.

Wee Felt Worlds This is an adorable book featuring miniature felted designs. Amanda Carestio has created wee worlds of three-dimensional felt creatures and landscapes including a prehistoric scene with dinosaurs, volcanoes and Paleolithic plants, a camping adventure featuring an cute bear cub, a sweet sewing room, and even a galaxy far, far away with UFOs. We love the imagination behind these designs, and the sense of fun and playfulness they convey. The instructions are simple and straightforward, with illustrations and photos, and there is a helpful section on felting basics. Published by David & Charles, distributed in Australia by Capricorn Link.

Knitted Noah’s Ark Sarah Keen’s sweet designs recreate the biblical story. Of course, they are all presented two by two, and what a delightful menagerie they are – there are are lions, tigers, crocodiles, turtles and penguins amongst others. There’s also a Noah and Mrs Noah, a rainbow and the ark. The book includes a very useful knitting techniques section, with information on all the stitches used and tips to achieve all the finishing touches such as embroidery, making tassels and stuffing the toys. Published by Guild Master Craftsman Publications Ltd, distributed in Australia by Capricorn Link.

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Blogroll AuSTrALiA mixedmediabymelforrest.blogspot.com Mel Forrest enjoys many aspects of art with most roads leading back to stitch and textiles. She particularly likes to transfer her photos onto fabric which she then combines with other mediums and textiles to create art quilts.

forms of textile art are represented: art quilts, feltmaking, mixed media, crochet, knitting, weaving etc.

downunderdale.blogspot.com Dale Rollerson is a textile artist and owner of The Thread Studio. She is passionate about all areas of textile art. She has been a teacher for many years and runs a number of online and in the flesh workshops.

lindakemshall.blogspot.com laurakemshall.blogspot.com The blogs of famous mother and daughter team Linda and Laura Kemshall of Design Matters.

iNTErNATioNAL thetextileblog.blogspot.com The Design Decoration Craft site, formerly known as The Textile Blog, is run by John Hopper and is an inspirational point of reference for practical designers, makers and students covering many aspects of historical and contemporary creativity within design, decoration and craft.

andthenwesetitonfire.blogspot.com This is a technique-driven blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. Nine resident artists, from the US, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, and a number of guest artists, share their favourite techniques. As they say on the blog: “First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools”. fiberartcalls.blogspot.com This blog is a must for textile artists! It lists fibre art calls for entry worldwide, from juried exhibitions to artist residencies. All

artbynatalya.blogspot.com Natalya Aikens is a Russian artist living in New York. Her art is deeply rooted in her heritage: Russian fairytales, folklore and decorative traditions are intermingled with imagery of her birth city of St. Petersburg. The focus of her materials and techniques is on recycled elements; vintage fabrics of personal history; sheer, translucent effects; intense hand stitching and machine work; computer manipulation.


mynameisfinch.blogspot.com This is the blog of Mr Finch, a British artist who is best known for his textile insects. His main inspirations come from nature – flowers, insects and birds. Most of his pieces use recycled materials, not only as an ethical statement, but because he believes they add more authenticity and charm. magsramsay.blogspot.com A Conservation Biotechnologist by profession, Margaret Ramsay creates art textiles inspired by the natural world. She uses watercolour sketches and photographs made on travels around the world and closer to home as the source of inspiration for mixed media quilts.

fibraartysta.blogspot.com Lynn Krawczyk is a mixed media artist and screen printing addict living in southeast Michigan Poland textilecuisine.blogspot.com Polish textile artist Bozena Wojtasek blogs in both English and Polish about her work. Netherlands greeninthemiddle.wordpress.com Dutch textile artist Meta Heemskerk shares her work on her blog, written in English and Dutch. Her motto is “Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”

uSA artbysusanlenz.blogspot.com Susan Lenz works to create art that reflects her interest in the concept of time. Memory, universal mortality, and personal legacy are central themes. Vintage and recycled materials are combined with meticulous handwork. Stitched text and free motion machine embroidery add visual and emotional layers. Work is often exhibited in an installation format in order to better communicate message through an accessible atmosphere. She is drawn to textiles for their tactile qualities and often makes work that is meant to touch and be touched.

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What’s on, Where & When WORKsHOPs NeW sOUTH WAles

Felting Workshop 10 August Natural Dye Workshops 21 & 22 November (before the Braidwood Quilt Event) Galifrey Alpaca Textiles Farm Shop, Ballalaba, 25 km outside of Braidwood jfrederick@galifrey.com.au 12th southern Hemisphere Felt Convergence 1–6 september The Tops Conference Centre, Bendena Garden Road, Stanwell Tops This is a biennial gathering of feltmakers that follows a long tradition of sharing knowledge, experience and ideas about felt. It is run entirely voluntarily for the benefit of feltmakers and feltmaking. 12thfeltconvergencesh@westnet.com.au 12thsouthernhemispherefeltingconverge.blogspot.com Portraits of a Tea Cosy 29 september – 17 November Images and stories of tea cosies and their owners. Loani Prior, knitter and writer, and Mark Crocker, photographer. STURT Gallery, Corner Range Road and Waverley Parade, Mittagong http://www.sturt.nsw.edu.au


