A wonderful day at Nirvana Organic Farm, learning basket making. Unfortunately there was a bit of bad news - as Deb, who was to be teaching the workshop, and runs the organic farm, had broken her leg last week. Two of her basket making friends, Bev and Chris, stepped in at the last moment so the workshop could go ahead. We had a fantastic time, but all were thinking of Deb, and we wish her a speedy recovery.
I met with Auntie Janice Rigney and her daughter Lorna Collinson in South Australia last week. They are both members of the Southern Elders Weavers Group, working to keep their traditional Ngarrindjeri skills of weaving alive. These photos are my first attempt at using their traditional rushes - cyperus gymnocaulos. There are some wonderful examples of Aboriginal weavings in the South Australia Museum
My artwork ‘Exhibit A’ arrived safely in the post this morning, back from the 20:20 exhibition at theBonhoga Gallery, Shetland. I’ve been laughing at the fantastic comments and drawings folks made on the description cards!!!
A few of my favourites :
Nose - like her mothers
Nose - better not mentioned
Hair – blonde today
Mouth - fairly loud – I call it being sociable.
Unusual Features – missing some bits
Unusual Features – dolphin tattoo on upper right arm
Unusual Features - elbow bruise and cat scratches on hand
Unusual Features – She is really different from her sister
I designed a series of postcards, inspired by the mystery of the Magellan Daisy and Whalers. They arrived in the post last week. These are all destined for Patagonia as Ian Leith from Aberdeen has also been researching connections between Caithness and Patagonia.
Ian is heading out to South America in November, but before he starts his adventure, he'll be in Caithness to share what info he has already gathered. With much thanks to Ian, he'll be taking a bundle of my postcards to hand out and perhaps reveal a bit more on the mystery of the Magellan Daisy and Whalers. Below is the text and image that's on the back of each postcard.
I've been reading 'Baskets & Belonging' by Lissant Bolton, published by The British Museum to accompany an exhibition in 2011.
Click here to see a collection of dilly bags. Incorporating many different basketry techniques, looping or knotless netting is used widely - the shape of the bags often determined by their particular function such as the ones used for carrying pituir leaves and stems. The materials of these bags also tells the story of the trade in this nicotine-containing plant, as coloured wool used in some of them originated in European blankets. Click here to see a collection of original pituri bags. Choice of materials determined by function, simple but beautiful designs used what was available in each area.
My looped bag, made from combed soft-rush is purely decorative.
My future designs may be more interesting if I think about a particular function for each bag - the shapes would perhaps become more intriguing.
It's thought that hats as well as mittens and shoes/socks were made by Norse although there is no archaeological evidence. I am searching for info of hats made using nalbinding/looping techniques in different cultures. Apparently Mummies of Ürümchi, one of the Cherchen Man's ten hats and a hat which once belonged to Saint Simeon of Trier, all used nalbinding /looping techniques, quite wide ranging in time and location. If you know of any, do please get in touch. My work is experimental, using plant materials rather than wool to make my garments - all home grown. They are not replicas.The Saint Simeon hat is lined with woven fabric, with a decorative band around the rim on the outside as well - this gives me ideas for different linings - some fabric, others my own papers made from home grown plants, they could be printed with decorative patterns.
This work was inspired by Angus MacPhee weaver of grass. my socks are more delicate than the work of Angus MacPhee. The longest socks use a looping technique, which is the same technique Angus used. The other socks are all made using a variety of nalbinding techniques. Traditional nalbound socks would have been made from wool. Mine are all combed soft-rush (Juncus effuses).
Visit our fundraiser website to see all 204 postcard size artworks inspired by the sea that were donated by the artists then sold by secret silent auction - artists names have been revealed!!! Thank you all. www.postcardsea.blogspot.com