Guest Speaker

Pamela Griffith — Designer, Master Painter and Etcher

The October guest speaker was designer, master painter and etcher, Pamela Griffith.

Pamela started her talk by saying that she has great admiration for the beautiful works created by the membership. She believes that there is little encouragement for hand craft now-a-days and so it is great to see a group nurturing and promoting these sorts of activities.

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Anne Field

The September guest speaker was weaver, spinner, writer and teacher, Anne Field.
Anne shared with us her recent study trip to the UK and the subsequent samples she produced.

Last year Anne applied for a grant from the New Zealand Arts Council to study abroad. She won the grant and was scheduled to go in October but only a month before her departure, was diagnosed with cancer of the stomach. Consequently she had to wait two months to see how things would pan out, and so delayed the study grant ’til April this year.

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Marie Cavanagh of the Embroiderers’ Guild

The July guest speaker was Embroiderers’ Guild archivist, Marie Cavanagh.

Marie introduced herself and then showed a set of slides illustrating some of the important acquisitions of the Guild, including a Tree of Life, Good Queen Bess and a cushion from Schrewsbury Hall. There is a lot of symbolism in the embroideries to do with Mary Queen of Scots, for example a Tudor embroidery in a silver gilt frame from the 1600s which showed ravens, snakes and toads.

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Rodney Love’s Hair and Socks

The June guest speaker was textile sculptor Rodney Love.

Rodney Love entered COFA as a sculptor but was subverted by Liz Williamson’s textile units. His grids and statuettes became stuffed with hair collected from hairdressers — what he calls anonymous hair. He spun this hair into weft and wove it on a cotton warp. He then made paper incorporating the hair of friends and fellow students. This way he could name each hair contributor and create a memorial, of sorts. But he soon discovered hair takes a while to grow and he needed a fabric that was personal to each individual that he could incorporate into his memory/group cloth. Socks were his solution. Many of us have spare socks that can be donated along with a personal story. He has created a kimono of strips cut from white socks and a runner of many subtle colours each tagged with the donors’ name.
All these projects will be combined for a masters exhibition. Currently he is weaving bands of individual’s hair which make a fascinating sequence of colour blocks. He needs light and red hair to add to his pallette and was eyeing the heads at the meeting. Luckily there were no scissors on hand.

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Audrey Dixon of the Knitters Guild

The April guest speaker was Audrey Dixon of the Knitters Guild.
Sue Rogers reports on her lecture.

Our speaker began her talk by telling us of her mother who worked as an apprentice to a French dressmaker in England. This had a profound effect on the young Audrey who was always surrounded by beautiful fabrics and designs, so fostering an interest in clothing in general. She developed her sewing and knitting skills as a student and became a teacher. Her love of singing led to the designing and making of dresses for musicals and other productions.

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Silvana Natoli on Découpage

The March guest speaker was Silvana Natoli, who is a découpage artist of exceptional delicacy. She shared her techniques and showed samples of her work.
Peta Andersen reports on her lecture.

Thank you Hand Weavers and Spinners Guild and Prue for your invitation to speak today. I must warn you I’m not a public speaker but I’m passionate about my craft.
My name is Silvana. I worked as a Diversional Therapist. It was my time in this profession hat led me to study and practise different craft techniques. I was inspired by découpage after I had read Val Lade’s book about découpage. My involvement in the Australian and New South Wales Découpage Guild keeps me up with the trends, product and projects.

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Alix Mandleson and Jeni Kanaley on East Timor Textiles

The February guest speakers were Alix Mandleson and Jeni Kanaley, who discussed East Timor textiles.
Alix and Jeni brought bags of beautiful fabrics from East Timor for us to examine. Jeni said that because we are weavers she bought her best pieces for us to see and she was generous enough to hand them around while she was speaking so we could feel as well as gaze at them. If she wanted us to remember her every word about the difficulties that weavers in Timor have had since colonial times she shouldn’t have let us touch the textiles until after she spoke. They were so beautiful, intricate with ikat as well as supplementary weft decorations, often with surprising colour combinations that they distracted me from her oration.
Most of those we handled were from her private collection. They are supporting a cooperative in Timor which markets items made from local weaving as well as scarf or sarong lengths. Rather along the lines of a Tupperware party they will send out a bag full of textiles to a group to buy and examine at their leisure. All you have to do is send back the unsold pieces (and the money). I would recommend this as an excellent project for a local group.
Alix Mandelson
AETA Committee
Phone/Fax: 02 9331 1496

Lynne Taylor on the ATASDA

The September guest speaker was Lynne Taylor, who is the Australian Textile Arts & Surface Design Association (ATASDA) Newsletter Editor.

This is a very big year for us. We celebrate our 30th birthday. Inger Hunter who began her work in 1969 started the group in 1974. She had found it hard to find dyes and recipes for her batik. Together with five other people she formed the Batik Association of Australia (BAA). This group grew bigger and eventually changed its name to ABASDA (The Australian Batik and Surface Design Association).

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Elizabeth Wright on Old Government House

The July guest speaker was Elizabeth Wright who is responsible for the refurbishment of Old Government House, Parramatta.

Elizabeth started by telling us that some years ago she purchased Aberglasslyn, a large and inspiring Georgian House in the Hunter Valley. She quickly realised that, if possible, the house should be refurnished and decorated in its’ original style. This involved hanging sheets of material at the windows and tying them back with ropes and tassels to study the effect. The work on Aberglasslyn led to a continuing interest in the furnishings of period houses.

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