Mary Hettmansperger at Fibre Arts in Darwin 2–6 April 2014 Alternative Surfaces for metal jewellery, with US fibre and jewellery artist Mary Hettmansperger. Virgen’s Studio, Howard Springs www.fibrearts.jigsy.com


Fibre Arts @ Townsville 21 – 27 september Five-day residential workshops with national and international teachers. Cathedral School, Townsville www.fibrearts.jigsy.com


TAFTA’s 2013 Geelong Forum 29 september 29 - 5 October Geelong Grammar School, Corio

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This iconic annual event has been re-branded as a Textile Retreat. There are three major changes for ‘Geelong’ in 2013: The new Textile Retreat will offer a total of 10 workshops – five with international tutors and five with Australian tutors. Class size is limited to 12-13 participants per workshop. It will be residential only. Those who enrol must be willing to ‘live in’ for the week. Generous time payment plans are available. An Open Studio option is being created for those who want to be mentored in their own creative processes rather than taught techniques in a workshop. http://tafta.org.au/geelong-forum/


Western Australia exhibition Mysterium 25 October – 15 November This is a collection of works is created by members of WAFTA to the theme of Mysterium. WAFTA aims to highlight and promote the diversity of textile art practice in Western Australia. Central Institute of Technology, Northbridge http://wafta.com.au


Bojagi 9–25 August Foyer Gallery, Belconnen Arts Centre, 118 Emu Bank, Belconnen This exhibition is a response to Bev Thomas’ trip to the Korea Bojagi Forum in South Korea in August 2012. Bojagi (also known as pojagi or sometimes jogakbo) is the traditional wrapping cloth made by Korean women since the 15th century. www.belconnenartscentre.com.au Four seasons of Canberra 25–29 september International Scarf Exchange The first Australian Scarf Exchange was hosted by the Canberra Spinners and Weavers in 1994. Each year since then the Scarf Exchange has been sponsored by a different guild from all over Australia attracting a large number of entries from Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. It seemed fitting as 2013 is Canberra’s Centenary year that the Canberra Spinners and Weavers host the Exchange again and use as its theme the Four Seasons of Canberra. Kurrajong Rooms, Corner Sherbrooke and Angas Streets, Ainslie www.csw.org.au.

What’s on, Where & When Australia Wide Three 29 October – 18 November The Q Art Space, Queanbeyan Sue Cunningham 03 5358 2731 sa.cunningham@bigpond.com Art Quilt Australia 31 October – 13 December Craft ACT Craft and Design Centre 180 London Circuit, Canberra www.craftact.org.au www.ozquiltnetwork.org.au


sensorial loop 7 June – 21 July The 1st Tamworth Textile Triennial Manly Art Gallery & Museum, Cnr West Esplanade & Commonwealth Pde, Manly There are 22 creative textile artists in the 1st Tamworth Textile Triennial and they represent a cross section of demographics from many states and one territory in Australia. The curator Patrick Snelling has a strong association with textile education and studio practice in Australia. His curatorial focus for Sensorial Loop is to promote excellence and the diversity of making through the ideas that creative practitioners bring to the textile discipline. This exhibition has been developed and toured by Tamworth Regional Gallery. www.tamworthregionalgallery.com.au Camden Country Quilters Guild 24th annual exhibition 3–4 August There will be a large display of quilts, a challenge display, demonstration table as well as trading tables, quilt shop and food and refreshments for sale. Enquiries to Chris 02 4655 8293.


Jumpers and Jazz 18–28 July During Warwick’s winter festival the streets of the CBD are transformed into a living gallery, with more than 100 handmade ‘tree jumpers’ that inspire and charm spectators even on the coldest of winter days. Jumpers and Jazz in July began in 2004 and nine years later the quirky tree jumper project has expanded into a 10-day art and music festival. The Tree Jumper theme for 2013 is Mamma Mia. www.jumpersandjazz.com Patena Moesker – Abstracts from the Negative 4 – 25 August This exhibition focuses on the negative and positive spaces found within the environment which can be used as a design

source. Batik with stitch is the medium, combining wax with natural and synthetic dyes. Gallery 159, 159 Payne Road, The Gap 07 3300 6491 state of the Art Quilt 13 This is a juried show that is an on-going project of the Queensland Quilters Art Quilts group. www.queenslandquiltersartquilters.blogspot.com 19 August – 28 september Redlands Art Gallery, Capalaba Place, Noeleen Street, Capalaba Gallery Open Mon to Sat 9am-4pm, open till 7.30pm on Thursdays 3–6 October Stitches & Craft Show, Townsville Convention Centre 16–20 October Craft and Quilting Show, Brisbane Convention Centre Beautiful Australia – sue Dennis 1–15 september Six quiltmakers interpret this theme: Sue Dennis (exhibition curator); Margaret Edwards, Annette McRae, Diane Sheard, Jennie Short, Marilyn Tucker. Gallery 159, 159 Payne Road, The Gap 07 3300 6491 International Baltic Mini Textiles 25 November – 15 December Gallery 159, 159 Payne Road, The Gap 07 3300 6491 The International Baltic Mini Textile Triennial exhibition is touring from the Museum of Gdynia, Poland. It includes work by artists from the USA, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Israel, Qatar, Korea, Japan and Europe. Baltic Miniatures is a demonstration of how big ideas can be superbly expressed in a compact form. Toured in partnership with The Australian Forum for Textile Arts (TAFTA).


International Baltic Mini Textiles 19 August – 15 september For more information see under Queensland Barossa Regional Art Gallery, Tanunda Soldiers’ Memorial Hall, 3 Basedow Road, Tanunda www.freewebs.com/barossagallery Dare to Differ – Contemporary Quilts 27 september – 20 October Gallery M, Marion Cultural Centre, 287 Diagonal Road, Oaklands Park www.saquilters.org.au/dare-to-differ

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Newcastle Creative embroiderers and Textile Artists Meets in Adamstown, Newcastle the third Saturday and the third Monday of each month. Visit their website for more information www.nceata.org

What a site! 7 October - 3 November This is a collaboration between the Tasmanian Quilting Guild and the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery consisting of chosen quilts entered in to the Tasmanian Art Quilt Prize competition. info@tasquiltguild.org.au

The Brooch show 2 July – 30 August This is the sixth exhibition of small wearable artworks organized by Contemporary Art Society of Victoria Inc. This exhibition showcases artworks by both established and emerging contemporary artists. Last year there were 228 brooches on public display, representing 67 individual artists. This year the organisers expect an even more exciting event. Toorak/South Yarra Library, 340 Toorak Road, South Yarra www.contemporaryartsociety.org.au sensorial loop 15 August – 28 september 1st Tamworth Textile Triennial For more information see under New South Wales Ararat Regional Art Gallery, Town Hall, Vincent Street, Ararat http://arts-events-tourism.ararat.vic.gov.au/ararat-regionalart-gallery International Baltic Mini Textiles 25 september – 18 November For more information see under Queensland Ararat Regional Art Gallery, Town Hall, Vincent Street, Ararat http://arts-events-tourism.ararat.vic.gov.au/ararat-regionalart-gallery


Australia Wide Three 21 June – 21 July Artgeo, Busselton 30 July – 30 August Wanneroo, Perth Sue Cunningham 03 5358 2731 sa.cunningham@bigpond.com

Join a Group


ACT Textiles group To find out more about the activities of this Group,which meets the second Wednesday of every month, visit the website and click on a recent newsletter, www.acttextiles.org.au

eurobodalla Fibre and Textile Artists group EFTAG meet on the first Tuesday of each month. Phone Mischi for details, 02 4471 3502. The group holds workshops and exhibitions throughout the year.

Common Threads A group in the Blue Mountains of NSW welcomes participants, members and the generally interested. Find out more visit www.commonthreadbluemountains.org


2QAQ – Queensland Quilters Queensland Quilters offers a series of textile art afternoons at Wellers Hill Bowls Club, Brisbane. For more details visit www.queenslandquiltersartquilters.blogspot.com Fibres and Fabrics Assoc Inc For enquiries contact Barbara 07 4725 6836 or Suzanne at wilfred.suzanne@bigpond.com.au


FAN (Fibre Artist Network) Contact the convenor, Suzanne Gummow, on 08 8268 7005 or suzannegummow@bigpond.com T’Arts Textile and Art Collective For information about joining the collective, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary, email Jenny Knight jennywren@adam.com.au or visit the website www.tartscollective.com.au


Western Australian Fibre and Textile Association To keep current with news and information about upcoming events from Western Australia, visit the WAFTA website www.wafta.com.au

Do you have information about an exhibition, workshop or textile art group that you would like us to add to these pages? Please send it to mail@practicalpublishing.com.au and we’ll include it in the next issue.

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Next Issue

Nest made from palm tree fronds, sisal rope and wooden beads, Christine Butler

In Down Under Textiles 12 we share the quilts that were juried into the State of the Art Quilt 13 exhibition with you. We meet two inspiring textile artists: Alison Schwabe, an Australian who lives in Uruguay, and Clare Smith from New Zealand, and talk to them about their artistic processes. Christine Butler shows how to make stunning natural fibre nests, using materials from your own backyard. Erica Spinks shares her Reflections on life and textiles and, as always, we have reviews of the latest books on textile art, a list of exciting blogs and a diary full of textile art events in Australia and overseas. Down Under Textiles 12 will be on sale in September 2013. Don’t miss it!

Sunrise Sunset, Helen Kidd

Available from your local textile shop and now on sale in newsagents!

Digital Subscriptions are now available! Visit our website to order a print subscription or turn to page 21 for a subscription form for the print version. 82 | www.downundertextiles.com

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Profile for Practical Publishing

Down Under Textiles 11  

Hello and welcome to a new issue of Down Under Textiles, and a new team working on your favourite fibres, yarns and textiles magazine. We’d...

Down Under Textiles 11  

Hello and welcome to a new issue of Down Under Textiles, and a new team working on your favourite fibres, yarns and textiles magazine. We’d...


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